The Concours d’Elegance dates back to 17th Century French aristocracy, who 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 automobile owners to be judged on the appearance of their automobiles – according to Wikipedia.
This year in Balatonfüred, around 15 mins from where I live the 3rd Balatonfüred Concours d’Elegance was held. I was one of the organisers of this event, which attracted 54 cars from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Despite the weather being iffy, the event was a great success. So much so that our title sponsor, BMW decided to invite me to another event, sponsored by them: that’s the Villa d’Este Concorso Eleganza held each year at Lake Como. It is a fantastic honour. I am just in the middle of packing, flying out tomorrow. Somewhere along the way, I realised this is also a great theoretical exercise: is it possible to look at these events, where professional judges decide who gets the prizes as equivalents to museum exhibits? In classic car slang, some of the overrestored cars are labelled as “trailer queens” – and here it is also possible to draw parallels between museum objects and the exhibited cars.
Earlier on my trip to Berlin was a great succcess. Three museums have been striked from my list as in addition to the Deutsches Technikmuseum I was able to visit Wolfsburg and check out both the Volkswagen Automuseum and the Autostadt. The latter is more like an entertainment park with a building focusing on old cars. I did not have time to properly evaluate my trip yet, but it made me thinking. My thesis may take a slightly different direction soon – we’ll see about that next week when my next scheduled supervision occurs.
Between all this travelling I had a bit of family joy: Hungarians in general are lagging behind in learning foreign languages. But in our family, we pay particular attention to our kids’ English learning. So it gave me great pride, when my 7-year-old-son, Bruno was able to chat with the owner of one of the classic cars at our Concours in English. He was very articulate and sharp.