John Olman, founder and editor
Several years ago, I became curious about admission fees for young people at collector car shows. “Were events making concerted efforts to attract younger clientele?” I wondered. Like many owners of old cars, I was concerned about the aging demographic of those participating in the hobby. One study said only 25% of collector car owners were under the age of 46.
As a longtime volunteer at a concours d’elegance, I chose to concentrate my research on that genre of car show. Much to my surprise, there was no comprehensive online listing of concours events. There were calendars with hundreds of car shows that required setting filters and there were sites limited to paid listings. Some provided excellent links for upcoming shows, but were useless regarding ones from earlier in the year. Even the ones that looked complete were not accurate.
I had already launched one car hobby website – www.funkhana.com – so in the fall of 2012, I decided to fill a void in automotive websites by creating www.ConcoursDates.com. The intent was to provide basic concours information, such as dates, location, admission fees, and links to websites, social media and articles.
This site includes information on some 50 traditional concours events in the US and Canada: ones defined as having a select field of multi-marque vehicles, critical judging and attendance open to the public. There are also dozens of other shows that are marque or club specific concours which I’ve included as a courtesy.
The ConcoursDates endeavor has been a one-man, learn-as-you-go, seat-of-the-pants, grass-roots, up-all-night, what-the-heck, no-cost, no-obligation, labor-of-love.
Considering that nearly every concours d’elegance is organized as a charitable nonprofit or is closely affiliated with one, it’s been especially gratifying to know that not only have my efforts contributed to the enjoyment of collector cars, but also to community and health related causes across the US and Canada.
As for increasing awareness of classic cars and other vehicles among the younger generation of car enthusiasts, the response to ConcoursDates posts on Facebook and at Jalopnik.com has been well received.
I write a blog titled Concours d’Fun on the same Kinja platform as Jalopnik, where 56% of the audience is under 35 years of age. The gist of my posts is that concours events appeal to all automotive interests, not just aficionados of running boards, Duesenbergs and fancy French cars. One post titled “33-Year-Old Drives Grandfather’s 1938 Bugatti to Hershey Car Show” has more than 8,500 views and a post from the Dayton Concours titled “Ferrari 348TS Gets Stuck Behind 1901 Buick” has more than 7,600 views.
As for whether concours events are using their clout to make a concerted effort to ensure future interest in the collector car hobby, I’d say not really. But don’t despair… I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Stay tuned.
Thank you for visiting the site. If you have suggestions or comments, please take a moment to contact me.