Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance 2011: Dry Weather Guaranteed

This coming Sunday 27 February will see the 4th Annual Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in the oasis that is Palm Springs, in California. And event founder Paul Merrigan has one huge advantage on his side that few can guarantee: the weather.

What other concours event can boast the same with any certainty? – not even Villa d’Este or Pebble Beach. Whether humidity or rain showers, the threat of inclement weather is always lurking. At the Desert Classic, however, things are different, which will come as a relief to the guardians of more than 200 rarely seen classics from museums and private collections, which will be exhibited on Sunday for the thousands of spectators – and the critical eyes of the jurors.

Paul Merrigan, a former management consultant and an avid car collector himself, is the mastermind behind the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance – a non-profit event held in the desert paradise of La Quinta Resort, with net proceeds given to charities.

Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance 2011: Dry Weather Guaranteed Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance 2011: Dry Weather Guaranteed

“We have the best weather in the world,” says Merrigan. “Except for the Sahara, nowhere is as dry as here.” There is, apparently, an average of just 16 rainy days per year, and the lawn sprinklers of the golf club pose the greatest risk to an anti-corrosion warranty. But it’s not just the weather which makes this concours such a special event. The region has a strong automotive ethos, with a local love of classic cars – as well as being the birthplace of the hot rod culture.

As well as cars, the 2011 event will include displays of jewellery, watches and art, food and wine, with plenty of hospitality tents offering music and entertainment.

Further details can be found at

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: SP-X / Gerry Maceda

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