The world of thoroughbred racing cars and top-end collector vehicles is still perceived to be primarily a male pursuit. But the reality is that some of the most voracious automotive thrill seekers and knowledgeable car collectors in the world are – and have always been – women. For our tenth anniversary edition, the Concours of Elegance is introducing an entirely new feature designed to shine a light on these women and their vehicles. To our minds, it could only be named after one person: Dorothy Levitt.
On Saturday 3rd September, a group of 30 rare and exotic vehicles from Austin Healey 3000s to Ferrari Daytonas – all owned by women – will join the Levitt Concours, driving their vehicles into the gardens of Hampton Court Palace for a curated schedule of events.
Organised by women, and designed for women, the Levitt Concours will also be judged by a panel of modern day racers, style icons and national editors.
The new Levitt Concours honours a woman recognised as the first English female racing driver. A woman who set the ladies world land speed record, the first water speed record, who taught Queen Alexandra and the Royal Princesses to drive and a woman who – in 1905 – drove a De Dion Bouton from London to Liverpool and back over two days. That’s at a time when tarmacked roads barely existed and less than 10,000 cars were on UK roads. She was a true pioneer, and was dubbed the ‘Fastest Girl on Earth’.
The Levitt Concours is a one-day driving tour from the Guards Polo Club on the banks of the Thames, to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and the Concours of Elegance. Included will be a series of events including the Charles Heidsieck Champagne Reception, a Fortnum & Mason picnic lunch and prize giving.