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"Concours d’Elegance" is a French word meaning a competition of elegance. The gathering of prestigious cars dates back to the 17th century when the aristocracy paraded their horse drawn carriages. The competition has evolved into a gathering of horseless carriage owners displaying some of the finest and rarest cars in the world. The events are typically staged annually and hosted at the most beautiful and elegant settings available. Three of the most famous vintage car showings in the USA are the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance.
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance began in 1950 as a part of the Pebble Beach Road Race and it is often stated that it is the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Prospective entrants must submit an application for each car, and the Concours field of cars is selected from each year's pool of applicants. Many automobile collectors spend years and vast amounts of money in purchasing and restoring a car in hopes of being chosen. Once a car is accepted to the Concours, that car cannot be entered again for ten years. However, the selection committee can reach out to invite cars of varying restoration quality or cars that have previously been entered in the Concours, in order to provide a good representation for exhibition. Each year's event honors a featured marque(s). The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the centerpiece of over 50 related events spanning over a week known as Monterey Week. Highlights include vintage racing at nearby Laguna Seca, numerous high end auctions, and other varying events. The proceeds of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance have supported a number of local and national charitable organizations for which they have donated over $14 million through the years. If you are interested in rare and beautiful automobiles, looking for car things to do and want to celebrate what many consider the premier event of the year, this is truly a memorable and elegant event worth attending!
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was founded in 1996 and the first show was held at the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton and is still held there today during the second weekend in March annually. The first concourse consisted of a group of 163 cars and attendance was around 2,200. Over the years attendance has increased dramatically as are the number of cars that are shown and offered at the auction and other events. Many of the competing cars are valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and more. This concours has been described as a beauty pageant for the rare and elegant car. For these reasons, along with its spectacular setting and amenities, the Amelia Island Concours is considered one of the premier concours in the world. Anyone can submit a car for entry consideration but showing is by invitation only. The organizers attempt to invite vehicles from several different time periods and cars newer than 1974 are generally not considered. Each year special consideration is given to a featured car class and in the end only 225 automobiles will be selected. Once a car is accepted to the Concours, it cannot be entered again for five years. Entries are examined and rated for authenticity, function, history, style and quality of restoration by a team of judges that includes specialists for each car type. There are other events during the week and have included a golf tournament, car auctions, art and fashion shows, silent auctions of car memorabilia, charity raffles and autograph sessions. The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is a charitable event and for the past 16 years, has donated a portion of its proceeds to several deserving organizations in the Jacksonville - North Florida area.
Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance will have a featured car marque each year. The event has been typically held on Hutchinson and Hilton Head Island and includes 20+ distinct car classes. The entire Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance will be celebrated the first weekend of November with the Concours on the final day. Activities begin with Savannah Speed Classic, bringing back Savannah's car racing heritage with a unique car race track experience to include hot lap rides and pit access. Next is Motoring Midway Fest offering an eclectic mix of motoring heritage and car technology with exhibits and children’s activities. Car Club Jamboree is a nostalgic day with car clubs traveling from throughout the U.S.A. to share, a varied mix of over 150 cars, including muscle cars, hot rods and European sports cars. The finale of course is the Concours d’Elegance and it will be held under the large spreading oaks and flowing Spanish moss with over 150 classic cars competing for Best of Show.