Top Tier Automotive Elegance: La Jolla Concours d’Elegance
Posted on March 1, 2018
There are two main types of classic car shows. The most common is a simple gathering of vintage cars for people to enjoy. Then, there’s the more formal Concours d’Elegance, where top tier classics are strictly judged for authenticity and awarded much-coveted trophies. A concours is a challenging event to create and maintain, and more than a few have bitten the dust. But the annual La Jolla event has successfully managed to be both kinds of show, adding a Concours d’Elegance to a successful street gathering, a tour for classic cars, and festive parties.
2017 Best in Show, Ron and Sandy Hansen, 1921 Duesenberg – A Dual Cowl Phaeton
What Classic Car Owners Want
About five years ago, the La Jolla Historical Society approached Michael Dorvillier, a financial executive and classic car owner, about revitalizing The Jewel’s car show and the Concours d’Elegance. Dorvillier reached out to leading classic car owners to see what might entice them to bring their cars to the La Jolla venue. The simple answer was “judging.”
Collectors who spend huge amounts of time and treasure to restore a vintage car to essentially new, showroom condition want its merits to be fairly assessed by knowledgeable judges. Too often, some show organizers take an easier route and have the Classic Car Club or Sports Car Club of America take over judging duties. For some car classes, that works just fine. But in other cases, not so much.
So, Dorvillier brought in Pebble Beach Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson to team with veteran La Jolla Chief Judge Dr. Cy Conrad to assemble a peerless panel of judges. Shortly after, Conrad retired and Nigel Matthews, a world-class judge, took the helm. A well-regarded selection committee was established to stage a top tier field of collector cars. Dorvillier says that moving the Concours event up a level was possible because of the past work and enthusiastic support of the La Jolla community.
Michael Dorvillier and Mayor Kevin Faulconer
What the Public and Sponsors Want
The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance’s accompanying La Jolla Motor Car Classic, with about 100 interesting vintage, super sport, and hot rod cars, is the perfect transition from downtown La Jolla to the main Concours gates at Scripps Park along the stunning coastline. The show is well organized and a variety of car clubs award their own trophies to participants.
The celebration begins the evening of Friday, April 6, with the “Dapper and Delight Soirée” at the elegant Covo on Prospect. On Saturday, classic cars take to the road for a driving tour and that evening, a VIP Reception will host nearly 1,200 entrants, sponsors, and guests. On Sunday, more than 20 vintage aircraft will fly over the cars on the Concours field. It’s a full weekend of celebrating the classics.
Every year, a historic carmaker or coachbuilder is selected as the Concours’ honored marque. For 2018, Lincoln was chosen, and attendees will see a remarkable gathering of the venerable brand’s classics. New models from San Diego’s exclusive dealer, Witt Lincoln, will be on display at both the Concours and the Motor Car Classic. The Witt family will bring their 1964 Lincoln Continental Convertible, restored right at the dealership and showcased on the field for judging. lajollaconcours.com Brian Douglas