The ABC's of LSR Concours

It’s hard to believe, but in a club that has grown to almost 800 members, it’s been over 3 years since we began LSR’s first Concours series.  This is especially unusual when one considers the high level of participation for the concours at the annual Porsche Parade and other multi-region events.   Based on some of the questions we’ve fielded from potential participants, it could be that part of the reason for the slow acceptance and growth of concours in our area is due to some misconceptions about the what’s expected, how the program is being administered at the local level, and what one should expect of the event.  So, let’s see if we can make things “perfectly clear.”

First of all a Concours d"Elegance (yes…from the French) is an assemblage of automobiles in competition of their relative merits in terms of coachwork, design, finish and appointments.  Probably the most popular topic of the questions and inquiries we field indicates that many of you are intimidated by tales of impossibly stringent standards of judging that require dozens of hours of preparation and impossibly immaculate vehicles to be competitive.  Certainly that may be so at the highest levels of competition, such as the national Parade; however, the LSR Concours program is based on the practical reality that most of us have many other priorities, limited time and may well use our Porsches as daily drivers.  While you may find a couple of cars that have been given the “white glove and toothbrush” treatment, the odds are that most of the cars shown locally are prepared in a few hours and generally driven to the event prior to a final cleanup.  In fact, we do not judge undercarriages or wheel wells.

Our judges are almost always recruited from local sources, and prior to actually judging the individual cars, we encourage them to browse through the field to get a sense of the overall level of competition that will allow them to apply a common sense set of standards to the entries.  If you said that this sounds like grading on a “curve,” you’d probably be on target.  And, for those who want to join in the camaraderie but don’t want to have much hassle or time to prepare their car, we offer a “display” class, that is not judged…but more on this later.

That brings up one of the other main purposes for the LSR Concours and for PCA in general: everyone should have a good time enjoying their cars and the other enthusiasts who share similar interests.  On a par with the desire to provide a competitive atmosphere for quality Porsches is our effort to create a great social occasion.  A number of entrants bring their spouses and/or kids to help complete detailing their cars and enjoy the company of others with similar interests.   Some who are lucky enough to have more than one of Stuttgart’s finest, bring out and enter all of the family jewels and make it a family occasion to get them all detailed for the event.

We look for interesting locations that provide a pleasant and interesting venue for the cars to be seen and also offer access to some “civilians” who can enjoy (but not touch) our cars.  To date, we’ve worked with several shopping centers including the Marq*E at Katy Freeway and Silber, the Uptown Park at 610 & Post Oak, the Boardwalk in Kemah, the Portofino Mall north of the Woodlands, and the Haak Winery near Galveston.  Generally, the venues work with us to provide some perks…such as meals or snacks to make the day more fun.

We also try to make sure that our judges are comparing “apples to apples,” and to do so, we’ve established several classes of competition plus a display class.  As new models come out, and others age, we will continue to revise and update the classes to insure fair and equitable comparison standards for the judges.

And as alluded to previously, if you just want to come out and join in the fun, with no pressure, you can enter the “display” class, show your car, enjoy the occasion, but not worry about someone finding dust on your distributor cap!

We generally plan to have 2 to 3 concours events throughout the year, and - to allow for the natural pace of Houston life and our sometimes blistering summers - usually in March or April and October.  Watch for more details and updates on this issue in the near future.

So…why not join in?  We encourage everyone to participate…from mid-50’s 356’s to the latest Cayennes, from 914’s to 944 Turbos, and of course, all models of the 911 Carrera, Boxster and CaymanEveryone is welcome.  Everyone wants to see your baby.  You never know what you’ll find, including specially modified cars, classics, current and vintage racers. 

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