La Jolla Concours d’Elegance Cruises Back into San Diego

  • story by David M. Brown
  • photos by Matthew Fink
  • posted on 04/2022
  • posted in: Newswire

After a three-year pandemic hiatus, the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance triumphantly returned to Ellen Scripps Browning Park in the La Jolla Cove April 22–24 with 141 cars and eight motorcycles judged in 24 classes on Sunday; a preliminary Ferrari Friday and Tour d’Elegance Saturday morning; get-togethers both nights; and even a vintage air parade, also on Sunday.

Presented by LPL Financial and Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, the event, “World Class Cars, World Class Experience,” honored the 113th anniversary of Bugatti, with the Best of Show award going to a 1931 Type 51 Coupe from the famed Nethercutt Collection. Two other marque representatives were honored: a 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Petite Royale owned by Richard Adams, which received the Aubrey Taylor Upholstery Award, and Lilian McCain’s 1931 Bugatti Type 57, the LPL Summet Best of Marque Award.

“Bugatti has such a long and rich history, and for us to celebrate this brand by showcasing the first Bugatti built only added to the excitement of the return of the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance. Like Bugatti, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished as well as what the future holds for this amazing Concours,” says Michael Dorvillier, co-chair of the event.


The event also showcased this year’s featured model, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe, “Gullwing.” On Sunday, Charlie Duvall’s 1956 edition won Outstanding Post-War vehicle.

To begin the automotive weekend, the first Ferrari Friday featured 80 registered Prancing Stallions, free for all attendees. “It was a beautiful spectacle that guests to the area enjoyed immensely, he says.

At the invite-only Chairman’s Happy Hour that evening, collectors, sponsors, volunteers and supporters enjoyed talking about great cars. “It was a huge success,” Dorvillier says of the event, hosted by the La Jolla Cove House.


On Saturday, 178 car aficionados in 90 cars cruised San Diego County for the La Jolla Tour d’Elegance. And that evening, the magical La Cabaret du Concours featured dress-to-impress attire, entertainment cabaret style, great food, a successful silent and live auction and dancing. “The build-out of the event was playful and colorful, highlighted by expert mixologists creating beautiful craft cocktails with playful unexpected garnishes,” he recalls.

And on Sunday for the culminating show, 10,000 attendees enjoyed the Concours automobiles, curated by an all-volunteer committee led by Dorvillier, Robert F. Kerner Jr., co-chair of the Concours, and Chief Judge Nigel Matthews. Among the other award-winners was Valerie and Aaron Weiss’s 1933 Marmon Sixteen, which won in the Outstanding Pre-War division, and Jeff and Kim Phillips’s 1936 Pierce Arrow Twelve Town Car, the Pacific Sotheby’s Timeless Elegance Award.

Proceeds will benefit the La Jolla Historical Society, which preserves the history of the village of La Jolla, and several local community nonprofit partners each year.


“After a three-year layoff due to the pandemic, we welcomed back the automobile hobbiest and fans with a spectacular 2022 Concours d ‘Elegance. It’s truly gratifying for all our sponsors, organizing committee, entrants, volunteers and patrons to be back together again at Ellen Scripps Park for this automotive celebration,” Kerner says. “The feedback we are receiving is that it was our best effort yet, and I am honored to be associated with the team of people that worked so hard to put this event together. A job well done!”

The 17th La Jolla Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for April 21–23, 2023.

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