How a Concours d'Elegance Works

Additional Concours d'Elegance Awards
Comedian Jay Leno (second from right), looks over a 1925 Packard 236 on display during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Comedian Jay Leno (second from right), looks over a 1925 Packard 236 on display during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, Calif.
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

In 2005 the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance was the first concours event where two Best of Show awards were presented -- one for traditional classic vehicles and the other for the best race car [source: Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance]. The Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance also gives out two Best of Show honors -- one for foreign-made cars and one for American models, too [source: Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance]. This particular concours event also has a separate class for motorcycles and gives out a Best of Show in that class as well.

Some cars on display at the Concours d'Elegance shows aren't eligible to compete for First in Class or Best of Show honors. For those cars that don't win or can't compete, there are also other awards such as the Most Elegant Award and multiple trophies given away in the Special Award classes. Each concours event has its own selection of Special Awards to be given out, and these trophies are typically sponsored by automobile companies and other participating organizations.

For automobile enthusiasts who want to vote for their favorite car but don't have the expertise necessary to become a concours judge, MSN Autos hosts an online voting system where votes can be cast for the People's Choice Award [source: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance]. The Pebble Beach show also gives out an award to honor the racecar driver and restorer Phil Hill and another one, the Road & Track Trophy, to the car the editors of the magazine would most like to drive.

The contestants who participate in a Concours d'Elegance do so for bragging rights and so that their cars can earn some recognition among other automobile enthusiasts and restorers. Spectators and participants alike attend the shows to immerse themselves in the automobile culture that surrounds these prestigious events. And since attendance proceeds from the events are usually donated to local and national charities, it seems that everyone is a winner at a Concours d'Elegance.

For more information about Concours d'Elegance events and other related topics, follow the links below.

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  • Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. (July 28, 2009)
  • Martin, Keith. "Collecting; It's The Stars' Cars That Steal the Scene." The New York Times. Feb. 25, 2000. (July 28, 2009)
  • Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. (July 28, 2009)
  • Merriam-Webster. "concours d'elegance." (July 28, 2009)'elegance
  • Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. (July 27, 2009)
  • Rocky Mountain Concours d'Elegance. (July 31, 2009)

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