What Makes a Concours Car?

A concours d’elegance is, quite literally, an automotive contest
of elegance.

To contend in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an automobile must be a well preserved or accurately restored vehicle still quite capable of doing what it was meant to do—be driven. It will almost certainly have some historic value—perhaps in its day it served to debut new technology or new styling trends or it has an amazing racing record. And it will be rare—possibly a singular example of a special chassis bearing a respected coachbuilder’s art.

After these criteria have been met, a concours car must be one thing more. Above all, it must be elegant. And elegance is a matter of the eye and the heart.

on elegance

“There is no such thing as a score sheet for elegance. It’s largely a matter of taste, recognition of design advantages, and knowledge of the performance and quality of the total architectural concept.”
– Strother MacMinn, Renowned Automotive Designer and Former Chief Honorary Judge at Pebble Beach

“From a strictly personal point of view, my definition of an elegant car would be ‘the kind of car I would like to be buried in.’”
– Ansel Adams, Photographer and former Honorary Judge
at Pebble Beach

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