Judging Classical

Hugo T. Modderman

An enthusiast of Vintage Cars

Since the very early days of the motorcar “dogshows”: of cars have existed. The first shows were mainly focusing on how the car was decorated with flowers and other beautification. One could in fact hardly see the car. Then came the phase of the car PLUS. These Concours would take in fashionable resorts like Deauville, Cannes, Monaco, Villa d’Este, The Hague and….. coachbuilders would show their latest creations in combination with a model, a dog or as in the Hague a model on horseback in which case not the specific car would win but the combination.

Todays concours d’Elegance focus on prototypes from manufacturers on the few coachbuilders left but mainly on collectors cars. The judging can be either subjective, focusing on elegance and beauty, which we call French judging or objective focusing on originality and authenticity. For the preservation of historically important cars this is of key importance as we want to secure that future generations can see how a car left the factory. The judging thus focuses on preservation and restoration whereby the aim of the restoration is to recreate a car back to its original guise. Such judging requires a lot of knowledge, literature and a network with specialists. To this effect an international judging group was founded ( ICJAG) by American Ferrari connoisseur and ex chief judge of the Pebble Beach Concours; Ed Gilbertson. There are some 30 members in USA, Europe and Australia. I am one of the six European judges.

Such judging needs a lot of preparotory study so it is essential that the judges have all information in advance of the day of judging such as chassis numbers, history etc.

A comprehensive library is key!

I have so far judged at the following Concourses

Pebble Beach (USA)
Villa d’Este (I)
Salon Prive (UK)
21 Gun Salute (India)
La Jolla (USA)
Masterpieces at Schloss Dyck (D)
Coppet (CH)
Soestdijk (NL)
Le Zoute (B)
Cap Ferrat (F)