History Highlights

Over its thirty four 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.

2013 Featured a salute to Corvette’s “Diamond Jubilee” and Toyota/Lexus automobiles and Yamaha & Can-AM motorcycles. The Saturday show had, returning Grand Marshall, Fireball Tim, and Sunday’s Concours featured Grand Marshall, Dave Kunz, KABC-TV’s Automotive Specialist. The 9th annual Art Contest showcased more than 80 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 slot car racing for the kids, face painting, balloon art, and free ice cream for kids on Sunday. In typical Southern California fashion the day was a perfect day for a car show and fun for everyone in your family. Lexus displayed some their new cars including their awesome LFA. If you did nothing but hear the engine of the LFA start up, it would be worth the trip to Huntington Beach’s beautiful Central Park to attend this classic car and motorcycle show.

2014 Featured, was a salute to Ford Mustang celebrating their “50 Year” Anniversary and Audi automobiles.  Our motorcycle salute was to Harley Davidson and Ducati this year.  For the Rod & Custom Show on Saturday we again, had Grand Marshall, Fireball Tim, and Sunday’s Concours featured Grand Marshall, Dave Kunz, KABC-TV’s Automotive Specialist.  The 10th annual Art Contest showcased new young artists as participants in “Imagination Takes to the Road”.  Aprile Deanne Entertainment was vocalist/DJ for our entertainment.  There was slot car racing for the kids, face painting, balloon art, and free ice cream for kids on Sunday.  Southern California weather, again gave us its best.  Great day for car show buffs.  Ford showcased their F-150 and the 2015 Mustang on a rotating display.  It was a real crowd pleaser!!  Of course Audi had their automobile display as did Lexus, again highlighting their awesome LFA!!!  This year our automobile sponsors displayed their autos to the nines, for our car show attendees  We had a great show.

2015 2015 was a banner year for the Huntington Beach Concours d’Elegance 2-day event  The Rod & Custom Show held on Saturday, June 6th included a wide range of rods and custom automobiles and custom motorcycles.  This field of entrants continues to grow each year.  The traditional Concours event held on Sunday, June 7th was outstanding.  We received awesome participation from the Chrysler Group LLC (the factory—now FCA US LLC) in support of Chrysler which was featured as our domestic automotive marque.  Chrysler’s support included a dazzling display that spotlighted several FCA Chrysler Group models.  Among these beauties were the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the new Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe.  The Chrysler display was packed with large-scale, top-end horsepower, lots of torque, good looks and good value.  The Chrysler display truly had something for everyone.  Toyota Lexus also returned this year and brought several of their high performance cars including their current high performance IS and LFA models.  Our major event sponsor, Mothers, had an extensive exhibit of their fantastic car care products and several of the Mothers staff were on hand both days to give everyone detailed information on the best way to use Mothers products in caring for their cars or motorcycles.  Displays from Ferrari Newport Beach, Maserati Newport Beach, Lamborghini Newport Beach and Mclaren Newport Beach were the cornerstone of the field of entrants and featured several of their current models.  Newport Auto Center supported the event as well.  Our motorcycle sponsors, Ducati Newport Beach, Triumph Newport Beach, Long Beach BMW Motorcycles and Irv Seaver Motorcycles of Orange were busy all day greeting spectators and presenting the different aspects of their products.  We had several historic motorcycles dating back 100 years, courtesy of a long-time entrant and friend of the Huntington Beach Concours.  This gave real depth to our sponsors motorcycle displays and field of motorcycle entrants.  It was amazing to see how far the technology built into these machines has come.  The automotive and motorcycle history that was represented on the field by both our entrants and sponsors was outstanding.  The cross-section of makes and models from vintage to current domestic, European and Asian marques was a site to see.  The Concours registered entries dating from the early 1900’s to the current day.  The Concours hosted over 350 registered entrants on Sunday.  It was truly an elegant showing of the history on wheels and celebrated the love of these machines for car guys, motorcycle guys and the general public alike.

2016 The 31st annual Huntington Beach Concours held Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th was once again a success thanks to all of our sponsors, entrants, vendors and the attendance of the general public.  A special thanks is owed to the many volunteers who helped to make this year’s event successful including the mothers and daughters from the National Charity League, the Search & Rescue Scouts and many other volunteers from the various car clubs that attended the event.  A special thanks also to our Grand Marshal, Dave Kunz, Automotive Reporter for KABC, Channel 7.

Saturday’s Rod & Custom show continues to grow with over 100 entries registered this year.  Sunday’s traditional Concours enjoyed registration of 385 entrants.  Automobile clubs participated in force.  They included the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Southern California, Bentley Drivers Club, BMW Club of America, Cadillac and LeSalle Owners Club, Early Ford V8 Club, Early Model T (including Model A’s) Club of Long Beach, Ferrari Club of America, Ferrari Owners Club, Imperial Owners Club, Jaguar Owners Club, Lincoln Owners Club, MG Car Club of Long Beach, Mustang Owners Club, Pontiac and Oakland Owners Club, Packards International, Rolls-Royce Owners Club, Studebaker Owners Club and the Thunderbird Club (small birds and big birds).

