The inaugural Isolation Island Concours d’ Elegance starts today

The event that car people have been craving begins anew, and the world is invited

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Time for a walk in the show field

In light of all the pandemic-related cancellations and closures of car events, ClassicCars.com Journal’s East Coast editor Andy Reid has gathered together top car collectors, enthusiasts and concours judges to create something brand new: The Isolation Island Concours d’Elegance.

No social distancing will be necessary on the show field and the whole world is eligible to participate in a concours of diecast model cars on Facebook!

“In this time of no events in the car hobby, we thought it would be fun to hold a classic car event virtually, where collectors from around the world can submit a car,” according to Reid. “These are not cars you trailer to a show but diecast models of cars.

“We did this as everyone in the hobby seems to have a large number of these, often replicating their actual collections. The idea was to bring back the fun of concours events in the simplest and most-accessible way we could garner.”

The Isolation Island Concours will be held every two weeks continuously, with entry deadlines on Thursdays and awards presented the following week on Friday. New and updated class lists will be posted for each bi-weekly concours.

The deadline for participation in the inaugural Isolation Island Concours d’Elegance is Thursday, April 9. Visit the concours Facebook page to enter.

“Since the coronavirus outbreak, the lives of my car-enthusiast friends have been put on hold,” Reid noted. “I wanted to do something to cheer us all up during this necessary time of seclusion from each other and the events we all love so much.”

One of the hallmarks of the Isolation Island Concours is that it will be judged by actual concours professionals; Reid, a veteran concours expert and experienced judge, worked closely with major players in the concours world to develop the virtual-concours concept.

“The cars will be judged by class by the best concours judges gathered from around the world who are judges at the world’s finest concours,” he said. “These include Mike Tillison, founder of Radnor Hunt; Bill Scheffler, founder of the former Fairfield concours; and restoration master Paul Russell of Paul Russell and Associates, to name a few.

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“The judge list for this first event is just being finalized, but expect to see many more notable judges including some racing personalities.”

Reid also called out a number of concours pros who helped originate and advance the Isolation Island concept.

“I could not have even launched this by myself and am grateful to have a friend like Bill Warner, the founder of the Amelia Island Concours, who came up with the clever name and assisted in removing all of the initial rough edges of the concours,” Reid said. “Chris Brewer, head of PR for Amelia island, acted as my copy editor, and master photographer Dirk de Jager was my first volunteer and assisted with class choices and shot all but two of our example pictures of the cars.”

To maintain the Isolation Island Concours at a high level, a set of rules has been created for participation, he added.

“We want to limit it to a single-car submission per person to make it fair to all. In addition, do not submit the same make, model and color car that someone else has already submitted – the first submission of a make, model and color will be the car judged.”

There is also a set price limit of no more than $350 dollar cost for each diecast car taking part in this inaugural concours.

“This again opens it up to more people as many cannot afford a $5,000 diecast,” Reid noted. “There will be a special class in the future for these types of cars, but the majority should be of the more-affordable variety.

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“It is important to know that just like every concours, even the most expensive car is not in any way a sure winner.”

Participants will be limited to five photographs to be uploaded of each entry, and they are urged to strive for high-quality pictures that show the models at their best. “French judging” will be thee standard, which does not require hoods to be opened, since not all models have opening hoods. Entries can show the engine compartment, though it will not be a factor in judging.

Although there is no cost to enter, participants are encouraged to give at least a $5 donation directly to a local community food bank, first-responders charity or other worthy cause.

Here are the rules, entry instructions and class list (yes, you need to read the whole thing):

To enter, visit the concours Facebook page. Find the post of your class and make a comment and upload photos within the post for your class, not on the main page.

1. One entry only: Participants are limited to a single car submission per person for each event. That does not mean one car per class; it means one car per event.

2. Only one car model and color in each class: Before posting a car, check the previous submissions to make sure no one else has posted the same make, model and color car. The first person who posts, for example, a silver Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, is the one who gets to enter. Period. It does not matter if it was made by a different diecast company. If the car has a different racing livery, say a silver 1955 Le Mans 300SL and another is a silver Carrera Panamerica-liveried 300SL, that would be acceptable.

3. Price limit: To help make this inclusive to as many as possible, there is a price limit of no more than $350 per model car. There will be future classes for higher-end models.

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4. Pictures: Submit 4 or 5 high-quality, well-lit photos of the car taken from various angles. If the car has a nice interior, include it as well. An engine-compartment shot is not necessary but can be included. A smart phone is a perfectly good tool for taking pictures. Be creative.

5. Each class is limited to 25 cars: Cars entered after that number is reached will not be included, so take the time to count the number of cars in a class before entering.

6. Tell the car’s story in the entry: Just like in a real full-scale concours, tell the story of the car – why you like it, what it means to you, etc. This can affect judging outcomes, so take some time with this.

7. Give something back: Participants are asked to make a donation to a community food bank or first-responders charity in your area. This is on the honor system as entries are likely to come from all over the world. Give as much as you can, and please call out the charity to which you gave in your post description.

The Class List for the inaugural Isolation Island Concours d’Elegance:

1A. European Classics 1915-1948
1B. American Cassics 1915-1948
2. Porsche 911 air cooled 1963-1989
3. Alfa Romeo
4. Mercedes SL 1952-1989
5. Jaguar 1948-1974
6. Aston Martin 1956-1967
7. Ferrrari 1948-1973
8. Chevrolet Corvette
9. American Customs: Hot rods customs, street rods
Racecars:
10A. Prewar
10B. 1947-1967
10C. 1968-1982
10D. Modern
10E. Open Wheel
11. Misfit Toys: These are the cars you cannot believe anyone ever made a diecast for. Think Renault Fuego or Ford Pinto (Yes, these do exist)

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. Wow! I’ve got to tell you all six of the cars you pictured in the article are awesome. I would love to see any of these models in person. Unbelievable details in each of them. I don’t know which one I would vote for as they are all so beautiful.

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