Great Autos of Yesteryear has a long tradition of an annual classic car show. Going back to the early years of the club, the idea was to have an annual event showcasing our cars to raise money for charity and give back to the community. As time went by, this popular event grew into "Color and Chrome" which became one of the best annual car shows in Southern California.
Over the years the club has raised several hundred thousand dollars for various charities that support the LGBTQ community and animal shelters.
From very humble beginnings in 1988, in the parking lot of the iconic Studio One nightclub in West Hollywood, the show was eventually held at a number of signature venues in and around Southern California including the Peterson Auto Museum, the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, the Anaheim Convention Center, the Queen Mary in Long Beach and even in downtown LA. Each year the event just got bigger.
Planning was well underway for a very grand event for 2009 including a major studio location when a scheduling conflict forced the plans to be scuttled. Rather than give up, the setting was changed to Palm Springs, and reflecting the more relaxed desert lifestyle, the Casual Concours was born.
The Casual Concours was an immediate hit. The postwar American focus of the event was a natural fit for the mid-century architecture of Palm Springs, and the expansive golf courses created the opportunity for a grand display. The first two years were held at the historic Indian Canyons Golf Resort before moving to the Desert Princess for 2011.
2018’s tenth Casual Concours marked two new beginnings. We became an official fall Modernism Week Event, and we supported a new beneficiary: Sanctuary, a Palm Springs based transitional housing and foster care program designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community in foster care transitioning to adulthood. Charity has always been a major focus of Casual Concours – beneficiaries in the past have included Project Angel Food, Aid for AIDS, The Center-Long Beach, Desert AIDS Project, Golden Rainbow Center, the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and Project Angel View.
While plans had been made to return to the Desert Princess Country Club this October, the COVID-19 pandemic made such a large-scale public event impossible. Determined to continue the tradition of our annual fall event, Great Autos decided to hold the event on line. Thus was born the Virtual Concours 2020.
Mike Parente, Sandy Edelstein and Jeff Stork contributed to this report.