Concours D’EleganceDamon Beals

So what is “Concours D’Elegance? Wikipedia states: A Concours d’Elegance (from French meaning a competition of elegance) dates back to 17th Century French aristocracy, who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during summer weekends and holidays. Over time, carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among automobile owners to be judged on the appearance of their automobiles

The Vintage Airstream club has taken it one step farther….we substitute the automobile with vintage Airsream and Argosy travel trailers.

There are different schools of thought as to the expected condition of the trailers. One thought is that the unit should be preserved in the original “designed and manufactured” condition, while others feel that judging should be based on general condition with either new and modern materials and components, original equipment or a combination of both. Keeping with Wally’s lasting creed “Let’s not make changes – let’s make only improvements!”, the VAC has opted to judge all units “as is” without a requirement for originality. That being said, all units are welcome and encouraged to enter.

VAC Concours D’Elegance

The Concours D’Elegance has been a part of the VAC gathering at the WBCCI International since the beginning of the Vintage Club in 1993. The Concours is a judged event, much like a car show, open to all Airstreams or Argosys 25 years or older that are registered for the WBCCI International Rally and are being used during the rally. The Concours occurs during the VAC Open House. Participation in the open house and or the Concours is optional of course. The goal of this article is to describe what the Concours is and to encourage participation.

Several judges will visit your Airstream during the open house and judge your Airstream according to set of guidelines or a judging sheet. The judging sheet was designed by Hunt Jones to open up the competition to more entries and to set up an objective set of criteria for judging. The judges will not open drawers, closets or compartments etc. but will examine all that can be readily seen on the inside, outside and underside of your Airstream or Argosy. You will be asked to leave the trailer during the judging so as to allow the judges to freely converse during the judging.

Judging criteria for all Airstreams and Argosys consists of a set of 20 detailed items grouped into four categories. The four groups are: EXTERIOR, INTERIOR, UNDERCARRIAGE and an OVERVIEW.

Look at the Judging Sheet included at the end of this article. Note the detailed items in each of these groups. Each detailed item will be assessed by the judges and assigned a score from 0 (Unsatisfactory) to 5 (Excellent). So the maximum score for a perfect Airstream would be 100 points. There’s also one bonus point that can be earned by displaying a VAC emblem somewhere in or on your Airstream. We will have the BEST ENGINEERED FEATURE again this year. This award will recognize significant engineering of an improvement to your Airstream or Argosy in honor of Wally’s lasting creed “Let’s not make changes – let’s make only improvements!” For this award be prepared to do a “show & tell” presentation to the judges.

Try to keep it to 3 minutes or less. If you plan on entering the Concours, you must sign up on the Concours registration sheet on the VAC Bulletin Board in the VAC tent at the International Rally.


If you plan on entering the Concours, take the sample judging sheet and evaluate your Airstream before you get to the rally. Be objective. Then do what you can to improve the items on the judging sheet that you scored low. For instance, if your trailer coupler, propane tanks and jack are rusty, then paint them just before the rally. Or if your belly pan is detached is several places, get out the rivet gun and reattach it. Do what you can to get additional points. I can tell you that the most points lost are typically in the undercarriage area, the tongue and rear bumper area.


The Bud Cooper Best of Show Trophy, located at the WBCCI office in Jackson Center, OH

Named in honor of the VAC founder, Bud Cooper. This trophy has a place to attach an engraved plate with the winners name and year. The winner will also get a smaller plaque to keep.


For the best vintage trailer and vintage tow vehicle.


Bill Scott was also instrumental in founding the VAC and had a Bambi.


For the best improvement to a vintage Airstream or Argosy


will be awarded to each Airstream achieving the required point total levels within each decade (30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s). There are two tiers of competition: JUNIOR and SENIOR for each DECADE class. Once an Airstream wins a JUNIOR level award it will advance to the SENIOR category next year.

Point totals required to be awarded a trophy plaque are: JUNIOR / SENIOR

PLATINUM 91-100 / 93-100

GOLD 81-90 / 85-92

SILVER 73-80 / 77-84

This allows multiple awards within the bands. Also it means you are competing more against the judging sheet rather than someone else with a trailer in your decade since all coaches achieving the point totals shown will win an award.

To download and print judging form (PDF), click HERE.


Concours D’Elegance  – Judging Form for Trailer/MH WBCCI # __________ NAME ___________________________ Model ________ Year ____
SCORING: 0 – Unsatisfactory, 1 – Very Poor, 2 – Poor, 3 – Average, 4 – Good, 5 – Excellent


1. Body Workmanship (dents, scratches,waves,grind marks,panel match, rub strips) ______

2. Body Finish (polish/paint/clear coat quality, vents, roof, banana wraps) ______

3. Windows/Screens (scratches, cracks,rips/tears, weatherstripping) ______

4. Door (paint,polish,rust,hardware,locks,hinges,screen door,folding step) ______

5. Tongue/Hitch/Jack/Tanks/BatteryBox (paint/polish,tank rack,platform,pigtails) ______

6. Wheels/Tires/Spare(Paint,polish,rust,matching tires, hub or centercap condition) ______

7. Rear Bumper, Trunk (paint,polish,dents,rust,creases,exposed frame condition) ______

8. Lights & Bezels (clarity,fading,haze,cracks,rust,pits) ______

9. General Overall Finish ______


1. Bellypan (complete, fastened,clean) & Wheelwells(clean,paint,rust) ______

2. Suspension:axles,shocks,springs,brake backing plates(clean,paint,rust) ______

3. Pipes & Lines (propane & sewer lines fastened, cleanliness) ______


1. Beds/Chairs (neatness,condition of upholstery & bolsters) ______

2. Cabinetry/Overhead bins/ doors,drawers, tambours, hardware( finish,paint) ______

3. Galley/ Appliances/ Sink (cleanliness, finish, paint,condition) ______

4. Walls/Ceiling/Vents/Lights / Window Hardware ( paint,finish,condition) ______

5. Floor / Covering (condition of wood, vinyl,tile,carpet,wear,scratches,stains) ______

6. Bathtub,sink, curtain,door, vanity, mirror, toilet ( condition,finish, cleaniness) ______

7. General Overall Finish ______


1. Judge’s Overall Impression 5 Points max ______

2. VAC Decal Display 1 Point ______

TOTAL ______