A Celebration of the Art & Design of the Automobile

A Celebration Of The Art & Design Of The Automobile

Classics Class – What You Need to Know

The Des Moines Concours uses the Classic Car Club of America’s definition of a Full Classic as a “Fine” or “Distinctive” automobile. It may be either American or foreign built, produced only between 1915 and 1948. A number of factors come into play but, generally, a Classic was a high-priced, top-end vehicle when new, and was built in limited quantities. No mass-produced assembly line vehicles are considered Classics. Other factors include larger engine displacement, custom bespoke coachwork, and luxury accessories. Mechanical developments such as power brakes, power clutch, and automatic lubrication systems also help determine whether a car is considered to be a Classic.

With some marques, only certain models are recognized as CCCA Classics. Download the list of recognized cars to see which models of a particular marque are accepted as Full Classics.

2023 Des Moines Concours 1st Place Winner in the Classics Class and Best of Show

2023 Classics Class & Best of Show Winner

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II owned by Irving Jensen of Milford, IA

This car was originally ordered by J.P. Morgan Jr. and was used as his summer car until 1941 when it was donated to the Henry Ford Museum. Morgan requested some items when ordered, including a taller folding top to allow for a top hat, black wheels with SS spokes, softer riding main springs, and the Morgan crest on the rear doors.

Registration Open for 2024 Des Moines Concours

Mark Your Calendars for our Events September 6th through 8th

It’s time to submit your registration for the 2024 Des Moines Concours. Our main Concours event takes place on Sunday, September 8th from 10 am to 4 pm, capping off a weekend of activities.

This year’s classes include our Annual Classes and three Special Classes:

Annual Classes

  • Antiques– Vehicles produced from the beginning of motor vehicles through 1927
  • Early Collectibles– A broad range of cars and trucks produced between 1928 and 1942
  • Atomic Age Collectibles– Vehicles with post-war styling built between 1946 and 1957
  • Space Age Collectibles– Tailfins, chrome, and sleek body lines, produced from 1958 to 1969
  • Preservation– Unaltered survivors produced before 1974
  • Classics– Luxury, limited production automobiles produced from 1915 to 1948
  • Exotics– Speed, rarity, and provocative designs make these cars an attraction to everyone
  • American Muscle – High-performance, rear-wheel drive, mid and full-size models up to 1973
  • Motorcycles– Mechanical icons that influenced cultures with their design and engineering

2024 Special Classes

  • Station Wagons – American station wagons up to 1984
  • Porsche – Performance on the street and on the track
  • Volkswagen – 1949-1981 Volkswagens in America


French Rules Judging at the Des Moines Concours

The Des Moines Concours utilizes “French Rules” for evaluating vehicles shown at our event. After all, the word “Des Moines” is French!  A Concours d’Elegance, which translates to Competition of Elegance, typically utilizes French Rules for evaluating vehicles. Unlike the judging system typically used in car club events (e.g. AACA, CCCA and marque-specific clubs), French Rules judging utilizes both objective and subjective elements.

Are you ready to apply to exhibit? The link to the application is below. August 1st is the deadline to apply. Classes do fill up, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Twelve classes of sculptured machines – from Classics to Porsches, Corvettes to Volkswagons. All on display around the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.