"Car people love concours events, and this is one of the absolute best," said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty and a longtime judge for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. "We think we can take it to a whole new level by adding immersive, experiential elements that appeal to a broader swath of the car community, including younger fans."
Hagerty expects to add hands-on-the-wheel opportunities for show-goers, including its popular "Ride & Drives" that put people behind the wheel and in the passenger seat of cool, older cars, and its Hagerty Driving Experience, which teaches drivers 15- to 25-years-old the dying art of operating a stick shift.
Founded in 1996 by the late Bruce and Genia Wennerstrom, the Greenwich Concours has always been a family venture. Daughter-in-law Mary Wennerstrom, who has worked on the concours since the very beginning, will stay on as the executive director. The 25th anniversary concours is scheduled for May 29-31, 2020. The location and format will not change. Featured classes will be announced soon.
In addition to the concours, Hagerty will oversee the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society, the legendary car club that has met monthly at Sardi's in Manhattan since 1957.
"I think it is very fitting that the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance will now be a part of another great family business," said Wennerstrom. "These are genuine car people with an incredible depth of knowledge and passion about the history of classic cars. I look forward to working with them and carrying on the legacy of Bruce and Genia."
Hagerty is no stranger to the world of car events and has sponsored or participated in more than 2,000 annually. The company has a major presence at the nation's largest concours events in Pebble Beach, California, and Amelia Island, Florida, as well as the annual auto auction week in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hagerty's Festival of the Unexceptional, a light-hearted concours-style event celebrating cars that were the workhorses of their day, is an annual highlight of the summer car season in the United Kingdom.
Hagerty also operates DriveShare, an innovative peer-to-peer enthusiast vehicle rental marketplace, and MotorsportReg.com, North America's largest motorsport membership, licensing and event online management system, used by hobbyists to find and participate in track days, autocross, road rallies, driving tours, vintage races, local car clubs and more.
Last year, Hagerty unveiled its new membership organization called Hagerty Drivers Club, which now has more than 1.3 million members. The goal of the club is to serve as a central hub of car culture by offering experiences, resources, discounts and entertainment, all focused on cars and driving.
"We're knitting together the car community in a way no one has ever done before," said Hagerty. "Outstanding events like the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance get people excited about cars, and that's what it's all about. That's how we're going to save driving and car culture for future generations."