In the early 1990s, a small group of automobile enthusiasts banded together to organize the Philadelphia Vintage Grand Prix which was held in Fairmount Park. The event was well attended, and the roster of vintage competitors was impressive. However, several factors caused the event to end after a few years of operation. That enthusiast group then started to think of another way to bring these wonderful vintage vehicles together for the public to enjoy. The idea was to create a concours d’elegance, inviting only the most interesting and significant automobiles for display and judging on the concours show field.
Michael G. Tillson III was one of those organizers. In 1997, Michael and his fellow enthusiasts decided to bring together classic cars and the world of horses and fox hunting – by staging a benefit Concours d’Elegance at the Radnor Hunt in the rolling country of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Over the years, the event has grown from it’s humble beginnings with a handful of exceptional cars, to a showfield of one hundred entries chosen by the Car Selection Committee.
In 2005, vintage motorcycles were added to the show field, making Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance the first nationally ranked event of its type to include motorcycles. The addition of horse drawn coaches and carriages in 2007 made Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance the only concours to feature the earliest forms of wheeled transportation.
Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance has grown from its humble beginnings to a three-day event that includes a Friday Night Barbecue, the Chester County Road Rally and Black Tie Gala on Saturday evening which culminate in the main event on Sunday; the concours d’elegance. Today, this is an event with show field entries from all over the country, and vehicle nominations that exceed the capacity of the grounds. The Marketplace features vendors of both automotive and lifestyle interests to round out the Sunday activities. Proceeds from the event benefit two local non-profit organizations; Thorncroft Equestrian Center in Malvern, PA and the local Boy Scout troops.