‘A grand party in The Village’: Concours car show returning to La Jolla with Ferraris, Bugattis and more

The 16th annual La Jolla Concours d'Elegance car show in Scripps Park on April 24 will culminate a weekend of events.
The 16th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show in Scripps Park on Sunday, April 24, will culminate a weekend of events.

Much like Ferrari took racing technology and put it in street-legal cars, the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show is bringing Ferraris to the streets. This year’s show will, for the first time, feature 75 Ferraris lining Prospect Street and Herschel Avenue in what organizers call “Ferrari Friday.”

The free Ferrari showing will kick off a weekend of events April 22-24, culminating with the 16th annual ticketed car show in Scripps Park.

The Concours is returning to La Jolla after being absent the past two years. The 2020 show was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it moved to Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine in 2021.

“Our theme is world-class cars, world-class experience, so we wanted to create a weekend of activities for everyone,” said Bob Kerner, chairman of the car selection committee. “The idea behind Ferrari Friday is that a number of people that didn’t know about the event that were already in La Jolla will see the cars, and we also want to support the merchants and drive more business by bringing those for the car show into The Village. We’ve been working on this idea for a number of years. We’re really excited this year because it’s going to be a grand party in The Village.”

Ferrari Friday also will include live music, gallery receptions, retail specials, specialty dining and cocktail menus and more at surrounding businesses.

The introduction of Ferrari Friday is the Concours’ latest expansion.

“Sixteen years ago, the event was called the Motor Car Classic up in The Village,” Kerner said. “It was a group of people that owned cars, antique or modern, it didn’t matter. There were no criteria.”

In 2010, when event chairman Michael Dorvillier took the helm, the show was converted to a true Concours, meaning specific classes of cars would qualify and there would be judging and other “sophisticated” changes, Kerner said.

Organizers kept the Motor Car Classic but moved it to Coast Boulevard next to Scripps Park to provide a free, open option as a complement to the ticketed Concours.

In recent years, the event expanded to include the Tour d’Elegance — a procession of classic cars that travels together for participants to view private car collections before having lunch (this year’s tour is sold out) — and a cocktail party the Saturday night before the ticketed show.

This year’s cocktail party, themed “Le Cabaret du Concours,” will begin at 5 p.m. April 23 at The Lot La Jolla. It will feature live music, a hosted bar and appetizers.

The Concours will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, in Scripps Park. The event will include about 150 cars in a wide range of judging categories. The featured marque this year is Bugatti; the “celebrated marque” is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL coupe.

“Ellen Browning Scripps Park is a beautiful place that sits right on The Cove, and when we supplement those ocean views with beautiful automobiles and beautiful people, you have an activity that provides a lot of entertainment,” Kerner said. “That is going to be the place to be.”

As in the past, event net proceeds will benefit the La Jolla Historical Society.

Historical Society Executive Director Lauren Lockhart said the proceeds “support our ability to offer free admission to our exhibitions and to produce high-quality publications and diverse community events. In the coming year, we are working closely with local educators to develop a school visit program to serve K-12 and college-level students with hands-on learning opportunities, and the Concours really enables this important work.”

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

• “Ferrari Friday”

When: 5 p.m. until closing April 22

Where: Prospect Street and Herschel Avenue, The Village

Cost: Free

• “Le Cabaret du Concours” cocktail party

When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 23

Where: The Lot La Jolla, 7611 Fay Ave.

Cost: $300 (price increases to $325 on April 22)

• Concours d’Elegance ticketed show

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24

Where: Scripps Park, 1133 Coast Blvd.

Cost: $95, $225 and $500 ($95 tickets increase to $105 and $225 tickets increase to $275 on April 22)

• Information and tickets: lajollaconcours.com