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Vintage car show enthrals crowds.

Visitors marvel at the automobiles on display at Katara during the inaugural staging of Qatar Concours d'Elegance. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam

By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter

The inaugural staging of the Qatar Concours d'Elegance at the Katara Cultural Village has enthralled both Qataris and expatriates, including a battery of international jurors attending the event.

A vintage automobile manufactured in 1900 was the crowd favourite. Right: One of the vehicles on display in mint condition.

The event concludes today.

"As many as 60 vintage cars participated in the competition," Qatar Concours d'Elegance 2016 executive director Abdullatif Ali al-Yafei, who is also a board member of the Gulf Qatari Classic Cars Association, told Gulf Times yesterday.

Concours d'Elegance or "competition of elegance" in French refers to a public exhibition and competition of prestigious automobiles. Its origins could be traced back to the 17th-century French aristocracy.

Al-Yafei said the event is an international concours held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani and organised by Gulf Qatari Classic Cars Association, a non-profit organisation established two years ago in Qatar.

"The event is also under the support of the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens (Fiva), hence we are following their regulations, policies, and criteria. Each car has been evaluated by an independent jury," al-Yafei explained on the sidelines of the event.

He added: "There are 12 international jurors, who came to Qatar to evaluate the cars. We have divided the cars into 11 categories. These categories depend on the year the car was manufactured.

"Accordingly, we have already appointed the first, second and third place winners. In addition to the 11 categories, we have another 11 special awards such as the "Best of Show," "Best Preserved Car," and "Most Elegant Car," among others."

The awarding ceremony yesterday was highlighted by a special parade of winners where the vehicles were presented on stage and the owners received their trophies.

The concours was also highlighted by several side events, which included an exhibition of vehicles owned by Qatari collectors, organised in co-operation with Mowater Qatar. Two other exhibitions showcased muscle cars and classic cars that were used in the past in Qatar.

International juror Peter Pfeiffer said: "For this first Concours d'Elegance in Qatar, I was really astonished with the condition of the cars. The vehicles participating in this event are a par with other great concours like Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, which is why we are in a good mood."

Another juror, Wilfried Steer, added: "The atmosphere in Qatar is very friendly and the weather was pleasant, plus the quality of the cars is very good. I think there will be a very good future for other Concours d'Elegance in Qatar because many people are very interested in classic cars. The condition of the cars here are similar to how they are maintained in Europe or in the US."

Last updated: April 02 2016 01:13 AM

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Apr 2, 2016
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