Mention Concours and most motor minds are clouded with memories of days gone by, add just three magical letters, BMW to the word Concours and see the excitement, anticipation and finally the stop in your tracks to savour the reaction of the participants and enthusiasts.
The BMW Car Club Gauteng did just that at the Annual Concours d’Elegance on Sunday the 25th of August 2013 which was held for first time at the Montecasino Piazza in Fourways, Gauteng. The event showcased Bavarian Beauties from the humble M10 engined 318i to the menacing race going models along with the grand masters of the early road.
After holding the Concours for many years at Nelson Mandela Square we were told last year that they would be renovating the Square and we were kindly sponsored the use of the Montecasino Piazza by Pablo Clark Racing for 2013. Our previous venue could only accommodate 50 vehicles, but the Piazza can accommodate 60 plus they have a grass area adjacent to the pizza that can handle an additional 40 cars. As a result of this, in the past, we had to limit our entries to 50 concours entrants although there were requests from a number of club members that they be allowed to just display their vehicles. As a result of that we opened up the grass area for the first time to allow those who wanted to display their vehicles to do so.
For those that have never attended a Concours event in the past, it is not a shiny BMW display but so much more than that. It is essentially a competition to see who has the cleanest and best condition BMW. And it is not just paintwork and shiny tyres that are looked at, but the engine, interior and boot as well as the undercarriage. Some past winners have spent many days preparing for the event to ensure every last little spec of dust is out of the carpet, the boot is absolutely spotless and that the engine is cleaner than the day it rolled off the production line.
There are essentially 5 different classes that the competitors can enter:
Show ‘n Shine: This is the feeder class for first time or casual competitors. This class does not make a distinction between whether the BMW is factory stock or has been modified. First time competitors are encouraged (but not forced) to enter this class to get a feel for the how the judging works before moving on to the more serious classes.
d’Etat: All year model BMW’s that are 100% original, including factory options or approved suppliers (such as Alpina and Schnitzer) at the time of manufacture. This includes having the factory fitted radio. If certain parts are no longer available, if the original part has been copied as far as possible, this is acceptable e.g. the exhaust may be no longer available but a copy of the same diameter has been made, this is still seen as original in terms of the classes.
D’Elegance: All year model BMWs that are not 100% original or with non-factory approved options for that model. A vehicle that has had the mag lips polished would be put in this class if you could not get polished lips from the factory. When judging, a vehicle is not penalized for non-factory options, it is merely put in a different class.
d’Honneur Stock: All vehicles that have won 1st Place in the d’Etat or d’Honneur Stock.
d’Honneur Modified: All vehicles that have won 1st Place in the d’Elegance or d’Honneur Modified.
Each of the above classes has a floating trophy which is awarded to the winner in the class and the name and vehicle gets engraved on the tropy. In addition to these trophies, there are also a number of other Trophies that have been sponsored over the years for Best 2002, Best Classic, Best 325iS and Best M. We have had some requests in the past from club members wishing to sponsor additional trophies such as Best 8 Series, Best 6 Series, Best Race car etc. Should you wish to sponsor such a floating trophy, please contact the Chairman of the BMW Car Club Gauteng.
Once the cars are allocated to their respective classes, the judging begins – with the score sheet evaluating both condition and cleanliness and allocating a score to that. In the past we paired up two judges up would then judge a specific class as above. However, following feedback from club members, this year we split the judging into 3 separate categories – Exterior & glass, Interior & Boot and Engine & Wheels. We then approached three independent judges who were paired with three BMW Car Club Committee members and each pair of judges were allocated to one of the three judging categories. Judging 50 cars was not an insignificant task and our judges worked from 10am to 3pm and gave constructive feedback to each competitor on where they had marked them down so they could improve their preparation for the next time. In addition, we appointed a chief judge who briefed all judges and ensured the judging was top-notch.
The activity had a buzz of its own with prepping and friendly banter being exchanged along with some serious conversation about the new boys out to challenge the established gentry.
The event held the attention of many people during the judging, a few of us were privileged to experience firsthand the attention to detail that is applied, the check and double check and the concern for the loss of a single point that could be the difference between win or lose.
After what was said by many to have been a fantastic day, all gathered in anticipation of the results, with winners as follows:
Show & Shine: Mark Furnell – 2005 BMW E60 M5
d’Etat:Chris Theron – 1991 BMW E34 M5
d’Elegance:Nunben Dixon – 1991 BMW E30 325i
d’Honneur Stock:Gerhard van Nieker – 1995 BMW E36 325i Convertible
d’Honneur Modified:Jack Kaplan – 1991 BMW E30 325iS
Best Classic:Paul Casson – 1972 BMW E9 3.0CSL
Best 325iS:Jack Kaplan – 1991 BMW E30 325iS
Best MJohan Fritz – 1995 BMW E36 M3
Best 2002:Jack Kaplan – 1974 BMW E10 2002 Turbo
Once the results were finalized and announced, it was a joy to see the smiles of those that had achieved and the genuine congratulations from the other participants.
I would like to thank our three independent judges Graham Helders (Parts Manager, Leo Haese Centurion), Roy Kesten (Parts Manager, Joburg Auto) and Shiraz (SABeemer) who gave up their day to judge all the cars in the sun, as well as the .BMW Car Club Committee members who judged, took photos, captured scores and helped maked the event such a success.
As ladies and gentlemen left the venue in their spectacular vehicles it could be heard in-between the exhaust notes and laughter, remarks of wait till next year, I am going to win next time and you see I told you to clean your ashtray!
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