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Old 6th December 2012, 22:50   #16
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

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Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
faster, A team BHP event is a great idea,but no concours please. Let's start these events with just good cars in a vintage ambience, no judging, so no politics.
Bulldogji, I wasn't suggesting things start off with a concours at all. Best to take exactly the route you've set out, but in my view it would be a pity to not have a concours as a/ultimate goal I think. It's been done in India with success before...

Happy to see that I was proved wrong re. the thread not growing.

All the best - big things have humble beginnings.
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Old 6th December 2012, 23:12   #17
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

For those who haven't been to the fabulous Falaknuma



This place has to be experienced to appreciate how deeply enchanting this palace is
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Old 6th December 2012, 23:35   #18
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

What I would like to see emerging, like how we are talking about with Falaknuma in mind is annual gatherings at various palaces around the country. In Rajasthan alone I can see the Lake Palace Udaipur with a trip to Sajjangarh or Chittorgarh as a fabulous drive. In Jodhpur the Umaid Bhavan is an awesome venue and a drive to Mehrangarh with a special breakfast at the fort terraces would be spectacular. Jaipur with Rambagh is lovely with a drive to Nahargarh or Amber Fort. Breakfast can be organised at Nahargarh (I had dinner there) Would love to have an event in Kashmir, the place is divine and eventually for the more adventurous folks a Ladakh drive

In 2007 I visited 17 cities/towns in Rajasthan and fell in love with the place. The drives are 250-350 kms between towns and you can have a wild vacation driving around Rajasthan and staying in the many palaces and havelis

I am just thinking aloud about the many possibilities for fun in India.

Last edited by DKG : 6th December 2012 at 23:39.
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Old 7th December 2012, 07:55   #19
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

Thanks DKG for starting this thread. Really interesting initiative. There as some excellent suggestions like limiting the cars to be judge, how cars are to be shortlisted, etc

The differentiation between this movement and what is currently prevalent is the country has to be extreme transparency and accountability. Through the pillars of "Transparency" & Accountability we should create an annual event which should cause owners to believe that they must participate if they need to be relevant to their hobby.

My suggestions would be
  1. Limit the event to 20-25 cars
  2. Have the event on fixed dates every year
  3. Announces the marques, classes eligible for the competition class 8 months in advance
  4. Announce the judging guidelines for each class & marque 6 months in advance
  5. Open entries and finalize the competition list 4 months in advance to enable preparation of cars well in advance

We will also have to be able to communicate why a particular car is not chosen explaining what guidelines have not been met or that the particular class is full etc.

We could also have a small section of say 5 cars which could be for sale. Here too the owner must apply for putting up the car for sale. Cars for sale must meet criteria with respect to originality (not modded/rodded). We could have an auction with or without reserve price. Online bidding should be available. When we control the quality of the cars being sold, the prices will automatically find the correct levels. The event will charge both the owner and buyer commission as normally is the practice.

Last but not the least, there should be no complimentary passes. People who have no cars for the event must pay to come and see the cars. Car owners to be given say 4 passes, Bike owners 2 passes and everyone else pays!

Key is to start small and have high transparency.

I will look forward be part on any such event.

Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 7th December 2012 at 08:01.
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Old 7th December 2012, 09:27   #20
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

KPS superb suggestions !! It's my dream to see an auction of vintage cars on a regular basis happening in India and a parts swap meet as well.

On the judging aspect lets do this with a slightly different flavour. As a group of owners lets all endeavour to get our cars up to top spec, 100 point restoration if possible so that we can compete internationally as well (or atleast are on par with international norms). So what we can do is that all of us can get together and meticulously follow judging norms to indentify areas for improvement on each of our cars. This way we have an objective evaluation which will actually help the owner with areas for improvement. The idea is not to award prizes but to help ourselves improve our cars.

This way together we can help each other improve the entire lot of cars that participate and this could lead to overall calibre of cars going up dramatically. We can also help each other out with parts and restoration work as the need arises.

Like you very rightly said there has to be total transparency.

The good thing about limiting entries is that the dining table at Falaknuma seats only 101 people so there you have it ! Atleast the dinner gets limited

For Saturday evening before dinner we can have a small discussion on various aspects of vintage car restoration and upkeep. things like how to clean aluminium, preparing a car for paintwork, mechanical issues and tips etc. Various owners can do a five ten minute presentation to share their rich experience and knowledge.

