Concours d’Elegance (French: concours d’élégance) is a term of French origin that means a “competition of elegance” and refers to an event where prestigious vehicles are displayed and judged. It dates back to 17th-century France, where aristocrats paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during summer weekends and holidays. Over time, carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among vehicle owners to be judged on the appearance of their vehicles. These events are often held at automobile shows, after racing competitions or, especially in the United States, as a fundraising event for charities.
The oldest still-extant Concours, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, is held annually at Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, on Lake Como in Italy. The first of these was held in September 1929. The first Concours in North America was held in 1950 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California, in conjunction with the first Pebble Beach Road Race. The longest continually-running event is the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in California, which has been held every year since 1956 (both Villa d’Este and Pebble Beach have skipped years since 1956). (source: Wikipedia)
What is the NER Concours like?
Our region of the Porsche Club hosts an annual concours event, usually in the fall and often in Newport, RI. It’s basically a big car show but with an extra emphasis on cleanliness and with judging and trophies. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that this is a fun event! Our concours focuses on cleanliness of a vehicle (as opposed to cleanliness _and_ originality, as it would at Pebble) and presentation. Some participants still spend around forty hours cleaning and prepping their cars…but some of us dust it off and roll on up as well. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to take it. For spectators and visitors, it is an amazing display of beautiful cars.
The 2023 NER Concours will be held 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday, September 30 on the back lawn of The Elms property, 367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI during the Audrain Motor Week and Concours. Concours entrants will have a choice between objective points-based Full classes and Werks classes where the history and stories behind Porsches are weighed by judges in a mostly subjective manner. Advanced Concours entrant registration will be $40, with day of the Concours registration, if available, $60. Advanced Concours registration opens July 1.
Rare and interesting cars will be spotlighted. All Porsches and spectators are welcome. Cayennes, Macans and Panameras are especially invited – with few entrants; there is a good chance to win a trophy! Special glass trophies will be awarded to class winners and runners-up. This year’s Concours will feature the following ten judged classes:
911/912 Class (1965-1973)
911/912 Class (1974-1989)
The Full and Werks categories continue as last year. A Winner’s class was added to the Full category last year. The purpose of the Winner’s class was to encourage greater participation in all classes. The Winner’s class was composed of all first-place finishers in 2021, irrespective of Porsche vintage or model. Because of judging modifications in 2022 due to inclement weather conditions, the Winner’s class is suspended for 2023. It is planned to be re-implemented in 2024.
Saturday, October 7, will be the Concours alternative date, in case of inclement weather. Parking on The Elms lawn by entrants or spectators will be permitted until 6:00 pm the day of the Concours so that attendees may visit other Motor Week activities. Spectator parking at The Elms will be for Porsches only for $30, on a first come basis. Parking for non-Porsches will not be available at The Elms.
Advanced Concours entrant registration is recommended, entrant spaces are limited to 120. Registration is scheduled to open July 1. Additional information and registration, when available, will be posted on porschenet.com. Information and the schedule of Audrain Motor Week activities can be found at www.audrainconcours.com.