June 16th, 2015 marked the 19th gathering of classic cars at the Harjattula manor, on Kakskerta island near the city of Turku in Finland. 2015 convention would bring together not only dozens of vintage cars, but also modern sports cars and other special automobiles. Themes for this year Concours were Lancia with the Nordic Lancia Club gathering as well as anniversaries for MGA, Alfa Giulietta Spider, Ford Shelby GT350 and the Lotus Esprit. It is a good idea to watch out for the next year's event in good time and save the date once announced.
This was the first time for me personally, so it was appropriate to give my modern Alfa Romeo Giulietta a good late night wash to arrive at the scene in style. In the morning a group of petrolheads with same idea head out on the road towards Turku from Helsinki. We would meet for breakfast at the fabulous tavern restaurant of the Mustio castle. The place is conveniently on the King's Road, so do remember to stop by the next time you are traveling between Turku and Helsinki. Since cars were on top of everyone's mind, we took a good moment to stand in rain just talking about our cars, breakfast was secondary.
After a luxurious breakfast, we decided to take the scenic country road towards the Concours, although rain was pouring down heavily at this point. To car enthusiasts it's always not only the destination, it is the journey itself. It was an interesting convoy of German V8's versus Italian elegance. Whereas an Audi RS4, Mercedes CLK AMG and CLS provided the soundtrack, the Italians gave the looks. The Italian team felt initially overpowered by the German muscle, until the CLK owner confessed having a Mito Quadrifoglio Verde as a daily driver. We called it even.
After a pleasuring drive, we arrived at the Concours. Since all our car makes were presented at the Concours, we parked our cars on the grass together with the actual show pieces. Just looking few cars ahead, we spotted a really long line of rare Lancias and knew that this would take a while. At the end of that row on the hill gleamed the Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis - not to mention some very special vintage cars. The Concours d'Elegance is not only a car show, it is a competition for appreciating the ownership and craftmanship for classic cars. It rarely comes cheap, if not in monetary terms, then at least when measured by working hours.
The renowned jury would choose three best cars in Coupé and Open classes. The jury included car restorers, experienced classic car dealers, journalists, sports car club representatives as well as other experts, who would all have a difficult task of picking out the winners from a grass field full of beautiful cars. Best of Show was awarded to the stunning red Lancia Aurelia B20 ser 6 from 1958. Owner Per Edvarsson was all smiles, but he had really put his heart into the car and had no intention of giving it up. It is the commitment and devotion that brings home the awards. Best Coupé award went to the amazing metallic blue Iso Grifo GL 300 from 1968. Spiritual home for both of these cars would be the Riviera, driven by Sophia Loren like movie stars, yet on this date they appeared to us at the Concours d'Elegance in Turku, Finland.