Gunners Garage

CONCOURS REVIVAL

On Sunday I was one of the judges at the second annual Barrington (Ill.) Concours and I got to talk to many car collectors from all over the country. The speaker at the Saturday evening banquet was Malcolm Pray and one of the things he talked about is what he called “the revival of the Concours d’Elegance” in recent years.

The more I thought about this, the more I had to agree that number of these “fancy” car shows being held is really on the rise. I don’t know if it’s a revival of interest or new interest, but I tend to suspect it’s that latter. It doesn’t seem that long ago that only six to eight such events were staged annually. Now, the number must be at least double that level.

Surely, part of the reason for the growth is that the shows are accepting more diverse fields of cars. You no longer see only the big Classics at such venues. The concours I have gone to lately are welcoming mini cars, muscle cars and motorcycles. This gives the events wider appeal (and usually raises more money for the sponsoring charities).

Concours have a long history in the annals of car collecting. Chevy even did an add in 1955 showing a new Bel Air at the Pebble Beach show, which was much smaller then. It’s nice to see more and more such events. The cars that they attract are a real treat to see.

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