South Africa’s only National multi-marque Concours at Sun City taking place from August 3 to August 6 will see the country’s top classic cars exposed to an international level of judging.
Brian Joss – The presence of international judges and a high degree of overseas interest will raise the bar for the standards of classic car restoration in South Africa.
That’s the opinion of Concours South Africa organiser Paul Kennard and his team of judges, with South Africa’s premier concours event less than three months away.
“The buzz created by this year’s judging panel including the likes of Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys of Kensington, the international classic car auction house, and Robert Coucher, Editor of Octane Magazine, has put extra pressure on car owners to have their machines prepared to the highest of levels,”
“The likes of Mr Routledge and Mr Coucher are exposed to the world’s finest cars every day of their working lives. Heading up the Judging Panel once again for 2017 is the Curator of the Franschhoek Motor Museum, Wayne Harley, who has been steeped in the classic car ethos for decades, and has also witnessed some of the world’s great Concours D’ Elegance events in Europe.
“The standard of judging at Concours South Africa is already at a high level. But there is no doubt that having international eyes on the event this year is going to take South Africa’s premier concours to the next level,” says Harley.
“The fact that our classic cars are located thousands of kilometres away from the hotbed of the classic car arena, in Europe and America, will have no bearing on the standards of judging. The fact is, 99,9 percent of our cars have their roots outside of Africa, and we need to be getting our cars up to international standards. And, judging by last year’s event, we are not far off that.
“The world is a small place now. Parts and knowledge are only a click away!”
The unique attraction of Concours South Africa is that, unlike a marque club concours, where cars of similar type are judged alongside each other, this National concours it pits all manner of marques against each other for the overall winner’s prize. By the very nature of the event, it also exposes entrants to cars they may not normally be familiar with, and it is a great opportunity for interaction amongst diverse car owners, over the duration of weekend in one of Africa’s top destinations.
“Hopefully we will be able to assist the South African classic and veteran car owner in some small way, in getting their cars closer to that magical
100 point concours level,” says Harley.
“Every car will be judged on its merits, not what it cost at the till, or how many horses it has under the hood. If the guys have done their homework, and their presentation is top class, you can have a situation where, indeed, a humble Beetle may just blow a Porsche away, for overall honours.”
Age, scarcity and originality all play their part in the Concours judging process, however, and one of the factors judges have to take into consideration is that it is easier to bring, say, a BMW or a Mercedes from the 1980s, up to concours level than it would to do the same for a rare South African-built GSM Dart from the 1950s, or a Bentley from the 1930s.
“Age and scarcity obviously plays a part in judging, and this is why we have added extra classes this year. We have also created separate classes for restored cars and preserved cars. This is not to make our lives, as judges, an easier, but to be fair to the participants,” concluded Harley.
Concours founding organiser Paul Kennard makes the point that entering an event like Concours South Africa can only add value to a classic car.
“We are hosting a special conference on international classic car values on the Thursday at Sun City, to kick off the weekend. South Africa is very much part of the global classic car community now, with lots of interest in our wealth of classic cars here , which have been preserved over the past 100 years.
“Of course, winning an award at Concours South Africa can only add an appreciable value to an individual car. But we see the impact of Concours South Africa as much broader than merely adding to a car’s price tag. We are staking our claim in the international classic car community, exposing the world to our unique motoring history here which over the past century has seen cars from Europe and the USA, as well as locally-developed unique models, create a motoring tapestry that is unique in the global arena.”
. This year’s Concours South Africa will be run over four days at Sun City, starting with an international conference on Value in the Classic Car Market held on Thursday, 3 August, 2017. Final judging will be held on Sunday, 6 August , when the winners will be announced at a glamourous prize giving.
. Entries for 2017 will be limited to 150 over a number of categories.