Friday, September 26, 2014

First Timers’ Guide to Concours d’Elegance at French Lick Resort

Cars line up for the 2013 event
 What’s a Concours d’Elegance?Concours d'Elegance refers to the gathering of prestigious cars and dates back to 17th century French aristocracy. They paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during summer weekends and holidays. Over time, carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among the owners on the appearance of their automobiles.

Judges check out a 2013 entry
When will the cars be on display?Although there are auxiliary events all weekend, the cars will be judged on Sunday, October 5. Head over to the Valley Links Course on the French Lick Springs Hotel property. If you enter through the hotel’s main drive (at the intersection of Hwy 56 and Hwy 145) you can follow the signs for public parking.
Richard Hamilton polishes up his
1929 Willy's Knight 66 B
The show opens to the public at 10am and judging is complete by 11:30am. Be sure to stay around for the awards ceremony at 3 pm. You will get a chance to see the winners in each class, specialty award winners and the coveted “Best in Show.”

What kind of cars can I expect?This is not your average car show! These cars are from private collections and are rarely seen on display. They are the cream of the crop in their respected class and have been personally invited to participate in the event. You will be treated to some amazing eye candy valued at over 100 million dollars.
Hunt Palmer Ball's 1967 Shelby GT-350

This year we are featuring cars from Shelby American and have three classes dedicated to the American icon. You will see many original owner cars, definitely some 1 of 1s and prime examples of Shelby’s greatest work.

On the flip side, you will also see some amazing handcrafted luxury pieces as we also celebrate Indiana’s Automotive Heritage.  Duesenbergs, Cords, Stutz…Indiana’s finest will be on display in two full classes dedicated to the Hoosier State.

Peppered in between will be classes for Corvettes, Super Cars, Motorcycles, Trucks and a category all its own, called Survivors, for unrestored originals.

We have also invited area car clubs to display their cars adjacent to the competition field. Here you will see beauties from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Porsche and more.

What do the judges look for in a winner?Renowned judges (and we have some of the best in the country) examine the vehicle thoroughly and in its entirety. They rate each and every component. They look for correct components of the car as well as proper installation and finish in areas such as engine compartment detail, upholstery and chassis finish.

Only those vehicles that are judged perfect (or very nearly so) in every way are considered eligible for trophy classes.

You too can be a judge! Be sure to pick up one of the “People’s Choice” ballots and vote for your favorite.

Do I have to have a ticket before the event?Sure it’s great to have tickets in advance (and save $5, plus fees) but you can also purchase tickets the day of the show. Just look for the Coca-Cola trailer near the Valley Links Sports Center to purchase tickets. They are $20 the day of the show. Kids 12 and under are free and do not require a ticket.
Kids 12 and under are admitted free

Can I take pictures?Certainly! But please respect the cars as works of art. Please do not get too close to the cars and absolutely do not touch them.

Where does the money go?The Concours d’Elegance at French Lick Resort is a proud supporter of Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Are there still rooms available?Hotel rooms at both French Lick Springs Hotel and its sister property, West Baden Springs Hotel sell out every year for this event. There may be a few rooms still available; call now 888-936-9360. *There is a two night minimum for Saturday night reservations.

What are the other events that weekend?There is a Driving Tour on Saturday morning (October 4) to Clem & Joey Lange’s car collections in nearby Huntingburg. Unfortunately, this event is sold out for 2014.
The Driving Tour is sold out for 2014

The Mad VIN Gala is set for Saturday evening. The “Mad Men” style soiree will be a fabulous party underneath the world-famous West Baden Springs Hotel dome. Tickets are still available for $175 per person and can be purchased online or by calling the resort directly, 888-936-9360.

Indiana Automotive Heritage Day will also be held on Saturday. This free event features lecturers who each have their own perspective on Indiana’s automotive history. The line-up will include author Dennis Horvath, documentarian Hans Kellogg, IMS historian Donald Davidson and well-known journalist William Jeanes. Tickets are not required,  but you must RSVP.

For more information about all of these events, please visit the Concours d’Elegance at French Lick website.


How do I get to the resort?Map and directions on the French Lick Resort website

From Louisville
70 Miles • 1 1/2 Hours
Take I-65 N toward /Indianapolis, take exit 6B onto I-265 W, Take exit 0 onto I-64 W toward St Louis – Merge onto IN-37 NORTH EXIT 79 – MERGE RIGHT onto IN-64/IN-145 NORTH.

From Indianapolis
108 Miles • 2 1/2 Hours
Take I-465 South to IN-37 South Harding Street EXIT 4 – Merge onto IN-37 South toward Martinsville/IN-37 South to Bloomington – Enter roundabout in Paoli, to US-150/IN-56 West – Slight LEFT onto IN-56.

From Cincinnati
163 Miles • 3 Hours
I-71 South to Louisville EXIT 173 – Take I-64 West EXIT 1A toward St. Louis – Merge onto IN-37 NORTH EXIT 79 – MERGE RIGHT onto IN-64/IN-145 NORTH.

From Evansville
94 Miles • 2 Hours
I-164 North to I-64 – Merge on to I-164 N toward 1-64 – Merge onto I-64 EXIT 21A toward Louisville - East to IN 37 South EXIT 79 toward Tell City – Turn LEFT onto IN-37 - Continue straight toward IN-64 – Turn RIGHT on IN-145 North to French Lick – Turn LEFT onto IN-56/Indiana Street.