Concours d’Elegance Car Show
A Concours d’Elegance car show is an event that showcases prestigious and pricey cars. In English, the term means what it sounds like in French: a concourse of elegance. The idea of a Concours d’Elegance car show actually dates back to the 17th century. French aristocrats gathered to parade and show off their best horse-drawn carriages on summer weekends in Paris. Over time, this developed into a showcase of cars and along with formal judging of the entrants.
Today, there are numerous Concours d’Elegance car shows around the world. They range from small local shows to world-class events that draw the wealthiest car collectors. Some of the most famous shows are those hosted at Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, Amelia Island, and Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.
Cars entered into a Concours d’Elegance car show are subject to very rigorous judging. The requirements are much more demanding than at neighborhood or casual car shows. Judges are trained to look at all the details of a car and to rate every bit of it. Cars must be close to perfect to compete in these shows. This means that most of the cars that are competitive at a Concours d’Elegance car show have been restored to a condition that is better than when it originally left the factory. New paint, upholstery, and mechanics are often needed to be competitive. Judging of classic cars is even more demanding, requiring that there are no new components or modifications.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show is the most famous American version of this type of car show. It is held once a year in Pebble Beach, California on the grounds of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Pebble Beach show is not only the most famous of its kind; it is also the most prestigious. The show has been hosted here since 1950 and draws the most impressive and important cars from around the world to be judged.