Last edited by DKG : 7th December 2012 at 09:34.
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Old 7th December 2012, 11:39   #21
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

Since this seems to be gathering momentum, I would like to share what I feel should be the criteria for judging the following categories:


Best of Show: A car that has been restored to factory specs as close as possible. For mass produced cars, all original parts should be restored to factory specs, right down to the kind of paint used on that specific part. If the part has been replaced, it must be an OEM supplied part if available and if not, then a very high quality reproduction. However, if the replacement part from the OEM supplier or the company itself differs significantly from the original design of the part, then a high quality reproduction matching the original design should be considered better. If the car left the factory with vinyl and the owner installs leather, then I think points should be deducted.

In the case of rarer marques, when parts are not available at all, then accurate replicas with the correct detailing should be aimed for and most importantly, if a car competing for this class has extra accessories or upgrades and the owner thinks his car deserves the trophy, the fitting of these optional items, should be backed up by factory documents stating that these upgrades were indeed ordered and fitted when the car left the factory or dealership. This should also apply for mass produced cars of course.

However, on the last point, I do not think there can be complete objectivity. If a car has had a celebrity first owner or the like and according to his/her wishes the car was fitted with extras later down the line, then they could be retained without points deducted as it is part of the history of the car. Whacky colours, whether inside or outside should be a no no. If a steel part was originally painted then it should be left as such and not chromed, even though the latter may look more appealing.

And lastly, since this is the top trophy, the car must be a matching numbers car ie. since a car's engine no., chassis no. and body no. are unique to that car, all 3 of these assemblies must be the same as was fitted to the car. Meaning, a chassis fitted with a replacement (even if identical) engine in the car or a car with the correct factory fitted engine but a different chassis should not be considered. Of course, factory documents will be the best evidence to show all the 3 original numbers.

Concours d'Elegance: Other than some of the points that I've already mentioned above, for this category, a restoration could be more liberal but only to a degree. Extras fitted subsequently, as long as they are period, should not be frowned on especially if other cars of the same marque or model were fitted with the same. Again this is subjective and if the owner aims to win the prize, then a degree of restraint should be exercised in 'dolling' up the car. Striking paint work need not necessarily be eligible for deduction of points.

Also, for this category, a car which has been restored to a standard which is actually better than what it was when it left the factory, could be a plus. I've read about examples in the US about restorers of some Duesenbergs. These guys obtained the original engine blue prints and fabricated internals with better materials and ensured things fitted with precision resulting in better engine performance and efficiency. However, the restorers did not alter the way that the engine internals were constructed, they just followed the diagrams to the T and due to the availability of better materials and technological advances, things fitted exactly as Fred and August Duesenberg had intended but could not fully achieve due to what was available at that time.

And lastly, the car to win the trophy should be a star car. You could have a 100 point restoration Mercedes Ponton and a 70 point 540k but it will be a given that the 540k will take home the prize as by definition, a concours d'elegance is about cars that exude the 'wow' factor. This is a class where the sheer beauty of the car should be enough to take home the prize, period.

And now I come to my favourite category, which sadly, as far as I'm aware is not present in any Indian event, is the People's Choice Award:

I believe a lot of spectators attend these events to see something out of the ordinary and to have a fun day. However a number of them also know their cars and some of them better than the owners might. They can spot the cars which look like they are used regularly, fairly original or even remind them of younger days when they owned such a car or held a particular fondness for that model. Though the car maybe relatively humble the prize depends on the spectators and you can be reasonably sure that the winning car will be a great mix originality, maintenance and maybe even the nature of the owner him/herself! And the best part is that the owner is hardly aware that his car's going to win this prize until the judges announce it and for me this would be the most satisfying trophy.

I think it's high time that a 'People's Choice Award' is instituted in some Indian events. Does Cartier have such a category? If not, they should.


Most of what I have said is based on what is followed internationally but I mention it because I think these areas are often overlooked locally.


Prithvi
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Old 7th December 2012, 14:34   #22
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

As Faster suggested and I quite agree with the approach lets start small, start having fun, keep out all the areas which cause politics ie judging prizes etc and slowly evolve it as the event evolves.

If ever we all decide to make it competitive then it only makes sense we follow international guidelines on judging. If you go through their norms it's very comprehensive and a systematic way of judging cars. The evaluation as I mentioned can be initially done by the owner and friends together only as a marker for improvement. Once everyone gets a hang of the evaluation system you can formalise it as a judging manual.

So start small, no judging, no prizes initially

introduce a evaluation system to help owners get a realistic checklist on improvements that are to be made

Eventually formalise the judging guidelines, select a group of judges based on marques being selected and hold it as a full blown competitive event.

