Bridge of Weir Leather, expert supplier of Fine Automotive Leather to the world’s most respected luxury car brands, has this past weekend honoured the pinnacle of automotive design at the 2022 Concours of Elegance, held at Hampton Court Palace, London.
The recipient of the Bridge of Weir Design Award, now in its third year, was the uniquely stunning Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza HB6 Xenia, selected by a trio of expert judges for its exterior and interior design achievements. The 1938 model owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum of California, won over the judging panel consisting of Maria Mulder – Head of Colour and Trim at Bentley Motors, Mark Roberts – Chief Creative Officer at Charge Cars, and Alistair Charlton – highly respected automotive journalist.
A former ‘Best in Show Winner’ from 2016, the one-off 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza Xenia represents a fusion of art deco and aeronautical design from inventor and racing driver André Dubonnet. The 8.0-litre in-line six-cylinder, water-cooled, 135-bhp Hispano-Suiza engine is enveloped by bodywork crafted by Jacques Saoutchik, featuring a curved glass windscreen and unique sliding doors.
Honourable mentions making the judges’ top-three shortlist for the Design Award included the 1939 Lagonda V12 Rapide DHC and 1933 Delage D8 S Coupe by Letourneur et Marchand.
Commenting on the winner, Mark Roberts – Chief Creative Officer at Charge Cars, added: “To me, it [Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza HB6 Xenia] is aeronautical design beautifully transferred to the road. The interior details are equally extraordinary, with fitted luggage, rattan carpet and bound steering wheel.”
Maria Mulder, Head of Colour and Trim at Bentley Motors, added: “From an aerodynamic aspect, its flowing, smooth curves accentuate its ability to cut through the air. The 1930s design is reflected in trends of the day, placing the car well ahead of its time.”
Alistair Charlton, automotive journalist said: “There’s an element of future gazing to the car. The design mechanism of the doors is both eccentric and subtle at the same time. It truly is luxury with a capital ‘L’, with nothing quite like it on display at this year’s Concours of Elegance.”
The Bridge of Weir Design Award, a gear lever wrapped in Bridge of Weir leather specially produced by CALLUM, was presented to was presented to Merle Mullin, owner from the Mullin Automotive Museum, on Saturday by Nicholas Muirhead, Managing Director, Scottish Leather Group.
Throughout the weekend, Bridge of Weir’s enclosure was once again home to additional icons of automotive design – all with Bridge of Weir leather in common. Everrati’s flagship, electrified performance model, the GT40 created in partnership with Superformance, made its public debut at the event, featuring lightweight automotive leather from Bridge of Weir. The GT40 was joined by fellow examples of design brilliance, including the Lotus Emira, new Range Rover, McLaren Speedtail, Aston Martin Vantage Roadster and Mustang from Charge Cars.
Jamie Davidson, Director, Bridge of Weir Leather Company: “It is always an honour for us to give exceptional automotive design from across the industry the recognition it deserves. Over the decades, our Fine Automotive Leather has helped make many four-wheeled icons become the design legends they are today, and it was a pleasure to host many modern examples within our enclosure at Concours of Elegance 2022.
“The exceptionally worthy winner of the Bridge of Weir Design Award, the one-off 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza Xenia, to this day represents an outstanding automotive achievement. We are also extending our congratulations to Everrati on the public debut of its redefined and electrified GT40 model, supplied with our lightweight automotive leather.”
Bridge of Weir Leather sources the finest hides from the best heritage breeds, offering a unique blend of craftsmanship with the latest advanced manufacturing techniques. It is one of the world’s leading automotive leather suppliers and has been at the forefront of innovation, design and quality for over a century, starting with the Model T Ford in the early 20th century. Bridge of Weir is synonymous with many household names of the automotive industry, such as Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren, Volkswagen and Volvo.
A global leader in sustainability, innovation, and responsible leather production, Bridge of Weir manufactures the lowest carbon intensity leather for the automotive sector. Bridge of Weir became the first automotive leather manufacturer in the world to publish its independently verified Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Detailing progress towards its goal of zero impact leather manufacturing, the company commits to achieving net-zero by 2025 – twenty years ahead of Scotland’s net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying its sustainability pledges.