When car fans think of the year 2020, they will remember it above all as a lost year. The Corona pandemic has changed a lot and almost every event has been cancelled – starting with the Geneva Motor Show in March. Sad but true. But they still exist, the stubborn ones, those who, despite Corona, keep their appointments and thus definitely provide highlights. This happened last weekend in Gstaad, Switzerland. There, under the banner of the SOC (Supercar Owners Circle), everyone who is anybody in the car sector met, from Pagani to Koenigsegg and Bugatti. But also such beautiful vehicles as a Mercedes-Benz G 500 4×4², a Porsche 918 Spyder, two Porsche Carrera GTs, several Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, the Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio as Coupé and Spider and others were part of the party. The cheapest vehicle probably was a Porsche 911 (992) Turbo – so you can already guess which values were to be admired on site.
Underground parking of superlatives
The event started on Friday the 4th of September – actually planned as an arrival day, but some vehicles already arrived in the morning hours. The hordes of carspotters were thrilled, while the cars themselves were spread over two hotels, the Gstaad Palace and the Alpine Hotel. While the cars at the Gstaad Palace were parked outside, but with many grim looking security guards around them, so no approach to them was possible, it was much easier to take a closer look at some of the highlights at the Alpine Hotel. The Bugatti Chiron Supersport 300+ stood directly in front of the entrance, exactly the vehicle with which Bugatti set the speed record. It was flanked by equally high-quality and high-priced vehicles. But the real highlights were hidden in the underground garage, which was full of superlatives on those days. Despite strict security, Secret Classics still managed to take a look inside the holy hall. What stood there simply eclipsed everything that had been seen so far and one didn’t know where to look first. Our picture gallery probably shows best what we mean. Unfortunately the viewing time was limited and so we quickly went back to the hotel to recharge our batteries for the next day.
On Saturday everything started early and so the carspotters from all over the world gathered at the airfield of the municipality of Gstaad to welcome the arriving sports cars. The airfield itself was then only reserved for members of the SOC. However, there were spectator areas around it that were rapidly filled. On the area itself, drag races were held, everyone against everyone. So you could not only see the impressive accelerations but also hear them. The word ‘impressive’ doesn’t even come close to describing what was on offer there. It was interesting to hear and see the many different vehicles. From the Italian Bellcanto to the Swedish Thunderbolt, everything was arranged for a feast for the eyes and ears.
Unfortunately, some of the drivers’ will to win in the drag races played a trick on themselves and so it happened that a beautiful Bugatti Veyron Vitesse now needs a new front bumper because the bale of straw at the end of the track refused to jump out of the way. Secret Classics also had the chance to be present at the airfield and to take a close look at the automobile works of art. But it wasn’t only the cars that made the hearts beat faster. Also some of the drivers might look familiar to one or the other reader. Andy Wallace didn’t miss the opportunity to demonstrate the performance potential of a white Bugatti Chiron Sport. The Pagani family was also there and showed what Zonda and Huayra are capable of, just as Christian and Halldora von Koenigsegg in their Regera were doing.
Whoever thought that after the drag races everything was already over, was again disabused. At the final Come Together all vehicles were parked in front of the hangar of the airport. In the hangar itself the next highligt was parked, at first still covered. This is where the delayed world premiere of the Pagani Huayra BC Roadster took place, which should have taken place at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Horacio Pagani himself told the attendees some details about development, while his son Christopher acted as translator. Now that everyone’s mouths had been watered, it was time to uncover the car, which was immediately surrounded by the enthusiastic audience. Although the vehicle was already known from pictures, to see it in real life is another story.
After dinner, the participants went up into the mountains and onto the mountain passes around Gstaad, while in the evening they met again at the hotel for a gala dinner. Unfortunately, the Secret Classics team was no longer present at these latter events due to scheduling reasons. What is the conclusion to be drawn? This SOC event is definitely one of the highlights of 2020, not because there were so few, but because it stood out with the sheer number of top-class vehicles. Secret Classics will certainly be there again in 2021.
Text and images: Oliver Kühlein