Can we agree on the first stage of the event format so that we can get going? To start off as a full blown competitive event is premature and will create a lot of complications I feel. Lets create a reason to meet and that reason should be to enjoy our cars and each other's company. Let the reason to meet for competition be the last factor, once all are addicted to the fun element

When car show organisers lack transparency, are not upfront about norms they apply for selection or rejection and prizes are almost predefined the event more or less becomes a sham and plagued with politics. lets make a conscious effort to avoid all these pitfalls.
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Old 7th December 2012, 15:20   #23
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

Prithvi usually the Best of Show or Concours D'Elegance trophy is awarded to the cars which win their respective classes. While the class awards tend to be more objective with meticulous judging based on standard norms the Best of Show award invariably has a subjective element given the need to assess style etc.

That said its a pretty well sorted out system abroad and if ever we choose to introduce a competitive element we can follow a well tried out system to avoid too much conflict.

Let's start small, have loads of fun meeting and sharing stories and information and as the whole thing evolves we can help each other out initially with non competitive evaluations which we can all participate in doing and if things work out fine then eventually make it a full blown concours.

if we begin by trying to have everything in it we just may get bogged down with too many issues

keep it simple, bring your car, enjoy the ambience, the food and the people and basically have a blast
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Old 23rd February 2013, 15:00   #24
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

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Pay and play ! That's been our philosophy for the bike rides and for years now its been working brilliantly. I quite agree with the non judging and non prize aspect as invariably politics enter the equation.



Venue options

1. Falaknuma

Phenomenal ambience. Food is good and out of town guests (well in town too ) can stay the night. Great connectivity to Bangalore highway and the Srisailam road with minimal traffic issues

2. Novotel airport

Directly connected to Bangalore and Srisailam roads. Will work out much cheaper than Falaknuma but lacks the special ambience of the palace.

Activity options

Saturday assemble at tea with cars at venue for a lazy evening of enjoying the cars in a beautiful setting. lavish dinner

early Sunday morning drive to

Option A distance return 160 kms

Drive to Hillpark restaurant for breakfast on Bangalore highway. This is a lovely restaurant where you can drive up to the table ! So you sit around all the cars and eat Just before Jadcherla junction, this is about 80 kms from the venues.

Option B distance return 100 kms

Drive via outer ring road to Jubillee hills for a general public display at KBR park followed by lunch at either Park Hyatt or Novotel or Westin

Option C distance return 250 to 460 kms Srisailam road. After 125 kms you encounter the Srisailam forest and lovely ghat roads.This option however should be planned with a overnight stay at the destination to avoid it getting too tiring. facilities are minimal though

Just some ideas, lets put our heads together and come up with what most would consider a super fun weekend.

The Falaknuma ambience is truly spectacular, just enjoying our cars in that setting coupled with a lovely drive along the super silky Bangalore highway is a great way to enjoy the weekend.

Out of town cars can come in on a car carrier. Owners can fly in for the fun drives. I can try and organise these carriers from TVS

I can see a host of well meaning indicators coming out but what one suggests about an event where everyone is on the same level has already been held successfully in Pune not once but twice over and indications are that it would be on again this year. Obviously referring to the ZigWheels Fort JadhavGADH Heritage Drives, the brainchild of Adil Darukhanawala who incidentally also had his Fiat Topolino at the Cartier Concours.

For the first time ever I participated in an event where everyone was happy to just be there knowing fully well it would be a meeting of like minds and the competitive element or rigging or such one normally fears would not manifest. Of course there was a problem, as Indians we do tend to create them out of nowhere, and that was one of plenty. Adil and his team sensibly limited the invitees to around 50 cars and about 30 bikes yet there were cries of foul play. Wonder what many have to say to this?

Both events had a small drive as part of the meeting a great setting for people to come view and savour grand old cars and bikes and meet up with the owners followed by good culinary spreads and of course top notch momentos and stuff. I don't think any event held in the country so far ever matched up to these two.

Hopefully Bulldogji, DKS, etc should make it a point to attend as also Karlosdeville, Subodh, etc. Now lets all badger Darukhanawala to get the next edition dates to be spelt out.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 17:23   #25
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

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For any industry there is a need for a forum where the industry gathers to promote itself. Usually for most businesses its the trade shows. Trade shows are serious business and the model has been thoroughly worked out to cater to the needs of businesses and consumers.

For the Vintage car world events like a Concours de Elegance can provide that platform. But for it to actually serve the purpose and promote the art or hobby or industry it needs to be very well thought out and planned and executed meticulously.

I feel as the vintage car scene is slowing waking up in India as more and more players seem to be recognising the worth of their possesions and increasingly owners are spending vast sums of money to restore their cars we need platforms that cater specifically to promoting the whole business of vintage car ownership and maintenance

I have been attending vintage car events for more than four decades. And while for me its always been fun I have yet to recall a single event where there wasn't considerable heartburn from one camp of owners. Some of the heartburn is justified and some unjustified.

But it struck me that why not evolve a model for these events which caters to the widest possible need making it an invaluable resource for the industry.

