The Concours of Elegance is the British variation on the Concourse d'Elegance that originated in France, and celebrates some of the rarest and historic automobiles ever made. The event takes place annually in lavish surroundings and this year the event is being hosted at the prestigious Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, from 4-6th September.
The Concours of Elegance is an exhibition of automotive art. Mechanical sculptures that stand as a lasting testament to the brilliance of pioneering engineers, innovative designers and skilled coachbuilders. Offering a wonderful opportunity to see exotic vintage cars and stroll the grounds of Holyrood Palace, Concours is one of the most popular events of its kind in the UK.
For those who want to know a little more about the Concours of Elegance, this blog gives you ten reasons why it's an event not to be missed. Read on and find out the ten things you need to know...
1. The concept originated in Paris
Dating back from 17th Century France, the 'Concours d'Elégance' name originates from a French saying meaning a competition of elegance and was an event where aristocracy showcased their luxury horse-drawn carriages, through the parks of Paris. Over the years the market changed and carriages became automobiles, turning the gatherings into more of a 'beauty pageant' for competitive owners.
2. This is the fourth annual Concours of Elegance
The inaugural 'Concours of Elegance' was established in the UK in 2012 to mark Her Majesty the Queen's diamond jubilee. The first event took place at the infamous Windsor Castle with subsequent events have been hosted at St. James' Palace and Hampton Court palace.
3. Only the highest calibre of cars attend
The Concours of Elegance prides itself on inviting and showcasing only the rarest and highest calibre vehicles. The team that organise the event, consist of automotive experts and enthusiasts who painstakingly select only the best automobiles from around the world.
4. There's over 60 vehicles on display
Although it's not the largest collection of cars, the adage is clearly on quality over quantity. There will be 60 rare and exotic vehicles on display - including the famous 1939 Delahaye 135 Figoni et Falaschi Competition Court Torpedo Roadster which sold at auction for $6.6m in April 2014. Many of the automobiles have never been displayed in public before so it's a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the rarest and most unique vehicles in the world.
5. Cars compete to be crowned 'Best of Show'
Of the 60 cars that attend the show each year, their owners from around the world compete for the highly coveted 'Best of Show' award. Unusually, this is determined by the owners themselves, who can nominate a vehicle (other than their own), which they believe to be a worthy title-winner. The winner of the award receives the magnificent 'Pullman Trophy', which is inspired by the Avion-Voison winged mascot, 'La Cocotte.'
6. Alfa Romeos reign supreme
Although the selection of cars on display spans from old to new (including a Le-Mans competing Jaguar D-Type), all winners to date have been classic cars dating back to the 1930s, two of which have been Alfa Romeos - a1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Touring 'Flying Star' and a1935 Alfa Romeo BC 2900B Touring Berlinetta.
7. Prestigious car clubs vie for the 'Club Trophy'
Complementing the event is the other luxury motor car club element who compete for the 'Club Trophy'. This sees some of the UK's most prestigious clubs offering up their finest selection of motors before an independent panel of judges. Owners clubs include brands such as; Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce, amongst many more. The winning vehicle for the Club Trophy secures a place at the next event, the following year.
8. 2015 will showcase the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
One of the highlights anticipated for 2015 is the showcasing of the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, a renowned classic example of luxury British engineering. This vehicle was famously titled the 'best car in the world' and is a sight to behold, as it hasn't been manufactured for nearly a century.
9. A unique chance to see Jackie Stewart's Formula One collection
With a nod to its host, this year's Concours of Elegance will feature a number of Scottish-themed cars, notably Sir Jackie Stewart's superb collection of Formula One vehicles. As the British former Formula One racing driver is famed for his Scottish heritage, the Holyroodhouse setting is the perfect setting to showcase these record-breaking motors.
10. It's all for a good cause
Charity is at the forefront of the Concours of Elegance and in 2015, proceeds will be given to three different charities: Walking with the Wounded, Action on Addiction, and Springfield Motor Racing's Club for Young Pain. To date the event has raised over £650,000 for good causes.
The event takes place on 4th-6th September at Holyroodhouse, on the scenic grounds of Holyrood Palace, located in the historic city centre of Edinburgh.