Saturday, January 26, 2008
(Photo: This 1930 Mercedes won Best of show at the 2001 Concours. Photo courtesy of the Big Picture blog.)
France was the birthplace in the early 1900s of the concours d'elegance - a "contest of elegance" involving beautiful cars and designer clothing. The idea reached America in 1950 with the first Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, with a focus on cars. Today, a number of auto shows around the country have adopted the name concours d'elegance. The top four, say several sources, are Pebble Beach, Amelia Island in Florida, Meadow Brook near Detroit, and Hilton Head, S.C. Folks associated with the various concours are friendly with one another, but they're also quite competitive, because they all need sponsors with deep pockets, and such sponsors don't grow on trees. So, catty remarks come forth occasionally. "The Pebble Beach Concours is a little uppity," claims one out-of-town source, "a little stodgy, a little less innovative and open to fresh thinking than some of the others." But, having said that, the source adds, "Pebble Beach is definitely viewed by car collectors as the granddaddy, the top-of-the-line."
(Video below: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2008)