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Concours Restoration Defined

If you’re in the restoration world and value the authenticity of classics just as much as we do, you’ve probably heard the term concours restoration. You’re probably also familiar with the confusion surrounding what qualifies as a concours. We’ve come across different versions of the meaning through the years and thought we’d share what we feel is the most accurate definition.

What is a Concours Restoration?

A car qualifies as a concours restoration once its reconstruction is near original perfection. Every individual part from the bolts to the finish must be refurbished to its original state. The process is long and incredibly meticulous, infinitely more so than a sought-after restomod.

To put a concours in better perspective, we once met a guy who only worked on a few cars per year. On one of his projects, there was a small scratch on the hood. He had to repaint the entire car costing him about $25,000. If we remember correctly, he ended up selling this piece for $350,000.

What Actually Qualifies as a Concours Restoration?

The term “as close as possible” is favored in the concours d’elegance world. Not only is it next to impossible to completely restore a vehicle back to original perfection, but it can also be next to impossible to verify.

In many cars, certain vintage parts are either unavailable or difficult to come by. Finding an alternative solution that closely resembles that part can suffice in some circumstances. In most cases, collectors attempt to restore original parts back to their prime.

Concours vs. Restomod

On paper, it makes sense. A concours is a restored classic near original perfection. A restomod is a classic that features more modern, modified parts. However, sellers and auctioneers can stretch the truth and embellish certain features leading to why confusion surrounds the term.

An excellent restomod is as beautifully restored as it is modified. The objective of restomods isn’t necessarily to restore it back to perfectly correct period conditions. Instead, their goal is to reinvent a classic to fit a modern landscape.

Gasparilla Concours D’elegance

If you have any questions about a concours or a restomod, come meet us at the Gasparilla Concours D’Elegance. Between December 3rd to December 5th, we’ll have a table at the TPC Tampa Bay Golf Course. Be sure to check us out.

Do you have a concours restoration? Submit it here and tell us your story for a chance to win some Original Air merchandise as well as be featured in our socials. See you soon.

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