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2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse: from coach-builders to rally icons

The Concours d’Elegance Suisse has been one of the most successful newcomer events of the last few years. But actually, the show in the idyllic gardens of Chateau Coppet near Geneva refers to a predecessor that goes back to 1927. In reviving this tradition, the organisers have managed to gather a high calibre selection of cars from the international community of classic car collectors. Thanks to the success of the first two events, its 2018 edition feels like already being established.

Judging of classic cars follows ICJAG rules

Relying on the judging principles of the International Chief Judge Advisory Group, the Concours promotes a transparent competition around the core values of originality and authenticity. But beside serious competition, the event will start with some time to enjoy the cars: On Friday, participants will go on a Tour d’Elegance in the beautiful area around Geneva. Saturday and Sunday, however, will focus on judging.

One of the most crucial topics that shape a Concours event is the definition of classes. On the one hand, it helps the public learn about certain parts of automotive history. On the other, this is a decisive factor for the collectors, how their cars compare to each other in one class. Often so, the definition of classes is a topic highly in debate amongst collectors.

2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse: a look on the classes

At the 2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse, there will be 16 classes for cars and one for motorbikes. Four car classes designate to a deciding era of automotive design of the 1920ies and 30ies. Back then, more and more cars moved away from traditional shapes and technology. Cars became design objects, and the basic shape was more and more defined by aesthetics and aerodynamics rather than functionality only. In this consequence, the title “Modernity to Design” describes the forward-looking approach to car design like Art Deco. There’s a good chance that visitors of the Concours will also see streamlined designs as well. Amongst others, designers like Raymond Loewy in the US and Paul Jaray, Mario Revelli de Beaumont and Wunibald Kamm in Europe envisioned this variation of car design back in the days.

According to “The Key – Top of the Classic Car World”, the most sought-after brand for classic car collectors is Ferrari. In this consequence, it seems mandatory that a high-calibre Concours features at least one class dedicated to Ferrari. At the 2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse, there will be two classes for the iconic brand. The two distinguish between front and rear engine Ferraris – the ladder, however, will most likely mean rear mid-engine layouts, that Ferrari is famous. Real rear engine cars with the engine positioned behind the rear axle are rather a speciality of German rival Porsche, mainly with its 911 series. But leaving these details aside, it will be interesting to see which cars will make it to the competition. A brand not less glorious, and especially appreciated by collectors focused on the pre-war era is Hispano-Suiza. The Suisse Concours will feature a class for the company with the changeful history. But what withstood was the aura of luxury and exclusiveness.

Two more classes with potential highlights: Aston Martin and Ferrari

A look into the book of automotive history has resulted in two more classes for the 2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse. Two models celebrate their 60th anniversary, and both the Aston Martin DB4 and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupé Pininfarina are such sports car icons that seeing various cars of these models next to each other will most likely be a reason of its own to visit the event. Even more, there’s another anniversary to be celebrated: the 40th birthday of the rally Paris – Dakar. Lately, historic rally cars have entered Concours grounds. One shining example of this trend is from the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza: There, the organisers celebrated a class with “Rally cars – Heroes of the special stages, 1955-1985”.

As rallying in the remote desert environment is far off the usual rally conditions – for example, WRC –  the Paris – Dakar has often given birth to exceptional cars. Just to give you an idea, enthusiastic privateers once planted two Citroen Visa engines in a 2CV. But starting in the 80ies, the long-distance rally became more and more popular. The big car manufacturers like Volkswagen, Peugeot or Nissan, entered the scene and built prototypes for this race. Which cars will find their way on the well-groomed lawn of Chateau Coppet in this class?

In contrast to these sportive vehicles, there will also be cars especially cherishing the tradition of coach-building. At the 2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse two classes will feature cars embodied by Swiss or French coachbuilders. While all of these classes have been very specific, there are also classes with a more open definition. Two of them are dedicated to sports cars and one for sedans, both built between 1940 and 1970.

All in all, it seems that the Concours d’Elegance Suisse 2018 will be another successful event helping to bring Geneva back on the map of car collectors.

Please also visit the website of the Concours d’Elegance Suisse for more information. At a glance:

2018 Concours d’Elegance Suisse

22nd to 24th of June 2018
Chateau de Coppet near Geneva (Switzerland)

Please also visit the website of the Concours d’Elegance Suisse for more information.

Photo courtesy of Concours d’Elegance Suisse.

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