Are Modern Concours d'elegance Becoming a Farce?

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Sir,

Many of the competitors at the Concours d’Elegance held at the Marquis of Bath’s delightful home at Longleat last June were disgusted at the way the cars were judged. According to the regulations, the judging was to be based on the dress of the ladies, which had to be in keeping with either the period or the purpose for which the car was being used, and also on the car itself.

Most competitors, including Myself, had spent many hours in preparing our cars, particularly cleanliness of the engines and underneath the chassis. We were quite amazed that judging per car only averaged about one minute, the drill being that the lady got out of the car, walked round it, got inside again and the driver drove off. The four judges were sitting in the tent some few yards away from the cars. Not a single bonnet was opened and, as I say, no-one left the tent to look at the cars individually.

It also surprised many of us that two of the organisers connected with the Bath Festival should win the first and second prizes in their class, and one of them in what looked like a magnificent 540K Mercedes Benz but to everybody’s surprise had a Perkins diesel engine in it. One would hardly call this original!

I know you, sir, are very keen on the correct judging at Concours d’Elegances, as I well remember meeting you at the Bath Concours two years ago when I had the same car that I was exhibiting on Saturday, which is a 6 1/2-litre Speed-6 Bentley with a close-coupled saloon body. You and your co-judges were most particular with your scrutineering.

I do feel that when people take the trouble to prepare their cars properly, they should have a fair “crack of the whip” and have their vehicles judged properly.

FRANCIS D.PARRY

Lawrence Weston.