In this month’s Judges Bench, I thought we could review the basic elements of a Concours d’Elegance and what makes the Radnor Hunt Concours special.
Concours D’Elegance, loosely translated from French, means Competition of Elegance. It refers to a time in the 17th century when aristocrats would meet in a park and display their finest carriages. Radnor Hunt is unique in the automotive world of Concours events. We actually carry on this tradition with a parade including original horse-drawn carriages.
In terms of cars, the Concours events today are a little different. Judging and classes apply to differentiate the various marques and styles. Most of the cars on display are either restored or near original (as delivered), condition. They are typically classed by years, decades, manufacturer or style. Occasionally, there will be an odd or obscure class just for fun. One event had a class of yellow cars, others like Radnor had a class of local PA motorsports. This keeps the guests engaged and usually presents more relatable cars.
At Radnor, we try to have at least one featured automotive marque. In the past, we have presented Stutz, Porsche, Chrysler, Ferrari, Buick and many others, switching it up each year. Sub-features could include Ford Racing, French coachwork and local coach builders Derham and Fleetwood.
Once the features are established, our selection committee takes over. Here at Radnor, it is made up of 6-8 people including board members and club leaders that can help in the vetting process. Forms are submitted by mail, email and referral along with multiple photos of each car. Our forms ask typical questions about the car and its particular history. The nomination forms can be viewed on our website.
If a car is selected, a letter of acceptance is presented to the owner. That car is grouped into an electronic file in class order. Our goal is to have at least 6 cars in each class, with a total of around 100 on the field. Due to the geographic constraints of the club, this is the most manageable solution.
Once we have the cars, the field is mapped out and cars are arranged by classes. The featured marque or group is prominently displayed in the front of the event near the entrance. Other important displays are along the tennis courts and the clubhouse. Our 2021 lineup includes Bugatti, Chrysler Imperial and Ferraris that aren’t red. One other feature is our outstanding Motorcycle class this year featuring Superbikes of the 1970’s and Motorcycles of the Motordrome era.
Please make sure you mark September 10-12, 2021 on your calendar for the 24th annual Concours.
Hope to see you there!
Tim McNair, Chief Judge