Posted on November 4, 2014 - by Mac Chap
‘Salon Prive’ is a rarefied atmosphere and I’ve found myself describing it to others as a ‘Mr Benn moment’. ‘Mr Benn’ was a popular children’s cartoon programme in 1971-72. He’s an ordinary, bowler-hatted office worker who lives in an ordinary suburban street. However, when he tries on a costume in the mysterious costume shop, he steps out of the changing-room into a different time and place, appropriate to his costume. The tunnel between the grounds of Syon Park and its suburban environs and the lawns of Syon House is that ‘Mr Benn moment’, between the changing-room and the different time and place that is the ‘Salon Prive Concours d’ Elegance’.
I bought a second-hand linen jacket from a local vintage shop, a couple of flash bonnets from a local gentleman’s outfitters, polished my shoes, ironed a couple of shirts last worn at a wedding and made-do with the rest of my wardrobe. We filled a small ‘Transit’ like we were leaving home and beetled-off to London Town.
There were Nubian boys and girls everywhere, we wanted for nothing. Lobster lunches and ‘a spot of tiffin’ everyday washed-down with ‘shampoo’ and Pimms for as long as you could drink it. ‘Stuffed shirts’, bevies of lovelies and beautiful coachwork filled our every gaze. A few wobbly parade rides around the grounds, inhaling the ‘full-fat’ emissions of a legendary Ferrari or two in front and we meandered back to our digs in the haze of three summer’s evenings – a truly ethereal experience for us lesser mortals.
But it was the pleasure of being with some of our crew that I enjoyed most, inviting and enjoying the company of long-standing friends and collaborators such as Mr. Craig Dolan who slept in his car to be with us on the Friday, Mr. Andrew Wellings from Birchills Automotive who produce our exhausts, Mr. Paul Crees, who’s company ‘Bee Design’ designs some of the best automotive lighting in the world and ‘the talented Mister Raffo’ who I’ve worked with for more years than we both care to remember. Meeting and nattering with some new faces like Drs. George and Sarah Cohen, Ewan and Tracey Cameron, Paul Beamish Esq. and the institution that is Norman Hyde was a treat.
None of this would have been possible without the patronage of a certain John Mockett aka. ‘Sprocket’ who proposed us for selection and the perseverance, experience and devotion of Roger and Mark Taylor at RTS Racing Products and the diamond chaps that they are. Like I said, I’m just the stuffed shirt and ‘Salon Prive’ was our first public outing for the production-ready ‘Spud’ and a showcase for all the talent we’re lucky enough to work with.
Here’s some of Andrew Butler’s ‘pin-hole’ voyeurism, if you’d like to know more, please get in-touch or feel free to scribble some graffiti here.
The order-book will open properly shortly…
We look forward to hearing from you.
Andy Butler (Photos)
Andy Bufton (Video)
Leave a Reply
Here's your chance to speak.