Car Show Classics: The Sinaia Concours d’elegance – Splendid Cars Superbly Photographed in a Picturesque Setting


The 2014 Sinaia Concours d’elegance represented the fourth modern edition, and the sixth if one were to consider the 1934 and 1935 editions. 80 years onwards, the concours was held on the grounds of Peleș castle, the former residence of the Kings of Romania, while the award ceremony took place in the Casino gardens.


This being a mountainous region, one could not miss the fact that clouds and pretty low temperature (at least for some) weren’t really what you’d need for such an event.


Moreover, taking pictures of cars meant making your way through large groups of tourists and patiently waiting for everybody to take pictures of themselves alongside the cars and then to move out of the frame. Which didn’t happen very often.


Nevertheless, patience pays off.


One of the first cars that caught my eye was a 1953 Chrysler Thomas Special (Ghia GS1) . For most of the show it was displayed in a pretty tight space. Not a lot of people were really paying attention to it, so I thought I could take a few shots. However, I ended up chasing it pretty much all over the place, for when somebody said that it was really rare, in a few moments, you couldn’t see anything but people around it.


Still, I managed to take some pictures of the winner of the “The Most Revolutionary Design” award, so here it is, in all its splendor.


Next on my list of favourites was a 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Chapron. I haven’t seen many cars belonging to this period, but I’m quite fond it. I see it as a period of transfer, of constant transformation.


Designs weren’t following any well established patterns anymore, rather companies were trying to reach a new point that could be considered from then on as the new standard.


Moving on, you could see cars like the Gullwing, a convertible 1963 Continental (which unfortunately started boiling only about 20 meters from the point it had to reach in order to receive its award), a couple of Mustangs,


a 4.2 litre Panther J 72, the usual array of British sports cars


and others, like this “Fronty” (Frontenac) Ford T Speedster.


Speaking of the Gullwing, it came in third in the Postwar coupe category.


Here’s another shot for good measure.


In my opinion, it’s quite fitting for such an event that a coach-built car won the Best of Show award, namely a 1938 Lancia Astura Boneschi Cabriolet.


The owner received the prize from the hand of classic car collector Corrado Lopresto.


You really have to see it in person to fully appreciate its magnificence.


Although I for one am always more interested in the design part of cars, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the area reserved for enthusiasts who weren’t taking part in the concours had some pretty interesting cars as well. Like this Fiat 850 coupe for example. Pretty common in the olden days in Romania, both the sedan and the coupe are made interesting by their simplicity. Rear engined little boxes, they have the same appeal as a well-designed appliance.


You know that one day you’ll have to throw it away, but you just hope that it’ll stick around for a bit more past its due date. Another popular car in this part of Europe used to be the Renault 16, like the one pictured above. When I say popular, you have to think of an upper-middle class buyer, and usually somebody that knew somebody that knew somebody. If this wasn’t the case, you could always just get on the long waiting list for a Dacia 1300, or Renault 12 as the rest of the world knew it.


Last but not least, here’s the best of the rest, including something very rare over here, a 1983 Saab 99.


Not all Citroen H Vans end up as food carts in London.


All in all, I found the concours very interesting and a breath of fresh air for car enthusiasts in Eastern Europe.