Concours of elegance are again going through their golden times. A similar event has been organized in Poland for three years. The last edition of Varsopolis has already reached the global level. Like the elegance contests organized not far from before the Second World War.
Varsopolis is a relatively young event on the Polish scene of classical motoring, but already deeply embedded in the Polish tradition, not only car. The organizers at this one-day meeting try to recreate the atmosphere of pre-war Warsaw. Apart from the car show itself, these times are also reminiscent of refined photo exhibitions and other parallel attractions.
The participants and viewers who come in elegant costumes from the era are already fully involved in co-creating the great atmosphere. The organizers were able to create an event with their own character in a short time, which is something new and different from the typical rally of antique cars in our country.
components of a successful Concours d'Elegance
This year's Varsopolis began with a ceremonial parade of vintage cars through the center of Warsaw, and the main point was the afternoon elegance contest. Events of this type have just as much history as the cars themselves, and even longer, because they are derived from the time of the aristocracy comparing their karoce. The official purpose of such competitions was to choose the most elegant vehicles, but it was always just an excuse for a friendly meeting in nice circumstances.
The thirties are considered to be the pinnacle of interest in car concours d'elegance. At that time, this type of event attracted numerous owners of the most exclusive limousines and convertibles built to special order in many countries, including Poland. Popular competitions organized before the Second World War in Skaryszewski Park were an obligatory point of Sunday walks for many Warsaw residents. Apart from the cars themselves, they were often attracted to them, as if we were called today, celebrities like Adolf Dymsza and Aleksander Żabczyński.
The contemporary elegance competition in Warsaw repeats many of these good traditions. To the delight of the public, actors known from the screens appeared behind the steering wheel of the participating car contest. The greatest impression was made by Janusz Chabior, who perfectly complemented the pre-war BMW 315 in the outfit of an American gangster, supplemented by a cigar. A well-known artist was no exception. Other participants also adapted to their car, because the jury judged not only the car itself, but also the whole way of its presentation.
Although the participants came to Varsopolis with a lot of fun, the organizers took care of the high substantive level of the competition. The jury included renowned experts in the classic motoring. From the historical and renovation side, the car was assessed by a member of the Legislative Committee of the FIVA International Federation of Vintage Vehicles Marek Gacek, owner of the ClassicDriver Swiss website Johan Philip Rathgen (multiple juror in elegance contests, including Villa d'Este) and well-known journalist Patryk Mikiciuk. From the side of the style, participants analyzed in the meantime Audi designer Kamil Łabanowicz, Jaguar retired designer Tadeusz Jelec, Ireneusz Korzeniewski known as StyleMan and Piotr Ziarkowski from VICE Polska.
The participants seriously approached the competition, bringing to the square in front of Hotel Bellotto a very interesting vintage vehicles from various parts of the world and many periods of motoring development. In four different classes there competed with each other, among others Ford T and Fiat 518, rally Saab GT750 and Fiat 124 Spider, Tatra 603 and BMW E9, or finally Bitter CD and built in Poland restomod based on Porsche 911.
The competition had to be a place for well-known classics like Jaguar E-type, Volvo 1800 ES or Mercedes SL "Pagoda", but viewers could also see little-known constructions like Vee Formula built on Volkswagen Beetle components, Riley One-point-Five or Fiat 130. Very rarely met Italian coupe Lancia Stratos and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super Sprint.
Polish audience and jury also appreciated the Buick Master Six with an extraordinary history. The grandfather of the present owner of this car defeated him before the war a large part of his two-year journey around the Earth. At the same time, the Grand Prix Varsopolis got a sensationally preserved impressive impression of the Jaguar Mark IV with a convertible body from 1949. The car had to get extra points for the fully preserved, factory set of tools that, after seventy years, are still in place under the tailgate.
Varsopolis 2019 can be considered successful, and the organizers thank you for nurturing the beautiful traditions, which years ago enjoyed great popularity also in Poland.