Concours d’Elegance is an automobile competition that judges the designs and styles of elegant, sumptuous classic cars. It started in Paris in the 1920s, the period just after “Belle Epoque.” At that time, Paris, a city full of art and hedonism, became the world’s cultural capital. In the up-scale social Parisian circles, people became infatuated with the extravagance of automobiles, the forefront of all the latest technologies. Owners of these new machines would gather at beautiful venues, such as a castle by a lake or a garden with immaculate lawns to show off their gorgeous vehicles. This competition was a product of the unique time in the automobile industry when luxurious cars were either made to order or the production was very limited in number. After Concours d’Elegance won the hearts of people in France, it went over the Alps and reached Italy, which also had a passion for the arts.
French Concours d’Elegance were all about integrated elegant style. Cars were typically accompanied by a beautiful woman in haute couture clothes with gorgeous jewellery, a magnificent dog, such as an Afghan hound or Russian wolfhound, and a white-gloved chauffeur. On the other hand, the focus of the Italian Concorso (Concours) was purely the beauty of bespoke cars and cars with a very limited production. These contests provided many carrozzerias (automobile coach builders) that existed at the time in Italy with a great opportunity to show off their craftsmanship.
Concours d’Elegance was very popular all over Europe and the United States until 1960s. Many competitions ceased to exist when bespoke automobiles were no longer popular for many reasons. However, in the 1980s, Concours d’Elegance was brought back by popular demand. Today these events have become the most exclusive and prestigious classic car events worldwide.
Kuwait Concours d’Elegance is in the Italian style as are many revived Concours d’Elegance held since 1980s. The focal point of the show is hand-made classic cars, featuring automobiles from the early stage of the automotive industry through to bespoke cars of the mid-1970s.