Concours d'Elegance by Patrick Lesueur
Dream Cars and Lovely Ladies

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Surely no form of contest has ever equalled the marriage of luxury and ostentation offered for many years by the great concours d’élégance. Elitist perhaps but their sheer magnificence seems just as fascinating now as it did in the first half of the 20th Century. It should be remembered that these events allowed the most celebrated artists and artisans boundless freedom of expression. Everything was put into the melting-pot to achieve one end – the realisation of a dream.

The vital step for organisers of such events was to choose a venue famous for its air of leisurely hedonism, such as Longchamp, Deauville, Cannes, La Baule, Vichy, Nice or Enghien, where costly automobiles, their elegant silhouettes crafted by the great names of contemporary coachwork, could parade. To enhance the atmosphere, these exotic creations were presented by pretty ladies, mostly recruited from fashionable society, dressed in the latest fashion by the leading Parisian couturiers in an attempt to achieve the best possible symbiosis with the machines that they accompanied.

Without wishing to diminish the important role played in the spectacle by these ladies, it was of course the aristocratic automobiles that the eager spectators had come to admire.

This book offers a delicious journey back in time to witness the golden age of the concours d’élégance. Over fifty coachbuilders are represented in the photographs and an idex is provided.


About Patrick Lesueur

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Patrick Lesueur, born in the quiet village of Brunoy on the outskirts of Paris in 1952, has motoring in his blood. His grandfather, a personal friend of Gabriel Voisin and Andr? Citro\u00ebn, was C?sar Marchand, who between 1925 and 1937 broke some 85 per cent of all existing endurance records. After graduating from the Beaux-arts in Paris in 1970, Patrick began drawing illustrated strips for the popular magazine Pilote. He remained with that company until the mid-1980s, producing some fifty books. In the 1990s Patrick started writing for classic car magazines, with particular emphasis on American cars, especially the products of the Ford Motor company -- he owns a 1952 Lincoln Capri hardtop. However, most of the twenty books he has written for French publisher etai have been about popular French cars.David Burgess-Wise is the author of over 30 motoring books, including specially commissioned centennial histories of Daimler and Vauxhall, as well as this book. He has translated major works on Delage, Amilcar, Bugatti and the Swiss Grand Prix. A member of the advisory council of BritainÆs national Motor Museum, he edits Aston, the award-winning journal of the Aston Martin heritage trust and is a regular contributor to the leading antique car magazine The Automobile. His enthusiasm for French cars is reflected in his ownership of a skiffbodied 1926 Delage Diss and a 1903 de Dion-Bouton.David Burgess-Wise is a well-known motoring writer with a particular interest in early vehicles. He has a regular column in The Automobile magazine. He lives in west Essex.
Published August 1, 2012 by Dalton Watson. 208 pages
Genres: History.