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2024 breathes new life into Monterey Car Week’s Concorso Italiano extravaganza


Concorso Italiano has been a staple of California’s famous Monterey Car Week for four decades, attracting lines and lines of classic and modern Ferraris and Lamborghinis, along with a good selection of other Italian marques, from Fiat 500s to one-off ‘etceterini’.

In recent years, though, it’s begun to feel outdated. The food and entertainment have been lacking in quality, and attendance hasn’t kept up with the overall growth of Car Week. But now the event is under new ownership and due for a complete relaunch for the 2024 running, on Saturday August 17.

“In 2024, Concorso Italiano will transcend car shows as we are used to imagining them,” states the press release. “No longer a mere car parade, the event will be a celebration of the Italian lifestyle in its entirety, from beloved automotive design (cars, motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles, with plans for further extensions) to exquisite art, design, fashion, technology and, of course, delectable Italian cuisine.” Strong stuff.

The Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course near Seaside, just outside Monterey, will continue to host Concorso Italiano as it has for several years, after a short period of the event moving between local golf courses. But the new organisers plan to widen the breadth of exhibits, improve the food and drink, add a mid-week tour and a Friday opera night, and offer new VIP packages. This echoes the way The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering has evolved over its 20 years.

“As a long-time participant to Concorso Italiano, and one of the patrons of the event for the past few years, I’m humbled to become its custodian going forward. I can’t wait for August 17 to let you all see first-hand what the future has in store for us,” says new owner and chairman, Richard De Andrade.

The new organisation has a five-year development plan – and is said to have already secured support from many past sponsors and participants of the event. It will evolve the show around the “three pillars of Italian mobility, design and lifestyle as well as culture, while keeping mobility at the centre of the stage”.

“We are grateful to former owner and chairman Tom McDowell, for having been a committed custodian of the event and its core DNA over his many years of tenure,” says De Andrade. “In previous years it was all about cars and motorcycles. Now we want to make the event more experiential. For example, the cuisine is a big part of it; there’s no reason why you can’t have a celebration of Italian food and beverages.”

The 2024 edition will celebrate the work of the Pininfarina design house, which itself will use Concorso Italiano to launch its Pininfarina Classiche programme in the US, along with an additional service for collectors, aimed at creating custom works of art based on the assets preserved in the Pininfarina archive.

Valentino Balboni, Richard De Andrade, Giuseppe Bonollo (Pininfarina) and Alexandre De Silva at the new organisation’s press conference.

The concours side of the event will continue. The Best of Show winner will receive a work of art by Walter De Silva, recently appointed Ambassador of Italian Excellence. Several additional concours classes will be celebrated as in previous editions, including the Valentino Balboni Award – and the legendary Lamborghini factory test driver will again lead the class judges in charge of evaluating cars of the marque he’s been associated with for more than five decades.

Other changes include a Mobility & Tech breakfast meet-up on Wednesday August 14, followed by a scenic tour towards the hills around the Monterey Peninsula. On the evening before Concorso Italiano, Friday August 16, the opera choir I Cantori di Carmel will perform at the very first outdoor opera concert on the lawns and fairways of the Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course.

Guests will be offered a range of curated experience packages, from the standard CI Experience Package to the exclusive CI VIP Club, or the CI Chairman’s Club – limited to only 100 guests – for access to exclusive areas, premium amenities and “unforgettable Italian hospitality”. 

We’re looking forward to seeing the changes to an event that’s been with us since the 1980s. For more information, see the event website here.

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