As more and more public events get canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the Concours d’Elegance of America, held annually in late July in Plymouth, Michigan, just outside Detroit, are trying their best to make sure at least one of America’s preeminent summer concours takes place as scheduled, on July 24–26, 2020. The August exhibition at California’s Pebble Beach has already been scratched for this year.
In response to our query about the show’s status, Tara Noftz, managing director of the Concours of America, says: “The event is proceeding as planned. However, our Board continues to monitor the situation and will inevitably follow guidelines set forth by the Governor and the State of Michigan’s legislators in the coming months.”
[UPDATE 15 May, 2020: According to an announcement made on the Concours d’Elegance of America Facebook page, the 2020 event will not go ahead. The next Concours d’Elegance of America will be held on Sunday, July 25, 2021.]
The reference to both Michigan’s executive and legislative branches may be an allusion to the ongoing tension between Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled state House and Senate. The legislature has pushed back against what some have called the governor’s “draconian” measures to slow the spread of the virus in Michigan.
If the Concours of America does take place, things undoubtedly will be different. The vehicles in the show will likely have to be spaced a bit farther apart to allow attendees to satisfy the six-foot distancing parameters. That shouldn’t be a problem, since the current layout of the show only uses a fraction of the golf course surrounding the St. John’s convention center. It’s also possible, however, that organizers may have to limit attendance to comply with social distancing rules.