Vintage cars like art are all about the ownership and enjoyment of something very special. Its not necessarily a personal pleasure. It can be something you draw pleasure from when you share it with others. You draw peer group recognition from the whole experience and it makes you feel good.

So what should the ideal Concours de Elegance event be?

To kick start the discussion I will put down what I personally feel it should be and then we take it from there:

1. A forum where you can compete with fellow owners to win the Best of Show Prize

2. A forum where you can compete to win the Best of Class Prize

3. A forum where you can compete to win the Best Preserved Class Prize

4. A forum where you can compete to win the Best Resurrection Prize

5. A forum where you share your car for educational purpose as a display (non competing section)

6. A forum where you learn about a marque each year

7. A forum which earns revenue for the sponsor, the organiser and (why not?) the owner !!

8. A forum where parts and auto memorabilia are traded

9. A forum where cars are traded

10. A forum where owners get to go on a fun drive with fellow vintage car owners

11. A forum where there is an exhibition of a special skill in restoration, like upholstery, metal forming, wood work etc

12. A forum where vendors can set up stall to showcase their wares/skills

When it comes to judging I feel we should follow a simple rule. Limit the competing section each year to five or maximum ten marques. Invite a world renowned expert for the marque as a judge and leave it to them entirely to decide which car deserves the prize. Publish in advance the credentials of the judges so that participants know their car is being judged by a recognised expert.

All entries should be invited by the organisers. The judges can also network to form the selection committee. Owners can send in their entry requests with pictures and the judges can vote what cars to invite. This gives every owner a direct chance to try his luck in getting an entry and no one person gets to decide on who participates. This can be done through a website with a judges voting section. Once the judges select the cars they would like to see participating invites are sent out. This eliminates all politics. All entries should be paid transportation to and from the venue plus say Rs 50000 per car to the owner as revenue for sharing his car in the event. I see this as an incentive to collectors to loan their collections as displays and earn good money.

If a owner is confident his car can compete he enlists in the competing class and if he is not comfortable as regards the condition of his car he can enlist in the non competing class.

The Best of Show and Class prizes to include fun things like holiday for the owner and family etc in India or abroad. Or alternatively a cash prize. All prize winners to be featured in a magazine of repute by way of an advertisement paid for by the organisers. A picture of the car with the owner and a small write up. That ensures the owner not only gets publicity and recognition at the event but in media too.

Just some thoughts to get the discussion going. I am sure with so many of you passionate about vintage cars we should be able to evolve a sound model that works for the majority if not everyone.

So please do participate and don't hesitate to voice your opinion. Its best we talk things openly and clearly.

I think Bulldogji and Deepak both have struck the right chord with events of this kind but then what Deepak is proposing is way too many events compressed into one. I am not decrying him for his thoughts which are brilliant but then we do have auto jumbles in England, Europe, etc where the like minded come to share parts, exchange, sell, etc. No point in clubbing that with a rally where the oldies are allowed to run on their own steam. More so no getting away from many who profess expertise just because they own or had owned at some point a rare or an exalted marque.

Also given the lack of information and also the almost strangulating lack of avenues to source parts and such, having a forum for a resurrection prize would have to be done once every four or five years till we get enough cars on board. No offense meant but many ideas mentioned here are certainly workable. But the moot point would be who would bell the cat?

I think getting everyone's act in order should be top priority and not behaving as some clubs do that the vintage and classic movement is because of them and not the other way round!

Last edited by karlosdeville : 2nd March 2013 at 11:55. Reason: Please restrict to 2 smileys per post. Thanks.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 16:40   #26
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Default Re: The Ideal Concours de Elegance : What it really should be !!

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I can see a host of well meaning indicators coming out but what one suggests about an event where everyone is on the same level has already been held successfully in Pune not once but twice over and indications are that it would be on again this year. Obviously referring to the ZigWheels Fort JadhavGADH Heritage Drives, the brainchild of Adil Darukhanawala who incidentally also had his Fiat Topolino at the Cartier Concours.

Hopefully Bulldogji, DKS, etc should make it a point to attend as also Karlosdeville, Subodh, etc. Now lets all badger Darukhanawala to get the next edition dates to be spelt out.
Hi vincentcomet99 - just to point out, I did attend (and enjoy) both Jadhavgadh events. Infact I participated in the second event with my Triumph. A lovely setting, missed having one last year. Yes, lets badger Adil to declare the next dates

Another great event (like you correctly said, not a Concours, but no less enjoyable) I have found is the Sportscraft run organised by Karani. I have attended 3 events I think, each one was more enjoyable than the last. The expressway run is particularly a treat for most of us who don't use the cars much. Unfortunately this one too was missed last year.
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