June 18, 1978: The inaugural Concours d’Elegance is held at the estate of William and Helen Williams. The Concours is the vision of Helen Williams, who wants to do something in honor of her good friend Bill Rudd, who had severe rheumatoid arthritis. A small group of 8 committee members, in cooperation with the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio River Valley Chapter, produce the first event.
1980: The Concours is moved to the Peterloon Estate in Indian Hill. The committee adds organized judging, a Patron Brunch, and a Saturday night dinner/dance to round out an entire weekend full of events.
1982: The Concours outgrows the Peterloon Estate and is moved to Cincinnati Country Day School, where it is held on the soccer fields every year on Father’s Day for 12 years. The committee has grown to a core group of enthusiasts, many of whom are still involved with the Concours to this day.
1984: The committee adds the Countryside Tour, which quickly becomes a favorite event for enthusiasts. The Tour is held on Saturday of Concours weekend and gives owners and enthusiasts the chance to drive their historical cars in a caravan throughout the city and surrounding areas.
1988: An automotive art show is added to the Concours as part of the day’s activities.
1994: Due to construction on the soccer fields at Cincinnati Country Day School, the event briefly moves to Indian Hill High School while the committee searches for a better long-term home for the event. The group also adds a Friday night event, making the Concours weekend a full three-day affair.
1996: The committee makes a bold move and changes both the location and date! The Concours moves to our current home of Ault Park on the second Sunday in June, where we have remained ever since.
2006: The Cincinnati Concours Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is established to manage and produce the Concours. All proceeds continue to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Ohio River Valley Chapter.
2012: In addition to the Best of Show Concours d’Elegance award, which honors the vehicle judged as the best in traditional classes, a second Best of Show Esprit de Sport is established. This award pays homage to the top vehicle from sports and racing classes.
2013: The Ault Park Concours partners with Cincinnati-based Rookwood Pottery Company, commissioning two Best of Show trophies. A six-by-nine-inch, hand-painted tile depicting the pavilion at Ault Park is designed with a different color scheme to represent each award category. A custom easel frame and engraved plate complete these works of art. The Concours is honored to present our top collectors with a trophy that is such an iconic piece of Cincinnati history.
2016: In November, the Ault Park Concours officially changes its name to Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance. Ault Park continues as the host location and Juvenile Arthritis remains the recipient charity. In preparation for the 40th show in 2017, the objective of the name change is to promote greater national recognition of the show’s location and to promote the city’s long-running tradition of celebrating automotive excellence.
2018: A new tradition is added to the Concours: “Honored Collector.” Each year, the Foundation recognizes a renowned owner of an outstanding collection, selections from which will be displayed during the Concours.