Over its twenty-nine year history, the Huntington Beach Concours has grown to be one of the outstanding automotive events in Southern California. First staged in 1986, the Concours has its home on the picturesque lawns of Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach. Central Park lies adjacent to the Huntington Beach Public Library & Cultural Resource Center at Talbert and Goldenwest. Our field of entrants includes the best domestic, British, European and Asian, vintage to current automobiles and motorcycles. Recently, vintage and racing bicycles have also been added to the event.
When the event was staged in 1986, its premise was not the usual Concours event that favors the elite marques of the automotive world. The Steering Committee, led by Founder, Bart P. McGrath, envisioned an event that would truly feature and favor all automotive makes whether Ferrari or Ford, MG or General Motors. The Committee understood that prince and pauper alike, all car guys have lavished time, effort and expense on their automobile or motorcycle of choice, and all entries are deserving of recognition. Moreover, whether a car guy, motorcyclist or cyclist; everyone has an appreciation for the broad spectrum of entries at the event. The Committee felt that a Ferrari owner would enjoy seeing the Fords and Street Rods. Likewise, a Muscle Car man would equally enjoy Mercedes or Masarati. Over the years, the Committee’s vision has been proven out time and time again, as many of our entrants who enter the event on a regular basis own a variety of foreign and domestic makes, and enter them each year. Comments from the entrants also validate the Event as they very much enjoy seeing the wide variety of manufacturers and builders represented.
Additionally, the Committee made changes in the traditional judging of entrants of the Concours by initiating a “Concours” class for entries driven less than 1,000 miles per year, and a “Concours Street” Class for those driven on a regular basis. It was unfair to ask entrants to compete on only one level, and had kept a lot of people who would otherwise enter automotive events from participating.
Along with the standard Concours classes of vintage to current, American, European and Asian automobiles and motorcycles, the Huntington Beach Concours has been fortunate to host many “firsts” and featured many outstanding marques.
1986 Inaugural Huntington Beach Concours event. The inaugural event featured no specific manufacturer marque. The field of entrants included vintage to current automotive makes and models from both domestic and foreign manufacturers. For the first time in their history, Ferrari of North America presented a Best of Show trophy to the best Ferrari at a “not-exclusively Ferrari”, mixed event. Ferrari entries for the show numbered 30-plus. Jack Kelly who co-stared with James Garner in the Maverick TV series and then Mayor of Huntington Beach, assisted Founder, Bart McGrath, and Bruce Powers in the trophy presentations. The field of entrants totaled over 85 automobiles—a good start for the first annual event.
1989 Porsche was the featured marque and Porsche Cars of America became a partial sponsor of the event. Mothers Waxes Polishes & Cleaners became the official sponsor of the Concours.
1996 Featured Marque – Corvette. The Chevrolet Division of General Motors was a major sponsor, donating $25,000.00. This was the first time in Chevrolet’s history that an event produced outside of the Chevrolet factory and which was not made up exclusively of Corvettes, had featured a complete evolution of every Corvette model-type built. There were 103 Corvettes exhibited and judged that year.
1997 Featured Marque – Mercedes-Benz. Along with featuring Mercedes-Benz, the Huntington Beach Concours honored Don Ricardo, famed Orchestra and Band Leader of NBC Studios. A longtime Mercedes-Benz collector, motorcycle and drag racer, Mr. Richardo attended the event and brought several cars from his collection including his 100 year anniversary replica of the 1886 Mercedes-Benz Patent Wagon, of which Mercedes-Benz produced only 10. Mr. Richardo’s was one of the very few replicas built that runs and is fully operational.
2000 The HB Concours salutes the 80th Anniversary of MG and 50 years of the Long Beach MG Club. The earliest model of the 37 MG entries was a 1930 M-Type.
2001 The Cobra – Ferrari Wars of the 1960’s. A multitude of Ferraris, and authentic and replica Cobras took center stage in 2001. The event also featured a representative LeMans racing grid and hosted the former Shelby American Employees Reunion with Carroll Shelby in attendance.
2002 Salute to the Ford Thunderbirds – Classic & New, the Aston Martin, and Ariel Motorcycle. The HB Concours featured all three marques. Entries toped 400 in 2002 with over 75 motorcycles helping to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ariel. Bicycle entries were introduced into the Concours field for the first time.
2003 The Concours featured 50 years of the Corvette – America’s Favorite Sports Car. Additionally, with 100 years of motorcycle history behind it, Triumph was the featured motorcycle marque. NCCC and NCRS supported the event. 153 Corvettes participated. A salute to Dick Guldstrand was featured at the VIP Celebrity Luncheon. This year the Concours included the Porsche Club of America, Orange Coast Region’s White Glove Concours featuring over 125 participants.
