The famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance pits about 200 spectacular vintage vehicles against each other for coveted awards, something akin to a beauty pageant for automobiles.
But the first competition occurs long before the concours itself; first a car owner needs to win one of the invitations to show an automobile on the hallowed 18th fairway in the first place, which is a huge honor in itself among international car collectors and restorers.
Entry applications for the next concours – set for Sunday, August 26, 2018 – are going out, according to the organizers.
“The receipt of an invitation is not a matter of luck, of course,” according to a concours news release. “The selection process is not a lottery; it involves a thorough vetting process.
“Hopeful owners often begin by sending a simple description of their car to firstname.lastname@example.org. These submissions are quickly reviewed and discussed, and although many owners receive a gentle decline, those with automobiles that merit a more careful and complete look are sent a formal application, which is due in early January.”
Members of the Concours Selection Committee, a group of 15 automotive experts guided by Concours chairman Sandra Button, vet about 1,000 cars, spending months researching them, “sometimes even visiting them to ascertain their authenticity and condition,” the release says.
Committee members discuss the applicants during a two- or three-day selection meeting held in the spring, ultimately picking the 200 or so cars that will be invited to the concours.
“We want to make certain each car shown here gets its due,” Button said in the release. “Regrettably, that means we have to turn away many great cars. Sometimes they deserve to be here, but they don’t fit into the features and classes we are highlighting that year. Perhaps we feel they might shine more brightly another year.”
The 2018 concours will feature Motor Cars of the Raj, Rollston Coachwork, OSCA, Postwar Custom Citroën, Sporting Vintage Cars and Tucker. Organizers also promise another surprise (or two or three!) to be unveiled in the spring.
Tickets to attend the 2018 concours are also now available. For more information, visit the event website.
Amelia Island to honor Ferrari Daytona
The 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” will be celebrated at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance scheduled for March 11, 2018, on the northeastern Florida resort island.
The 365 GTB/4 was never officially named Daytona, but the nickname stuck in recognition of three Ferraris beating the competition at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, which was seen as an act of vengeance on U.S. soil after the Ford sweep of Le Mans two years earlier.
Nearly 1,400 Daytona coupes and convertibles were built, outgunning their pricier and rarer 3-liter predecessors with a 4.4 liter 4-cam V12 fed by six 40 mm Weber carburetors.
“This exotic recipe makes 380 hp and propels the big two-seater to nearly 180 mph,” according to a concours news release. “A sobering number for a 3,600-pound GT.”
Ferrari created 15 special competition 365 GTB/4s from 1971 through 1973, scoring class victories at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Le Mans, and winning the 1972 Tour de France outright. Second overall (with class victories) at the 1973 and 1979 round-the-clock race at Daytona, appropriately, are the Daytona’s North American racing high water marks.
“The Daytona has traditional Ferrari provenance, presence and poise.” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “The Daytona is the last of the true ‘Enzo’ Ferraris created before the Fiat influence arrived in Maranello in 1969. The howl of that big V12 should be part of Il Canto degli Italiani, the Italian national anthem. The big Daytona is a car, a name and a legacy worth celebrating in grand style.”
For more information, visit the event website.
Lake Bluff Concours on hiatus
The Lake Bluff Concours of Southwest Michigan is being suspended for 2018 after the departure of its director and a search for a new venue.
Anne Odden, who has served as chair of the concours for three years, is stepping down following the resignation of event founder Dar Davis. Davis has signed on to coordinate a new concours to take place the same weekend at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, just over the state line from St. Joseph, the home of the Lake Bluff Concours, according to a news release.
Odden said St. Joseph city leaders also have changed policies regarding events, reducing the number that require the closing of streets, as does the Lake Bluff Concours.
These circumstances do not preclude the concours returning for 2019, Odden noted.
“We just have no location in mind – that’s the big unknown.”
Other concours and event news
A celebration of Briggs Cunningham and his automobiles will be featured at the 2018 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut, held June 1-3, with a special display of Cunningham production cars and team race cars, as well as Cunningham’s personal yacht moored at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor docks. For more information, visit the event website.
The Concours of America, held July 27-28 at the Inn of St. Johns in Plymouth, Michigan, has named the honorees for its 40th annual event. Sam and Emily Mann are the 2018 Collectors of the Year, and will have five of their cars on display, and General Motors executive Mark Ruess, a longtime judge and supporter, is 2018 Enthusiast of the Year. For more information, visit the event website.