Porsche Concourse d’Elegance

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As part of the celebrations of 60 years of Porsche Clubs in the hometown of the Porsche family in Zell am See Austria, a Concourse d’Elegance at the airport…

… saw rigorous judging from officials and keen appreciation from visitors.

Not all participants entered the Concourse d’Elegance, for it requires impeccable presentation and prior preparation. The total emphasis is on the condition of the vehicle and it must be as good, or better, than when it left the Porsche factory. Only original modifications are permitted and all components (including trim) must reflect the year of production of that particular model.

However, the overall focus of a Concourse d’Elegance is quality of presentation, reflecting the origin of the term, which comes from the grand eras of the French aristocracy parading their carriages in the parks of Paris.

The airport seemed a good locality, as witness this aerial view in the Flying Club cafeteria…

Some participating Porsches were also running a slalom course of a sort of barrel race to time on the flight apron and others just making an interesting feature to the business of flight and the stunning setting.

The cars were lined up in all their pristine presentation “Sunday Best” – even though it was a Saturday.

Wandering amongst the beautifully prepared vehicles were Porsche owners attending the event, non-participating Porsche drivers just visiting for the weekend, and the rest of us who were there to see a celebration of 60 years of Porsche Clubs assemble a rare collection of a world class “Marque”.

I had arrived a little late after having been on a long walk with my travelling companion, who was immediately greeted by name when I entered.

The greeting was from the driver of the transporter bringing the black, red, yellow and white latest Porsches from the Stuttgart factory for the display. We had met briefly on the basis of introducing Chow Chow puppy, Balu, who today had already made his selection of preferred vehicle, a new Limited Edition Porsche 911 Speedster in canary yellow.

Balu was sitting beside this Porsche Speedster when suddenly he too was the focus of the paparazzi.

As we spoke, my eyes roved over the assembly, resting on the Porsche 997…… and very kindly I had the offer to look after Balu while I took photos and he and his minder looked on.

From the front...

..or rear view, the line-up of Porsches spanned many years, but you could see the lineage in a style that has retained its roots.

Here were the classics. An impeccable presented Porsche 356 looking as if kitted for rallying…

..and the oldest vehicle being evaluated – the beautiful Italian Porsche 356 driven here over the Alps by a father in the company of his young son.

A Concourse d’Elegance is all about detail, whether it is the perfect chrome twin exhausts of this Porsche 356 C…

…or the number plate holder and front trim in perfect condition of this Porsche 356.

The immaculate body work with mirror shine reflected the neighbouring vehicle as well as in the scrupulously clean wheel trim and mirror finish hub caps.

These cars had just been over the Grossglockner high alpine road, and the work to present such shine and perfection must have meant late nights and early mornings – as both Porsche 356 models reflected each other’s lines.

It was like being in a hall of mirrors with period elegance everywhere reflected with one Porsche 356 shining within the mirror gloss of another.

The sunlight placed a starburst on the gloss finish of this vehicle…

..and whether it was a view from the front…

…inside – with restored trim to exceed factory quality but still remain within period style and fabric…

…the impeccably clean and elegantly simple (but oh so effective) engine of this Porsche 1500…

..or the more modern wheel trim…

…everywhere, the smallest detail had been attended to at a level that would make the factory proud and pose a challenge for the judges.

I was getting “Can we go now please?” looks from Balu and we had a long road home from beautiful Zell am See…

…so we headed back to the car past a line of Porsches in a lovely setting .

Of course not all who are drawn to such an event are Porsche owners – as witness this lovely little classic Alfa Romeo Spyder …

..and this immaculate Wiesmann.

Wiesmann was first produced in 1996 using a BMW straight six engine.

This one was in almost ready for Concourse d’Elegance condition itself, from its careful interior trim …

..to its distinctive rear lights and spotless alloy wheels.

Style is a magnet for all and no less in the world of automobiles.

Ferry Porsche said once:

I wanted to build cars that were not something to everyone

but meant everything to some.

In Zell am See in September 2012, the 60 year Anniversary of the founding of Porsche Clubs showed that Porsche remains in that mindset – and continues to achieve this goal – drawing in even the infidels who drive other classics.

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