Concours d'État Les Plus Belles Voitures du Monde : Operating manual - Peter Auto

Concours d’État Les Plus Belles Voitures du Monde : Operating manual

For its sixth edition, Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille still offers 3 Concours : the Concours d’Etat Les Plus Belles Voitures Du Monde, the Concours d’Elegance and the Grand Prix des Clubs.  The “Concours d’Etat” is certainly the most demanding to appreciate for the public, due to its operation and its subtleties. In order to allow everyone to enjoy this “timeless” show in the best conditions, let’s have a try to understand. Enjoy the reading!

Copyright : Götz Göppert
Copyright : Götz Göppert


The Concours d’Etat cars, Les Plus Belles Voitures du Monde are selected according to specific criteria by a Selection Committee. This Committee may also choose cars upon their rarity and sophistication.

Once selected, the cars must be fairly scrutinized by a jury. In all, Peter Auto has created 17 eclectic and emblematic classes in order to guarantee homogeneity within each of them.

The criteria applied by the judges in their scoring are: traceability, history, design, elegance of the car, interior/exterior and functional conditions.

The main objective of the competition is to encourage the preservation of cars in their original condition, which is why a jury will be primarily interested in their authenticity and good functioning.

For example, parts that can be replaced frequently in normal use do not need to be of the original brand and type, as long as the new parts match the general appearance, characteristics and dimensions of the original.

 Below are the 5 evaluation criteria used by the judges in more detail:

1. Traceability and original configuration

It must be judged on all the documents provided since the car’s origins. The car should ideally be equipped with its original components (chassis, bodywork, engine, gearbox, etc.) or with components corresponding to those originally fitted and which may have been identically rebuilt, kept in their original state or restored. The natural evolution of the car at the time, including in competition, is considered to respect the original spirit.

Copyright : Götz Göppert

2. Background

The background of the car includes the rarity of the model, the number of cars produced during the given period, its achievements in motor racing in period, its pedigree (quality of ownership, participation in events during the periods in question) and finally, the interest of the model (its technical innovations and materials used, its historical impact at the time of its release).

3. Design and elegance of the drawing

The jury will evaluate the innovative character of the car at the time and its durability over time beyond fashion. This criteria, more than any other, will appeal to the personal sensitivity of each judge. From a chauffeur’s coupé of the 1930s to the extravagant lines of the great French coachbuilders of the 1920s to the performance-driven lines of the GTs of the 1960s, some curves are as harmonious as they are spectacular.

4. The external and internal condition

This is either the state of preservation or the restoration of the car. The examination will cover the condition of the bodywork and its adjustments, the paintwork, the chrome, the wheels, the chassis and accessories such as a soft top, a turnbuckle or a hard top. The engine compartment must also be presented to the judges. The interior will be examined with particular care: upholstery, door trim, dashboard and instrument panel, woodwork, steering column and pedals, and finally the windscreen, side windows and seals. Depending on the theme of the class (record cars, race cars) a model that is too restored or too flashy may be penalised. Convertible cars are judged with the bonnet, hard top and turnbuckle installed (tonneau cover possible for Roadsters). However, the judges may ask to see the car with the hood off.

5. Operational status

The check of the condition of the engine and its peripheral components will be continued by starting it. The operation of the instruments on the dashboard and on the outside will also be carried out (headlights, indicators, brake lights). The bodywork equipment, such as the soft top, must also be able to be handled by the owner or his representative in front of the jury. If an engine refuses to start, the Jury Chairman will decide to stop the examination temporarily and resume it after the examination of the next car (except for steam cars). A total refusal to start will result in a complete stop of the examination.


A minimum of three judges will be assigned to each class, composing the jury for that class.

Cars not presented to the Jury by their owners, or their representatives will not be eligible for awards.

Each car will be examined by the jury to assess its condition and authenticity. It is important to note that all cars in the same class will be judged by the same jury and in the same way. The jury members will only have to deal with one person per car.

The results of each class will be presented to the Selection Committee by one of the judges of the class. In the event of a tie, an additional point will be awarded to the car holding a FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) card and/or the oldest car.

Each car is judged on its own merits, regardless of the reputation of the manufacturer, the owner, the cars around it and the prizes already won.


Each class will receive a prize. This prize will be awarded, per class, to the car that has obtained the highest number of points.

In addition to the prizes for each class, the following will be awarded

  • A FIVA prize
  • A FFVE prize for Preservation
  • Special prizes (The class jury may exceptionally propose special prizes in a maximum of 3 per class)
  • Two Best of Show prizes (Pre-war and Post-war)

The Best of Show will be chosen from the winning cars of a class or the FIVA Preservation Award. For the awarding of the Best of Show a representative of the Jury of each class will be present as well as the Selection Committee. In the latter case, the judges will have to justify their proposal to the whole Selection Committee who will decide.

Why are two Best of Show Awards given? Over the years, the Selection Committee has noted the extreme difficulty of comparing, for example, a Bugatti Atlantic with a Ferrari GTO. It was therefore decided that one Best of Show would be awarded for the “Pre-war” period and another for the “Post-war” period.

The winning cars in each class will be presented to the public on Sunday 25 September from 11am.

The Most Beautiful Cars in the World Concours d’Etat and the Grand Prix des Clubs are placed under the aegis of the FFVE and the FIVA. Therefore, they are registered in both the 2022 Calendar of the French Federation of Vintage Vehicles & the International Federation of Vintage Vehicles.

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