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History of the Concours

The inaugural edition in 1967 of the Concours d’Elegance was called the "El Palo Alto Concours" and was held in the parking lot at Town & Country Village. It attracted only a handful of cars --- and lost $1400. There was serious discussion of abandoning the event. Cooler heads advised patience,and with help from dedicated community leaders like veteran Lion, George Paddleford, future editions were launched. For the next six years, they were held at El Camino Park and enjoyed relatively better success.  

In 1974, because of City park renovations the Concours moved to Palo Alto Alto School.  And after that, and successful negotiations with the Stanford Buck Cardinal Club, in 1981, the Concours moved to the fields next to Stanford Football Stadium.  These intramural fields on El Camino Real would become the home of the Concours for the next 16 years.  From there the Concours moved the Stanford Pasteur Road  Soccer practice field which was the Concours home until June of 2012.

In 1996 changes were made and the Concours was taken to the next level.  A key goal was to boost attendance by establishing an annual "Featured Marque".  These would be glamorous exotics, with the first one chosen the Lamborghini.

That year the largest grouping of Lamborghini's ever assembled gathered on the Concours field.  The following year the Featured Marque was Ferrari – an even bigger hit! And, in the third year it was Porsche. 

From there, the reputation of the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance grew.  Each year, more special exhibits and events were added. The "Gallery of the Greats" and pre-event tour called The Drive,  Japanese "rice rockets"  retro-look cars, vintage travel trailers and collectible military vehicles – any genre that would appeal to the general car-enthusiast audience.  From there the Concours has grown to be one of the most prestigious Concours d'Elegance events in the Bay Area.

Peninsula Shops supports the Palo Alto Concours and helps support this website.

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