Noosa Concours d’Elegance | Reflecting on 2023, looking forward to…

1 May 2024

Reflecting on 2023, looking forward to 2024

Written by guest contributor, Steen Edmonds

Held on a slightly overcast but temperate day on Saturday the 15th of July was the inaugural Noosa Concours d‘Elegance. As a motoring enthusiast that has attended Monterey car week multiple times, including Pebble Beach Concours d‘Elegance, The Quail A Motorsports gathering, WerksReunion and countless events throughout that week of automotive delirium, I must say that the organisers of this inaugural event have not just put on a fabulous show and experience… they not only captured a magical piece of “Pebble” to Australia conceptually, but they actually did in reality! In the form of none other than the chairman of the world renowned Pebble Beach Concours d‘Elegance for over 20 years Sandra Button with husband Martin in tow to officially open this year’s inaugural event.

As there is no golf course in sight of this year’s event held on the very cosmopolitan Hastings Street in Noosa on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia, I more so liken the Noosa Concours d‘Elegance to the more laid back atmosphere of “Concours on the Avenue” in Carmel California held in the week leading up to Pebble. Similarities are many to this event, including stunning coastal location, beautiful beaches, immaculately presented designer shops, restaurants, cafes and high end jewellery stores. However the vibe is very Australian, laid back & casual. Beach goers, surfers & holiday makers in shirts and thongs (flip flops to our US friends) simply strolling down Hastings Street going about their business whilst the Concours is in full swing. Also in attendance and on show pampered K9s adorning their well healed owners strutting amongst the cars and crowds of onlookers. Now we are talking about a resemblance to our USA friends in Carmel California.

This event had a wonderful atmosphere, live music in Hastings Street and the many cafes, bars & restaurants. This really makes you feel you are somewhere special, and you are... the food was amazing, the drinks, cocktails and canapés. Take me back now.

One of my favourite things to see at this year’s Noosa Concours d'Elegance was the Next Gen judges program instigated by Alesha Gooderham, co-organiser of the event, based in Hastings Street, Noosa. Next Gen was comprised of young teens aged 9-15 years old being guided through the Concours by Chris Bowden of Bowden’s Own and Ecurie Bowden. White gloves and all with clip board and pencil in hand being shown what to look for in a car that is being judged. This is what we need to see at future events to keep young people engaged and interested in this fantastic hobby. As Alesha puts it “The program aims to actively engage the children and light a spark from their close-up experience of the engineering and design excellence on display.” How good is this!

Yes it’s a static show, yes the concours is in a sensational location in Australia. Yes Australia! We don’t have to go overseas to enjoy a world class motoring concours event, we have one in our own back yard.

The quality of cars was really amazing as was the hospitality. This event is not to be missed, an excuse for a great holiday with your family and the location speaks for itself. Stunning is a word that springs to mind. An absolute must for motoring enthusiasts and motorists alike. If you are a Benzina Head like me you will love it!

As the event came to an end and the officials summoned their owners to their respective vehicles, it was time to vacate Hastings Street all together. Let me say this is an event on its own. The cars bursting to life, gearboxes engaged, feathering throttles, revving engines... ahhh I love it!

Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the cars leaving in a long conga line of noise out of time. Something you just don’t get to see much of these days, vehicles of this calibre and variety driving! Not all the vehicles were noisy and raucous, some whisper quite and stately.

Congratulations to all the cars that won their respective awards, classes and honourable mentions. To the organisers, volunteers, sponsors, businesses and everyone involved in this inaugural event, give yourselves a pat on the back, you really knocked it out of the park! I for one have booked my accommodation for next year’s event. Just don’t go telling everyone about it, let’s keep this magnificent event to ourselves.

PS. Mark your calendars, the much-anticipated Noosa Concours returns for its second year on Saturday 13 July 2024!

Steen Edmonds

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