2004 Salute to Porsche and Vincent Motorcycle. The theme was the 40th Anniversary of Porsche 911 in North America, which included the first 911 Complements of the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Porsche Driving Experience.
2005 Salute to BMW Automobiles and Motorcycles, Mini and Packard. This year the Concours included a student auto art contest judged by independent and corporate designers and artists. Linda Vaughn, First Lady of Motorsports also attended.
2006 Featured in this twenty-first annual event held on June 4th, were Ferrari, the Ford Mustang and Honda motorcycle. This proved to be an outstanding show with upwards of 500 registered entrants. The show saw a robust growth of its motorcycle venue with 37 motorcycle entries, and participation from automotive and motorcycle dealers. The event also showed increased numbers of the paying spectator public. The second annual “Imagination Takes to the Road” art competition was a big success with increased participation from High Schools across Orange County. The $500.00 1st Prize in this art competition was sponsored by Ferrari and Maserati of Orange County.
2007 Salute to ’32 Ford and Donut Derelicts on Saturday and Cadillac & LaSalle, Alfa Romeo, Harley-Davidson and Suzuki motorcycles on Sunday. A Live Art Contest was held by Fireball Tim Lawrence on Saturday and the 3rd annual Imagination Takes to the Road student auto art contest was conducted on Sunday. Entertainment: Saturday presented the Mai Tais and The Midlife Crisis followed by The Golden State Dixieland Ramblers and “Autumn” on Sunday.
2008 Salute to ’38, ’39 & ’40 Fords on Saturday and to Corvette, Ferrari & BMW motorcycles with special guests George Barris and Fireball Tim Lawrence on Sunday. Sunday also featured the 4th Annual Imagination Takes to the Road student auto art contest which drew young artists from all over Orange County with Grand Marshall Dick Guldstrand and Dave Kunz, master of ceremonies. Entertainment: Saturday presented the Mai Tais and Mid-Life Crisis followed by the Golden State Dixieland Ramblers, “Autumn” and Parott Tails on Sunday.
2009 Salute to orphan cars and “Hemi” highlighted on Saturday with the dynamic Fireball Tim as grand marshal who chaired a forum of leading hot rod builders. Sunday’s grand marshal, Jim Wangers, “Godfather of the GTO” presented insight into the design and marketing strategies of car companies then and now. Sunday also featured the 5th annual student auto art contest which drew over 80 participants! The entertainment line-up featured the Mai Tais and Island Inspirations on Saturday and the Dixieland Ramblers and “Autumn” for the adults and Hot Wheels racing and free ice cream for the kids.
2010 Salute to Ford & Ferrari, and Ducati & Goldwing Motorcycles. Saturday’s Hot Rod & Customs show once again featured the dynamic Fireball Tim as grand marshal. Fireball Tim chaired a forum of leading hot rod builders. John Clinard, P.R. Manager for the Western Region, Ford Motor Company, served as grand marshal for the traditional Concours d’Elegance held Sunday. Sunday also featured the 6th annual student auto art contest which drew over 75 participants! The entertainment lineup featured the Surf Band & Pacific Island Dancers, and Hot Wheels racing and Free ice cream for the kids.
2011 Salute to Cadillac, Chevrolet “100 Years”, and Bentley automobiles and Triumph & Victory motorcycles. The Saturday show included returning grand marshal, Fireball Tim Lawrence. Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance featured marshal, Dave Kunz, KABC-TV’s Automotive Specialist. Sunday also featured the 7th annual student auto art contest which drew 70+ participants! The entertainment lineup featured the Rick’s Tune Saloon/DJ on Saturday and Sunday featured, Aprile Deanne Entertainment Vocalist/DJ, Danny Magic, magician, Hot Wheels racing and free ice cream, balloons, and spin art for the kids.
2012 Salute to Chrysler & Fiat automobiles and Honda & KTM motorcycles. The Saturday show had, returning Grand Marshall, Fireball Tim, and Sunday’s Concours featured Grand Marshall, Dave Kunz, and KABC-TV’s Automotive Specialist. The 8th annual Art Contest showcased more than 90 new young artists as participants in “Imagination Takes to the Road”. Aprile Deanne and Marissa McKinnon performed and DJ’d for our entertainment. There was face painting, balloons, and free ice cream for kids on Sunday. It was a beautiful Southern California weekend and fun for the whole family.