On Sunday, September 10th, the fourth edition of Chantilly Arts & Elégance was graced with the presence of two British rock stars: Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Coldplay bass guitarist Guy Berryman. Two generations of internationally renowned musicians who happen to be vintage racing car enthusiasts, with as a backdrop the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Ferrari.
For the second year in a row, Nick Mason has served at Chantilly as a member of the Concours d'Elégance jury. He returned once again to a site he once visited at the helm of his drum kit: on July 30th and 31st back in 1994, Pink Floyd performed at the Chantilly hippodrome for the Paris stop on the band's final tour.
This year, for the 70th anniversary celebration of Ferrari, Nick Mason's presence at Chantilly was fitting. Did he not start off his collection of competition cars with the mythical GTO - acquired thanks to the royalities from the album "The Dark Side of the Moon" - which is even prominently displayed on his Twitter page and remains one of his favorites to this day? Another Ferrari from his collection was exhibited on the lawns of the Chantilly chateau, a stunning 1969 midnight blue Ferrari 365 GTS/4 "Daytona" formerly owned by David Gilmour, the band's lead guitarist.
Nick Mason and Guy Berryman could both easily be described as classy and understated. One might barely have noticed them in the aisles of Chantilly Arts & Elégance or at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume catering to members of the jury and other VIPs. The two musicians also share a very unique and significant passion for auto racing.
Born in 1944, Nick Mason has been immersed in motorsport from a very young age thanks to his father Bill, a well-known director of documentary films as well as a gentleman-driver and friend of Sammy Davis, one of the "Bentley Boys" and winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1927. Guy Berryman was born in 1978 and dreamed of satisfying his interest in engineering by way of auto racing...before meeting his future Coldplay bandmates. With both musicians entering the world of motorsport relatively late in life (as they were about to turn 40), by then their respective bands had fortunately become two of the most internationally known and adored in the history of rock music.
When in 1979 Nick Mason took the first of his five starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Guy Berryman was...14 months old. It was at the wheel of a Dino from his collection that Berryman debuted at Le Mans for the first time this past April during the Tour Auto at the Bugatti circuit. In 2002, Nick Mason brought his Ferrari GTO to the 24 Hours circuit for the inaugural edition of the Le Mans Classic. After competing at the Tour Auto then attending Chantilly Arts & Elégance as a VIP collector, will we see Guy Berryman among the stunning cars of former 24 Hours glory at the ninth edition of the Le Mans Classic in 2018?
PHOTO (Copyright - Stéphanie Bézard): During the official dinner at Chantilly Arts & Elégance on Saturday, September 9th, Guy Berryman (at left) and Nick Mason shared a table with Pierre Fillon, the president of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and jury member.