Rare Prestige Cars Hit the Marque at Noosa Concours d’Elegance

Image source: Contributed

Celebrate truly haute automobilisme aka automotive excellence and design with some of the rarest and most astonishing cars ever created, enthuses Helen Flanagan. And, the best thing is that you’re invited!  

Just imagine corks a-poppin’ when Concours d’Elegance, widely considered the most prestigious car show in the world comes to town.

Seventy Concours vehicles such as an exquisite 1911 Benz purportedly delivered in Australia to General Sir John Monash the military commander of the First World War; a Mercedes Benz Gullwing; Bugatti Veyron; the multiple Concours winning one-of-a kind in Australia – the historic Ferrari Dino; and so many more, will be given a police escort from Noosa Junction before taking up their display positions on beautiful Hastings Street. 

The inaugural Noosa Concours d’Elegance, will also include a Prestige Car Collection featuring Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes Benz and Porsche Australia, all guaranteed to amaze at the Woods end of Hastings Street. 

Guides and industry leaders will be on hand with insider collector tips, tricks and fascinating stories; vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award for Best Car in Show; hear about the Future of Classics from international and Australian experts; enjoy live music whilst ogling timeless style and decadence; check out eye-popping pearls with one of Australia’s oldest pearl producers at Isabella’s Fine & Antique Jewellery; book your seat to Toast to Elegance: A Champagne Soirée at Sofitel Noosa as well as Concours-curated food and wine events at Sails, Miss Moneypenny’s and pavement dining with cuisine of the sun and matching beverages at Locale.   

Attracting the dynamic guest of honour Sandra Button, chairman of California’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – considered the pinnacle of Concours d’Elegance competition worldwide – was indeed a coup for the Hastings Street Association, organisers of the local event. 

Sandra has been involved in overseeing the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance since 1986. 

“I’ve been a car gal since my teens, liking that cars take me anywhere – fast,” she says effusively. “At the time, I was just thinking ‘anywhere’ meant the Seattle, Washington area where I grew up, but over the years my passion is shared by many around the globe. 

“I’ve had the honour of participating in car rallies and concours not only throughout North America and Europe, but in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. A shared passion for cars, bridges many differences, whether related to place, ethnicity, class, age or wealth. And now I’m headed to Concours d’Elegance in Noosa Heads! 

“Yes, cars are the ultimate passport.” 

Whilst Sandra understands many technical aspects, she is more enamoured with strength of presence, language, and the way they feel when she puts pedal to metal. 

“I love the beauty of some cars, the history of others and those with special abilities, whether speed or ability to climb a mountain,” she said. 

“I encourage everyone to get behind the wheel to gain the visceral connection to a specific car and what it can do. 

“Being a passenger can be enjoyable too. On rallies, my husband Martin often drives (I think I’m the better navigator), but we do trade off, driving a lot of different cars. 

“Great cars need people as much (or more) than we need them. They need artists and craftspeople to create; mechanics, conservators and restorers to maintain; historians, writers and photographers to research and document them; an ongoing series of owners to care for them – and they need people to see and celebrate them.” 

When it comes to favourite cars Sandra keeps changing her mind: “A big part of me loves the strength and magnificence of early Bentleys that won at Le Mans in the late 1920s,” she said. 

“I respect what they can do. But if I’m heading out on a rally with many winding roads, I want a car that handles more easily, something like my SS Jaguar, or my Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster. 

“Sometimes an event requires a specific car. I know my VIP ticket to the London to Brighton Run in England will be the earliest roadworthy car I can find.”

Sandra said the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was fast approaching its 75th anniversary largely because it was started by enthusiasts and continues that way including over 1,200 volunteers.

“Over time, we also shifted to celebrating race cars, hot rods and a multitude of different collector cars,” she said. “Now we also lead the way in recognising historic racing greats and preservation cars (never been restored), and the mix of cars on our show field has expanded to include many new marques and cars.”  

The worldwide event acknowledges sustainability which Sandra Button explains so succinctly: “Great cars, like great china, get passed from generation to generation, used time and again. It is so exciting that with the help of new and emerging technologies, even the oldest cars will be able to run more cleanly, adding to the benefits of keeping them on the road.” 

Tom Offermann, principal of eponymous real estate company, is excited to be a presenting partner of Noosa Concours d’Elegance, designed to welcome everyone of all ages to enjoy the display, whether it be the design, beauty and history, and is looking forward to the event being an annual Concours tour de force on the worldwide motoring calendar. 

Rio Capurso, manager of Locale Noosa, concurs and is enthusiastic about being involved with such a prestigious event, similarly fellow Hastings Street business owner Rebecca Thomson of Isabella’s Fine and Antique Jewellery. 

Major supporter and co-creator of the event, Steve Padgett, also Flight Options and Sunshine Coast Jet Centre Managing Director said: “As a motoring and aeroplane enthusiast who has enjoyed Concours d’ Elegance events in amazing places such as Pebble Beach, I am delighted we can welcome Sandra to officiate this inaugural event for our region.”   


What: Noosa Concours d’Elegance 2023 

Where: Hastings Street, Noosa Heads  

When: Saturday 15th July, 11am–5pm 

Tickets: Free entry plus ticketed events

How to get there: Buses depart every 30 minutes from the AFL Grounds; free weekend bus across Noosa; catch the Noosa Ferry to Stop 7 Hastings St, Sofitel Noosa.  

Visit: www.noosaconcours.com.au for the full program, to register for free events and to book tickets to special events.

About the Author /


Noosa’s sophisticated charm, vibrant food culture and the magnetism of a subtropical paradise surrounded by national parks, inveigled Helen’s manic world and flipped it on its side. She pursues the good life with gusto, instinctively understanding the joys of travel, the art of story-telling, a candid review and surviving another reno whilst thriving on the motto Live Laugh Love!

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