With this year’s Malta Classic fast approaching, we spoke to Mark Warner, one of the organisers of the Concours d’Elegance by Mdina Glass, on what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to organising a static show to remember.
Mark Warner has been involved, to varying degrees over the last few years, with the Concours d’Elegance, but as he explained, “This year I have been involved in virtually every aspect of organising the event, from planning the call for applications, planning the layout of the squares, approaching judges and forming part of the selection panel. I enjoy a challenge… and there’s been plenty to ‘enjoy’, as it were. Thankfully I am part of a great team with plenty of experience garnered from previous editions.”
What is the interest like in the event when it comes to classic car owners wanting to take part? “We have faced a double-whammy of a challenge this year. We were asked by the authorities to keep the number of cars down, fewer than we had last year, yet the number of applications we received was much higher. We ended up with almost two applications for every space we had.” Warner added, “We appreciate the fantastic cooperation we receive from the Mdina local council and Mdina residents, and that the location is a very special place, so we did all we could to try and be as fair as possible while having to make some difficult decisions. It just wasn’t possible to accommodate everyone. We laboured long and hard, with over a week of discussions, to come up with our final decisions.”
We asked Warner about any other changes faced this year and he enthusiastically explained, “We feel that we have a very strong panel of judges, regarding both knowledge-base and numbers, and we’re honoured to have them on board. We have a dedicated judge for Best Dressed who is involved in the vintage clothing scene. The Best Dressed category is also open to all participants this year and is an extra trophy to be won besides those for the cars.”
New this year, popular and effervescent personality Colin Fitz will host the Concours d'Elegance, making it more interactive. Fitz will chat with participants and spectators to bring this show to life.
Warner went on to tell us that organising the 2016 Malta Classic Concours d'Elegance was a learning experience for all involved. “One thing that might need to be considered next year is a cut-off point with regards to how ‘young’ a car can be, especially if we continue within the splendid confines of the Cathedral square, given the limited car spaces inherent in the location and the growing interest in this event.”
What about cars that were not selected this year—can their owners try again next year and expect to have a chance of participating? “Absolutely. In fact, we will give first consideration to cars that were not selected this time around. That’s by no means a guarantee of acceptance, of course, but we want to try and give a chance to as many people as possible to participate if the car is right.”
Visit the Malta Classic Concours d’Elegance by Mdina Glass to see stunning examples of vintage cars from the 1920’s to the early 1970’s and chat to their proud owners. The event is free to attend.