Concours d'elegance

­čÜŚConcours d’elegance­čîč

Those of you who are familiar with the world of vintage cars will know that every year the Concours d’elegance is held in Balatonf├╝red, one of the most prestigious motoring events in Hungary and even in the world. Let’s see how the 365 Oldtimer Museum is connected to this event!
Concours d’Elegance, a French term meaning “contest of elegance”, is an event where prestigious vehicles are exhibited and judged. Its origins date back to 17th century France, where aristocrats paraded their fancy, elegant chariots in the parks of Paris on summer weekends. Over time, the horse-drawn carriages were replaced by cars, and light-hearted weekend get-togethers became a competition between vehicle owners. Nowadays, Concours events are mostly found in conjunction with car shows, but in the United States they are often held for charity and fundraising purposes.
The first recorded Concours d’Elegance took place in Paris in 1899. Organised by the Automobile Club de France, the event showcased a range of luxury cars. The oldest surviving Concours, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, is held annually near the Villa d’Este hotel in Cernobbio, Italy. The first one was held here in September 1929. The first North American Concours was held in 1950 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California, and remains one of the most famous events to date. In the United States, the Concours is an integral part of automotive culture. The longest continually running Concours is the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in California, which has been held every year since 1956 (both the Villa d’Este and Pebble Beach have missed years since 1956).
The judging of vehicles at a Concours is much more rigorous and demanding than at other beauty contests. The judges are well-trained, experienced professionals who evaluate a number of components. Only vehicles that are perfect in every respect, or very close to perfection, are awarded a trophy. Often these cars are restored to better than factory condition. However, for classic cars, the emphasis is on originality, but good condition is an essential term. Furthermore, modifications other than factory ones are not allowed and the parts must match the car’s year and model.
The Concours d’elegance is held in many parts of the world, including several countries in the USA, Germany, Italy, the UK, France, India, Australia, Switzerland, Japan and Hungary: in May, the popular veteran car event is held in Balatonf├╝red and in September in Keszthely.
The 8th Balatonf├╝red Concours d’elegance will take place between 10-12 May this year, and the 365 Oldtimer Museum has entered three cars to represent the collection: the Jaguar Mark IV, the Bugatti Type 44 and the Renault Skiff Labourdette. The event will take place on the Tagore promenade, where the Balaton provides the perfect backdrop for the fifty or so vintage cars. On 11 May, the vehicles will be parked on the promenade from 8 am, and will be lots of programmes for visitors during the day and the valuable vintage vehicles will be returned to the garage at 6 pm. On 12 May, the event will start again at 8 am, and the results will be announced at 1 pm to determine the winner of this year’s Best of Show title, one of the greatest honours in the world of veteran cars. The two days of the event are free to attend and will be a memorable experience for all ages. Meet us there, or visit the 365 Oldtimer Museum, located at 38-44 B├ęcsi street in Budapest, right next to Kolosy Square. We look forward to welcoming you!

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