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For some years, Sophie and I have been tempted to organize a Concours in Malta. Enthusiasm for classic cars is high on the island, but elegance was missing.
We realised the dream on the 7th of June when we organised the inaugural Concours d’Elegance & Garden Party in the fabulous gardens of the Italianesque Villa Bologna. Disillusioned with both competitors and visitors making no effort to dress up for events, the number one rule was Elegance.
Judging of the cars was very simple. Fifty points for the car, and fifty points for the elegance of the couple presenting it. Dressing in the style of the era of the automobile was very much encouraged, and, we threw the competitors a curved ball – the judges were women! Competitors were informed that if they did not dress correctly, they would not be allowed into the VIP area, but everyone made an effort.
Forty of the island’s finest automobiles were invited, strategically placed throughout the gardens. The elegant participants and visitors socialised in groups, admiring the cars, and themselves, while sipping a gin and tonic or a glass of prosecco.
The result was an event that could have come from a bygone era. There was live jazz throughout the day, and Mr Green, the main sponsor, supplied a couple of Blackjack tables and Roulette, allowing people to get an extra thrill without money changing hands. I had beginners luck, and had I been playing with real money, I would have gone home with thousands in my pockets.
The fabulous event was marred only by weather, which turned out to be the hottest day of the year thus far, with the temperature in the mid-thirties. The public generally preferred to go to the beach. The conclusion was that the next time, the event would be held in the evening, which will only add to the magic.
If anyone is interested in taking part next year, the organisers intend to arrange transport for fine cars from the UK and mainland Europe. Contact them through the website, MaltaConcours.com.