2017 Arizona Concours d’Elegance

2017-az-concours-01 For one glorious week in January, thousands of car enthusiasts and aficionados make a pilgrimage to the Arizona desert to take part in a ritual that has come to be known as “Arizona Car Week.” In the 3rd week of January, thousands of collector cars and millions of dollars change hands at a half-dozen different auctions including Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Co., Bonham’s, and Silver Auctions. While I love the excitement of the auction circuit, one of my favorite events of Arizona Car Week is not an auction at all. It’s the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, which has become sort of a kickoff event to Car Week. Continue reading

Arizona Concours d’Elegance 2017 Preview

arizona-concours-awardsAre you getting excited? The Arizona Concours d’Elegance is just three weeks away! The annual event, now in its fourth year, will be held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix on Sunday, January 15th, 2017. Whether you have attended before or are considering it for the first time, we’re going to give you a preview of what you can expect to see at the 2017 show.

Although this event takes place during Arizona Car Week (alongside Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, and other collector car auctions), the Arizona Concours is NOT an auction event. The 90 automobiles on display are not for sale, but rather are entered in a judged competition. Class winners will receive awards, ribbons, and the distinction of being judged “Best in Class.” Continue reading

1967 Toyota 2000GT: The Japanese ‘E-Type’

One of the cars that caught my eye at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance was this gleaming white coupe. It had the classic long hood and short decklid look of a European car, like a Jaguar E-type. The car also had a large diameter wooden steering wheel like a sixties-era Ferrari. However, the car I was looking at was neither British nor Italian – it was a Toyota from Japan!

The 2000GT is a very rare car, with only 337 ever built. This one is particularly rare, because it is one of just 62 left-hand drive models made for the U.S. market. This car is significant because it’s the car that made people sit up and pay attention to Toyota as an automobile manufacturer.

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Inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance Exceeds Expectations

Concours d’Elegance is a French expression that means competition of elegance, and is most often used in relation to automobiles. A concours is essentially a beauty pageant for rare and elegant cars.

There are several examples of these shows in America. The largest and most well-known is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, which has been held annually since 1950. A similar show has been held at Amelia Island in Florida since 1971.

Recently, a Concours d’Elegance show was held in Arizona for the very first time. On Sunday, January 12th, 2014, about 2,000 people gathered at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix for this inaugural event. The resort, which opened in 1929, is known for its unique architecture and luxurious accommodations and has hosted every U.S. President since Herbert Hoover.

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