The Birkin Bentley, which set a world record for a British car at auction when it sold for £5 million earlier this year, has taken the Car of the Year award at the 2012 International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with EFG International Private Banking and Octane magazine, during a ceremony in London on Thursday 29 November.
Setting the tone for the evening, guests arriving at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel were greeted by an unforgettable quartet of rare and hugely valuable historic cars, with James Bond’s personal transport - the iconic 1963 Aston Martin DB5 that starred with Daniel Craig in Skyfall – lining up alongside the extraordinarily beautiful Bentley ‘Embiricos’ Special, together with a superb Ford GT40 and the famous Lindner Nöcker lightweight E-type Jaguar.
Five-times Le Mans winner and double World Sports Car Champion Derek Bell acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event, and he was joined on stage by ‘the voice of Formula One’, Murray Walker, to pay tribute to the winner of the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, Murray’s long-time friend, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.
The winners were:
• Car of the Year – ‘Birkin’ Bentley
• Lifetime Achievement – Lord Montagu of Beaulieu
• Museum or Collection of the Year – The National Motor Museum
• Motoring Event of the Year – Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance
• Personal Achievement of the Year – Jeremy Jackson-Sytner and Graham Sharpe (Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance)
• Restoration of the Year – Paul Russell & Co. for the 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S
• Motorsport Event of the Year - Goodwood Revival
• Race Series of the Year – Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy
• Publication of the Year - Inside the Paddock (David Cross)
• Club of the Year – Aston Martin Owners Club
• Industry Supporter of the Year – Audi Tradition
Robert Coucher, Octane’s International editor, said: ‘This was the second year the Awards have been held, and we have been delighted at how the number and spread of nominations have grown in such a short period of time. We had a truly international shortlist, and an international panel of judges, underlining the worldwide appeal of historic motoring and historic motorsport. It is an industry which gives employment to a huge number of people – and gives enjoyment to many, many more.’
Nominations were assessed by an international panel of expert judges, including Jay Leno, Derek Bell, car designers Ian Callum and Peter Stevens, Horst Brüning of FIVA, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen (responsible for global coordination of Volkswagen Group's Classic activities), motoring journalists Robert Coucher and Tony Dron, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, Bruce Meyer (founding Chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum), and Lady Susie Moss, wife of the legendary Sir Stirling Moss.
The 2013 International Historic Motoring Awards will open for nominations in the spring. More information can be found on www.historicmotoringawards.com.