Sun City, North West - South Africa is about to host its first classic Concours d'Elegance - an event dedicated solely to showcasing the very finest in vintage, luxury and sports cars.
As its spelling indicates, Concours d'Elegance has its roots in 17th century France, when the aristocracy would parade their sporting carriages, and the perfectly matched, beautifully groomed teams of horses that drew them, through the parks of Paris.
With the advent of the automobile, Concours d'Elegance became contests between carmakers, custom coachbuilders and enthusiastic owners, whose creations were judged on the beauty of their designs and the perfection of their execution.
For example, Cynthia van den Broeke, then a graphic artist at our sister print publication the Cape Times, got a special mention at a concours in Cape Town in the 1960s because her stylish ensemble exactly matched the colour of her immaculate Triumph TR3A roadster.
The concept is nothing new in South Africa, of course. Every classic car show, motorcycle rally and marque club gathering has awards for the prettiest vehicles on show, but this is more like Salon Prive at Blenheim Palace, Pebble Beach in Monterey and the most prestigious concours of them all, Villa d'Este, held annually since 1929 in Cernobbio, Italy, in that the competition is the primary reason for the event.
Concours SA will be held at Sun City from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 September 2016, when the main judging will take place. Entry will be by application, as space at Sun City is limited, and the event will bring together about 150 of the finest classic, luxury and sports cars from around South Africa, each primped and polished to within an inch of its life, to compete in nine categories:
Leisure & Utility up to 1980
Leisure & Utility post 1980
Sports Cars up to 1980
Sports Cars post 1980
Luxury Saloons up to 1980
Luxury Saloons post 1980
Supercars up to 1980
Supercars post 1980
In the grand French tradition, drivers and their partners are encouraged to dress in elegant attire appropriate to the type - and era! - of their car.
Spectator entrance will be free, so that petrolheads of all persuasions will have the opportunity to see this gathering of South Africa's most elegant cars.
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