The event field displayed a wide range of vintage to current, domestic and import makes.  Lexus participated once again as a sponsor.  Their display included the Lexus LX, Lexus RX, Lexus RC F and the Lexus GS F.  The Lexus RC F is a 5.0 Litre V8 beast that sports up to 467 horsepower and does 0-60 in 4.4 seconds.  In addition, Toyota brought their Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell car.  Sponsor Row also featured current and upcoming models from Newport Auto Center who brought terrific Porsche and Audi state-of-the-art automobiles, and McKenna BMW who brought the excellent i8 Hybrid sportscar as part of their display.  For the 30th consecutive year our title sponsor, Mothers Polishes, Waxes and Cleaners, had an outstanding display on the entrant field and Mothers staff were present both days to help us understand how to get the best results from Mothers outstanding line of car care products.  Located directly across from Mothers were the canopied display spaces for Ferrari and Maserati of Newport Beach and O.C., Lamborghini Newport Beach and McLaren Newport Beach.  Ducati Newport Beach, Triumph Newport Beach, Irv Seaver BMW Motorcycles of Orange and Long Beach BMW Motorcycles saw a lot of entrant and public interest in their fine display of great motorcycles.

2017 The Huntington Beach Concours celebrated its 32nd year for 2017 with a very successful show featuring some of the best antique, classic, and special interest cars, trucks and motorcycles in Southern California.  Held on the picturesque grounds of the Huntington Beach Central Park library, the Concours is a must-see event that not only enriches the experiences of automobile enthusiasts, but supports child literacy through donations to the Huntington Beach Library Child Resource Center.

Featured marques in the 2017 Concours included a salute to Lincoln and Bentley automobiles as well as Ducati and Nimbus motorcycles.  Visitors to the Concours enjoyed approximately 500 vehicles from local clubs and individual owners including Corvettes, BMWs, Packards, Model Ts, early V8 Fords, GM classics, Ferraris, Bentleys, Jaguars, MGs, Early Fords and a selection of other US, Italian, British and French vehicles, both vintage and new!  Of course, there were also a full selection of muscle cars, classics and special interest vehicles.  Motorcycle fans were treated to a feast of new and classic motorcycles from marques such as Ducatti, BMW, Nimbus and others.

To round out the experience for the whole family, the Concours featured an expansive and active model train display, balloons, face painting, food and drink, as well as the party atmosphere of a local Ukulele singing group.

The 2017 Huntington Beach Concours recognized 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in 23 categories with coveted trophies, and a generous selection of industry leading car care products from our long-time sponsor, Mothers car care products.  Local Automotive celebrity from KABC-TV, Dave Kunz served as the Grand Marshal, adding interesting dialogue and facts to the awards ceremony.

2018 On June 2nd and 3rd we held the 33rd annual Huntington Beach Concours d’Elegance.  The 2018 featured Marques were the 65th anniversary of the Corvette and the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet Trucks.  The featured motorcycle Marque was Triumph.

Saturday’s show, “Hot Rods in the Park”, drew over 100 entries pre-registered and many more day-of-the-event entries.  43 entries received awards including the Best of Show, a 1932 Ford Highboy.

Sunday’s Concours drew over 300 cars and 50 motorcycles.  Awards were given to 117 entries with Best of Show awarded to a 1967 Corvette Stingray coupe.

Our thanks go to our many vendors, including long time vendor Mother’s Waxes, Polishes and Cleaners for helping make the show a success.  We had a new vendor this year Triumph Classic Motorcycles; welcome aboard.

Once again Dave Kunz from KABC-TV was our Grand Marshal.  Dave Kunz and Tom Hanson handled the awards presentation and their “Car” knowledge is outstanding.  Also present, handling the entertainment, was Aprile Deanne of Aprile Deanne Entertainment; another fine job.

Last a special thanks to the over 500 entrants who brought cars, trucks and motorcycles to the show and to the spectators to came to appreciate them.

2019 The 34th annual Huntington Beach Concours d’Elegance and Rod & Custom Show welcomed some 4,000 car fans, who enjoyed approximately 500 cars and motorcycles the weekend of June 1st and 2nd.

“We had something to suit everyone’s taste in bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, ratrods, trucks, and automobiles, from the Brass Era through to a 789-horsepower 2019 Ferrari 812 Superfast”.  Ferrari and Maserati of Newport Beach and Orange County, brought the Prancing Horse supercar.

On Saturday, the Rod & Custom Show event celebrated motorcycles, ratrods, trucks, hotrods and other automobiles.  The Sunday Concours d’Elegance honored the “Pony Car Era,” 1964 –1972, including Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda/Challenger, Mustang/Cougar and Javelin AMX; the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 240Z; and the 50th anniversary of the Honda 750 Motorcycle and BMW/2 and 3 motorcycles.

American Honda Motor Company-Motorcycle Division and its #1 Dealer in the West, Huntington Beach Honda, participated, and BMW was represented by Irv Seaver of BMW Motorcycles in Orange, California and Long Beach BMW Motorcycles.  Also, Evan and Brian Bell brought their 1927 and 1929 classic BMW motorcycles.

In addition, on Sunday, the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Drivers Club of the United States—Southern California Regional Chapter joined the show with 34 Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles.

The Best of Show for Rod & Custom Show was Brian Almas’ 1956 Chevrolet Nomad.  For the Concours, the Best of Show Motorcycle was awarded to Michael Gutierrez for his 1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast, and for Best of Show Automobile the 1917 Jordan owned by the Jordan family.

Dave Kunz, ABC7 Eyewitness News Automotive Specialist in Los Angeles, was the Concours Grand Marshal.  He arranged the appearance of the 370Z 50th Anniversary limited-edition sports coupe – one of just 50 being produced.  “We were the first concours/auto show to receive this sports coupe after its recent introduction at the New York Auto Show”.

Finally, on Sunday, a division of C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) gave test drives of electric and hybrid automobiles to attendees.

Approximately $20,000 from event proceeds will support the Children’s Resource Center of the Huntington Beach Library.

As most of you know, there was no event in 2020 due to Covid-19 Pandemic…