After residing in the suburbs for more than four decades, the Concours d’Elegance is preparing to move into the city by holding its annual show for classic cars on the grounds of the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2022.
McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, which is based In Traverse City, Michigan and provides insurance, entertainment and other service to car collectors and enthusiasts, recently acquired the rights the Concours d’Elegance.
It was previously owned by a non-profit that staged the show for several years at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It moved it to The Inn at St John’s in Detroit’s western suburbs where it will be held again this year July 23-25.
Starting in 2022, the Concours D’Elegance, which CEO Hagerty described as one of the top shows in the country for collectors, will move to the new venue with new dates in September.
“This move honors Detroit’s heritage as a hub of commerce, industry, design and culture. We couldn’t think of a better place to recognize the automobile than the Detroit Institute of Arts. It, and its 65,000 works of art, serve as the perfect backdrop as we celebrate the automobile–another signature achievement of mankind,” Hagerty said.
Boosting car culture
Hagerty added he believes moving the Concours into Detroit with the help of the DIA will focus more attention on the event, broadening its appeal and reaching a wider audience.
Moving to the museum also fits with his company’s efforts to preserve, protect and expand top quality events and experiences for automotive enthusiasts.
“The Concours d’Elegance of America is a premiere event in the home of American car culture, and we couldn’t be more honored to have the opportunity to help make it even better,” said Hagerty.
The 42nd annual Concours d’Elegance of America takes place July 23-25, after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. In fact, just about the entire show season was wiped out due to the issue.
Evolution of the show
The show began in the late 1970s at Meadow Brook Hall, the historic home of Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automotive pioneer John Dodge. However, toward the end of its 30-year run, the relationship between show organizers and Oakland University, the home is located on its campus, became acrimonious.
After a few rough years and feeling unappreciated, organizers elected to move. In 2011, the event was renamed with its current moniker and moved to the grounds of The Inn at St. John’s.
The 2021 field will host more than 250 significant classic and historically relevant vehicles ranging from the Gas Light era and Modern Collectables to Super Cars, the show noted.
Hagerty, which hosts, partners with, or participates in more than 2,000 car events annually, has been expanding its reach in recent years, including the acquisition of the Detroit-area event.
Late last month, the company announced it purchased the Amelia Island Concours near Jacksonville Florida. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The show’s founder, Bill Warner, 78, will remain as Chairman Emeritus. Warner founded the show in 1996, and it’s evolved into a must-attend event for car enthusiasts.
Hagerty’s move adds to their growing portfolio of top-notch automotive events. The company now owns some of the premiere automotive concours in the country, including Concours d’Elegance of America, the California Mille, and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
It also hosts Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional in the United Kingdom, with the next show slated to occur July 31. In addition, the company takes part in more than 2,500 automotive events annually.