Peter Auto goes for greater exclusivity in 2018

Peter Auto can look back on impressive years; but having successfully attracted large crowds, the classic car event organizer seems to be streamlining its portfolio.

Is the newcomer a victim of its own success?

It’s not so long ago that Peter Auto launched a new event with an innovative format: Arts & Elegance. Cleverly combining lifestyle themes with a Concours d’Elegance, and held in the sumptuous grounds of Château de Chantilly outside Paris, Arts & Elegance proved extremely popular first time round. It did even better last year, with visitor numbers up by 20% to more than 16,000, according to Peter Auto. At the end of 2017, however, the organizers decided not to hold the event in 2018.

The limits to growth?

Anyone just looking at the figures may be surprised by the decision. But for collectors, unchecked growth in audience numbers, as seen at Arts & Elegance, can also have negative consequences. It can leave less time and space for conversations between like-minded aficionados. This is why other major events, such as Classic Days at Schloss Dyck in Germany, have reconfigured themselves. Schloss Dyck has, for example, introduced an additional concours to give participants a more intimate event on a more manageable scale.

As well as its size, the date of Arts & Elegance was problematic, as it clashed with the Concours of Elegance and Salon Privé. Collectors of the caliber of Jon Shirley may have been able to send cars to both events, but others found the decision whether or not to participate in a concours less straightforward. Peter Auto has scheduled the next Arts & Elegance for July 2019. It says that from now on the major event in Chantilly will take place every two years, alternating with the Le Mans Classics. According to Peter Auto’s announcement, this is partly to enable the Concours to develop further.

Arts & Elegances – popular amongst automotive personalities like Nick Mason.

The limits to growth?

Anyone just looking at the figures may be surprised by the decision. But for collectors, unchecked growth in audience numbers, as seen at Arts & Elegance, can also have negative consequences. It can leave less time and space for conversations between like-minded aficionados. This is why other major events, such as Classic Days at Schloss Dyck in Germany, have reconfigured themselves. Schloss Dyck has, for example, introduced an additional concours to give participants a more intimate event on a more manageable scale.

As well as its size, the date of Arts & Elegance was problematic, as it clashed with the Concours of Elegance and Salon Privé. Collectors of the caliber of Jon Shirley may have been able to send cars to both events, but others found the decision whether or not to participate in a concours less straightforward. Peter Auto has scheduled the next Arts & Elegance for July 2019. It says that from now on the major event in Chantilly will take place every two years, alternating with the Le Mans Classics. According to Peter Auto’s announcement, this is partly to enable the Concours to develop further.

Some impressions of Arts & Elegance 2017. 

New: glamorous classics on French roads

Meanwhile, Peter Auto came up with even more of a surprise when it launched another new event: the Rallye des Légendes, which it hopes will appeal to collectors of legendary sports cars. Its press release lists some specific cars as potential participants, all of which have caused a stir at auction in recent years: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. It would be a spectacular sight to see these exclusive vehicles on the road again.

Alongside the exclusive selection of vehicles, Peter Auto hopes to attract collectors of such high-caliber classics by offering top-class hospitality, including prestigious hotels and first-rate cuisine. At three days, the Rallye des Légendes is a little shorter than Tour Auto, Peter Auto’s previous flagship rally event. The route is designed as a classic rally, with daily stages of up to 250 kilometers. Participants return to the starting point every evening, which is to be in a different region of France each year.

The dates have been set – September 11 to 14, 2018 – but Peter Auto is keeping quiet, officially at least, about the details of the first edition of the Rallye des Légendes. Perhaps we’ll be told more during Rétromobile.

For further information, please visit the Rallye des Légendes website.

All photos courtesy of Peter Auto, copyright Mathieu Bonnevie or Julien Hergault. 

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