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,” said Kennard.
“The likes of Mr Routledge and Mr Coucher are exposed to the world’s finest cars every day of their working lives. There is no question that having them on board for Concours 2017 is causing some extra attention to presentation for this year’s event on 3-6 August.”
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,” said Harley.
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.
“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,” said Harley.
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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 do the same for a rare South African-built GSM Dart from the 1950s, or a Bentley from the 1930s.
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.”
What you should know:
• 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 glamorous prize giving.
• Entries for 2017 will be limited to 150 over a number of categories.