There is a massive difference between a car show and a Concours d’Elegance.
Unlike a typical car show, a Concours defines and establishes the standard for the beauty and quality of the automobile and its restoration. The first Concours d’Elegance began in France a few centuries ago and literally means “contest of elegance”. This was first used to describe a parade of horse-drawn carriages in 17th Century Paris. Over time, it has become the gold standard for the art and beauty of the automobile.
The longest-running is the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, which began in 1929 and has been held every year at the Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, on Lake Como in Italy. The first Concours in North America began in 1950 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California. In the Philippines, the Manila Sports Car Club (MSCC) held its first Concours d’Elegance at the Westin Philippine Plaza (now the Sofitel) in 1995.
Autoindustriya’s traveling correspondent Winston Chua attended the inaugural Fullerton Concours d’Elegance which was held last 29th June to 1st July 2018. It was an amazing venue as the Fullerton Hotel is a historical icon and was proclaimed as Singapore’s 71st National Monument. It once hosted the General Post Office, a social club, and government departments. Located in the heart of colonial Singapore and in the proximity of other significant historical landmarks such as the 1870 Cavenagh Bridge fronting the Asian Civilizations Museum, Raffles Landing, National Gallery, Parliament Building as well as Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, it is a perfect and ideal setting for a contest of elegance.
Fullerton Concours D' Elegance
Regarded as the Grand Dame of Singapore, the Fullerton Hotel celebrated its building’s 90th anniversary last June 29th to July 1st. The highlight of the festivities was the prestigious Concours d’ Elegance (competition of elegance), a classic car competition wherein expert judges scrutinize the cars at the most stringent level. Twenty-six cars were fielded in the Concours, mostly from Singapore and Malaysia.
Top accolade, “BEST OF SHOW” went to this 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE. It also won the Modern Classic Class (1961-1983).
Pre-World War II Vintage Class WINNER, 1926 Rolls Royce Connaught Tourer.
Pre-World War II Vintage Class FIRST RUNNER-UP, 1939 MGTB.
Post War Classic Class (1945-1960) WINNER, 1953 MGTD.
Post War Classic Class (1945-1960) FIRST RUNNER-UP, 1953 Volkswagen Beetle - Type 15B Cabriolet.
Modern Classic Class (1961-1983) FIRST RUNNER-UP and Crowd Favorite WINNER, 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.
Modern Classic Class (1961-1983) SECOND RUNNER-UP, 1961 Citroen 2CV6.
Apart from the Concours, enthusiasts were treated to more rare classic cars with the Sultan of Johor’s collection. The collection was housed in an elegant banquet hall, befitting the precious cars of the Sultan.
Not to be left behind, the Fullerton Hotel also showcased their own fleet of classic Rolls Royce, with the 1934 Phantom II taking center stage at the hotel lobby.
If modern luxury cars are your thing, then you’re in for a big surprise. The French marque Bugatti made a huge impact with the Asian launch of their 1500hp, $2.65M Bugatti Chiron “Sport”. The hypercar was unveiled by no less than the president of Bugatti Automobiles himself, Mr. Stephan Winkelmann.
Their Italian counterpart Ferrari featured their new gran turismo thoroughbreds such as the GTC4 Lusso and the convertible hard-top, Portofino. Fellow compatriot Lamborghini, made their presence felt with their high-performance SUV, Urus and the Huracan Performante.
The Brits had their fare share of the limelight too, with the first appearance of the Rolls Royce Dawn “Black Badge” in Asia. More than land vehicles, the show also featured sea crafts from Princess Yachts.
The event was a first of its kind for Fullerton Hotel. And with over 30,000 visitors, I’m sure it won’t be their last.