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Edgar Thorne's co-driver and wife polish his outfit for the Concours d'Elegance on Madeira Drive, Brighton, 1959.

Sundays at the Caravan Road Rally were dedicated to the Concours d'Elegance.

After two days of gruelling tests on track and road, competitors began sprucing up their car and caravan outfits to be judged on their appearance. In the early days of the events, even elaborate table decorations were put inside the vans to impress the judges.

The vans lined up at venues which, over the years, included Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront and Southport Promenade.

Click the play button to hear about the Concours d'Elegance stage.

A Range Rover outfit lines up on the Silverstone circuit for the 1973 Concours d'Elegance.

To make the competition equal, there were prizes for different classes of caravan.

The classes were split according to how much the caravan had cost. This meant that the most expensive vans with higher quality features would not be judged against the cheaper vans. The Brighton Trophy was awarded to the car and caravan outfit which was deemed to be the overall winner from across the classes.

This section of the event was created to encourage good visual design and workmanship among the manufacturers, along with pride of ownership and careful maintenance from the competitor.  

If a competitor had scraped his car or caravan before the Concours he had to undertake repair work to stand a chance of winning. Watch the footage below to see a young spectator assessing the damage at Mallory Park in 1968:


The Concours d'Elegance line–up on the Mallory Park circuit in 1968:

More from the Concours d'Elegance line–up on the Mallory Park circuit in 1968:

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