Changing times, changing tastes and a new generation are constant challenges facing the collector car community, with the goal of spurring automotive passion in younger people as the current crop of car enthusiasts ages and passes the torch, and their precious vehicles, to the next generation of caretakers.
A group of 10 high school students will be crossing that divide when they explore the automotive finery at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, which takes place January 22 at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza.
The teen-agers, all students in local automotive programs, will be brought to the Concours by the TechForce Foundation, a national charity that encourages students to explore careers within the transportation industry.
“We all know we need to engage GenZ, or the future of these types of collections and events will fade away with their current owners,” said Mike Pressendo, chief marketing and strategy officer for TechForce.
Led by Cody Metcalf, an instructor at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, Arizona, the teens will take a guided tour of the rare and exceptional Concours cars, then make their choice for a special “Students Choice” award.
The prize, which will be presented during the Concours’ regular awards ceremony, is named the “TechForce Foundation, Inspiring the Next Generation Award.”
As well as leading the students, Metcalf is working with them to create the unique trophy that will be presented to the car owner.
“They have created trophies in the past with car parts and are excited to design the TechForce trophy,” said Lisa Evans, chief development officer for TechForce. “It will be something that the (Concours) entrants will surely treasure.”
The Arizona Concours d’Elegance, a curated show and judged competition of exceptional automobiles, will be among the first major events held following renovation of the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, bordered by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The Concours was previously held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix.
The Arizona Concours is partnered with Scottsdale Arts, one of Arizona’s largest arts nonprofits, to present the event, which blends history, design and technology. Proceeds from the Concours will benefit local artists and art programs. Tickets for the Concours are available on the ArizonaConcours.com website, at the Scottsdale Arts box office and at ScottsdaleArts.org/events.