Don Howard, Staff Writer
Big changes are in store for the ultimate classic car show that is considered to be one of the most prestigious automotive displays in the world when next year it moves to the inner city of Detroit.
Representatives from Hagerty, the classic car insurance company, historically a major sponsor of many automotive events, said they would take over the Concours d'Elegance of America starting next year. Other recent Hagerty acquisitions in addition to the Concours d'Elegance include Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance - another one of the premiere automotive events in the country, plus California Mille and the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance. Hagerty takes part in more than 2,500 car events annually
Hagerty showcased plans for the new location and the move from the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth to the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, located on Woodward Avenue in the Midtown area. Not only is the prestigious event moving from the suburbs to the city, but will also move from July to September. The classic car insurance company is taking over the event from Bill Warner, who founded the Concours in 1996.
Concours d'Elegance of America moved from Meadow Brook Hall to the Plymouth location in 2000 to take advantage of the location and ambience of the rambling golf course on which to display the rare and vintage automobiles. The contract between Concours and the Inn at St. John's was set to expire at the end of 2018 after eight consecutive years and renewal at that time was said to be uncertain, but an agreement subsequently went forward after some vacillation.
In the interim period, Plymouth Township planners in 2017 approved a new $100 million luxury condominium development slated to be built at St. John's Golf Course owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit. Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers worked with civil engineering firms, architects and golf course designers for more than a year on the proposal and company representatives submitted plans to construct a private, gated community made up of 174 townhomes on the back portion of the 200-acre grounds, located at Five Mile and Sheldon roads.
The plans for the development at the upscale Plymouth Township Golf Course came to a screeching halt in 2018 and no official reason for the termination of the plans on the golf course property was revealed. While an Archdiocese spokesperson refused comment, it was rumored that planned area was contaminated.
Last year the ConcoursUSA Board of Directors made the decision to postpone due to Covid-19 pandemic concerns. This year, the event is scheduled for three days, July 23-25 and will attract an estimated15,000 attendees and car aficionados.
Exhibition at the Concours is by invitation only and the vehicles are carefully juried by experts before the coveted invitations are issued to owners around the world. Enthusasts claim the Concours d'Elegance of America has a diverse field unrivaled by any other Concours event.