After three years of preparation and a one year Covid delay the time for KHAMSIN CINQUANTA (K50), organized Maserati KHamsin registry founder Marc Sonnery came at last June 15-18.
Based at Le Domaine de Divonne in Divonne les Bains just on the French side of the French/Swiss border near Geneva and the stunning border region of its eponymous lake 26 Khamsin owners from 11 countries such as Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, France, Italy the UK and from as far away as the USA and New Zealand gathered with their Khamsins.
An excellent atmosphere developed immediately like at KHAMSIN QUARANTA in Burgundy in 2012.
This is easily explained by the fact that most people don’t know Khamsins exist so it takes a certain automotive culture to appreciate them and even more so to buy one as like for so many classics some people talk of buying cars but never do.
Among the 160 owners of Khamsins in running condition in the EU and UK these were the ones who actually had the time to come and got their act together to actually take part.
It was a triple filter if you like and everyone in the group was interesting, very much a connoisseur but modest unpretentious and able to discuss many topics beyond cars hence a particularly cohesive group as was the case at K40 already in 2012.
After the welcome cocktail and dinner on Thursday the 15th things started in earnest with the Tour du Jura on the Friday, an all day 200+kms tour of the splendid, picturesque Swiss Jura mountains with wonderful low traffic roads.
After a scenic drive which included climbing two passes, driving along lake de Joux and through rock arches the impressive motorcade arrived in Motiers, Neuchatel canton for lunch and private visits of the Australian Aborigine art museum and Le Manege automotive museum with main street blocked off for the impressive Khamsin line up.
The tour then resumed heading up into wolf country (they are there but seeing them is very rare) before a pause with a stunning view over lake Neuchatel.
The route then wound down past the spectacular chateau de Champvent –cannot be visited- and back to the hotel.
Participants were later taken by motorcoach to chateau de Prangins the Swiss national museum, a stunning property overlooking the shore of lake Geneva.
Here two groups were guided through the splendid castle, one in English one in French/German.
After that a dining cocktail on the particularly pleasant terrace whiled away a memorable evening.
Satuday morning more Khamsins joined the event for the day, bringing the total to 26.
A short but spectacular 20 minute drive took the participants up the col de la Faucille road, once the site of a famus hillclimb, from 400 meters to 1250 meters to La Mainaz hotel restaurant for brunch outside.
Here the view was breath taking as though from an airliner with lake Geneva below, Geneva and its famous 140 metre water jet visible to the right and the Alps and Mont Blanc to the south.
At 11h20 it was time for the Khamsins to head down to the lake shore where K50 would have its own concours within the grounds of the Internationally acclaimed Concours d’Elegance Suisse, the Pebble Beach, Chantilly or Hampton court of Switzerland.
Lined up in two rows at an angle the Khamsins formed a specatacular sight with the lake as background.
Here the judges, Peter Straub former President of the Maserati club Switzerland and Fabio Collina of the Maserati facory’s archivio Storico department did their due diligence as drones captured the world’s record equalling Khamsin gathering for posterity. Surprisingly and amusingly the number of 26 was the exact same one as during K40 in 2012 though only a few of the cars were the same.
A presentation of the Khamsin took place on the podium on the Saturday, which was well received as this model is so unfairly little known.
The group, even though it is not a club, won best club presentation, so it was back to the podium on Sunday to collect it!
All participants thanks to Bonhams’ generosity received a catalog and had access to the Bonmont auction at the nearby golf club in Cheserex.
On Saturday evening it was time for the black tie cocktail reception and gala awards dinner and dancing.
This concluded a wonderful dream weekend!
KHAMSIN CINQUANTA CONCOURS AWARDS
Spirit of K50: Lucas Gysin, AM120-160 Zurich, Switzerland (attended K40, K50, the 8 Khamsin meet at Hochwacht Pfannenstiel near Zurich August 24, 2010 AND came in October 2021 to Divonne and the tour du Jura roads for photos for the event presentation; THAT is the spirit!
Longest distance travelled AM120-392 Paul and Glenys Halford from New Zealand, how about that!
Longest distance driven: AM120-268 Carsten Warburg and Justina Kudryk from Copenhagen Denmark.
Best help at K40 and K50: Philippe Murari, Brussels.
Bad luck award: AM120-270 Alberto Caprari from Modena, Italy, breaking down half way to K50 BUT not to be deterred he came anyway to help judge.
Maserati heroism award: Khamsin AM120-182 bought by Michal Mlynarczyk of Poland after its 2020 heavy front end crash in France, it was restored under the expert supervision of Niels Schulte who also came to K50 and much of the bodywork was done by Radek, the very talented specialist shown in one of the photos. All the accident damage had been cancelled in time for K50 and the rest is a normal restoration process that will be finished this year.
People’s choice: AM120-392 The rame metallizzato (copper) liveried K 392 of Paul and Glenys Halford from New Zealand.
Ladie’s choice the celeste (light blue) AM120-US-1100 of Lionel and Anna Rolland from France and Sweden.
Marc’s favourite colour: AM120-US-1114 Oro Kelso (gold) of Christian and Sabine Zimmermann of Germany (award given later that evening after Christian promised that he would put the standard wheels back on;-)!)
Heart of gold award: Henk de Vries from Holland for lending me AM120-096 for the event, perhaps the nicest present I have ever received. Henk got not only some wine but also the trophy for best club presentation at the Concours d’Elegance Suisse (even though we are not a club) and I am sure you all agree with me that he deserved it!
Not only did the car run perfectly all along but he refused to let me help with transport costs from Amsterdam to Burgundy and back; that was incredibly generous.
AS JUDGED FORMALLY BY PETER STRAUB EX PRESIDENT OF THE SWISS MASERATI CLUB AND FABIO COLLINA OF THE FACTORY’S ARCHIVIO MASERATI WITH HELP FROM ALBERTO CAPRARI
Best Preservation: AM120-389 Jeremy and Elizabeth Wilson UK
Best restoration: AM120-104 Marek Evert, Berlin, Germany
BEST OF SHOW: AM120-104 Marek Evert, Berlin, Germany
KHAMSIN CINQUANTA CINQUE IN 2028?
Since several have suggested it and I have only good memories from all of you participants and the event maybe, not a promise but a maybe
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
Philip Kantor of Bonham’s Motorcars
Pedro Cappelle of Alfieri Magazine
Simon Berliere of Legends Magazine
Bernard Guenant for the Baulieu wine
THANKS TO OUR SUPPLIERS
Pierre Normand, IM’POSE for the polos, tote bags, guest badges, etc
Thomas Parein for the Khamsin silhouettes including the oversize best of show award.