Bigger, Better, More Fun for the Entire Family
Executive Directors Brando and Joanne Pistorius founded the Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance in Tampa, Florida in 2017. After carefully incorporating, planning and receiving the appropriate tax designations as a 501c3 non-profit, the 2+ year process of planning the Inaugural Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance resulted in an all-volunteerr base of over 150 people creating an exquisite and unique event for the first time in Tampa Bay.
The most rare, original and historically important cars and motorcycles will be on display and judged for your viewing pleasure.
This is the only Concours d'Elegance for Tampa and the west coast of Florida, and the name "Gasparilla" is synonymous with the Tampa Bay area's most famous social season.
The challenge is to invite those collectible cars and motorcycles that are rarely seen in public and tell a story that fascinates and educates. We want you to come back every year to find the latest rare and exquisite vehicles we have invited to join us.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question- Will the Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance remain a 501c3 Non-Profit organization?
Answer- Yes! The rules, guidelines, and by-laws set forth with the IRS classification of a 501c3 are very specific and there will be no variance from those regulations and operational guidelines.
Question- Will the donated monies be used for expenses by the Festivals of Speed?
Answer- Absolutely not! All donations, Cash, Sponsorship, and In-Kind Products and Services will be used for the benefit of the GCDE and the supported charity, FARA (Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance).
Question- Will volunteers be working on GCDE or FOS?
Answer- Volunteers may choose to work on either or both events. The assignments from last year will be sent to you in the coming months, and you can choose to remain in the same position or choose another position if you prefer.
Question- Are Festivals of Speed and Gasparilla Concours going to operate as one merged entity?
Answer- No, GCDE remains a separate entity from the profit-corporation of Festivals of Speed. There are separate tax id numbers, separate reporting requirements, separate bank accounts, etc.
Question- Will the show in January have all the cars mixed together, classic and exotic?
Answer- No. For one admission price, you will find one large show field with both events, however, they will be positioned separately. In other words, you will be able to enter a central gate and turn right for the Festivals of Speed, and/or left for the Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance, and travel back and forth to enjoy both events.
Question- Will the cars for GCDE and FOS be judged together?
Answer- No. There will be a separate team of judges for GCDE and FOS, each qualified in the field of vehicles they will be judging. There will be separate Awards Ceremonies. The FOS brings the owners up to the stage for a beautiful presentation of awards. GCDE has the cars, and their owners, drive up to the stage for their unique awards and a short descriptive talk between the owners and the Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Ed Lucas.
Question- Why the merger of GCDE and FOS?
Answer- This is truly a perfect pairing. We have all kinds of collectors who visit each of our events. And many of these collectors have an interest in other styles of vehicles, as well as boats, planes, and luxury lifestyle products and services. The Festivals of Speed has grown over the past 20 years to showcase a wide variety of these interests, and now they have added the great classics with the prestigious Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance. This larger event will be well organized to bring the best of all worlds to the entire family. Within walking distance to your hotel and the showgrounds, there are nearby shopping and waterfront playgrounds for the whole family. GCDE/FOS offers a 3-day event that brings you exquisite "wheels, watches, whiskey and wine", great classic vehicles, and exciting exotic sports cars, something for everyone. FOS has a great organization and infrastructure, and GCDE could not be happier with offering our supporters the best of both worlds. We are determined to make certain that we make this your one-stop family destination in the most beautiful time of the year, January, with a venue that is top-rated in the country.
Come Party Like a Pirate with Us!
Highlights from the inaugural event.
Check out this great video about our Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance
Check out this great video about the History of the Gasparilla Season Events in Tampa Bay.
Check out this great video from the 2022 Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance.
Sign up to receive more information on Event Scheduling for the Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance
Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit incorporated in the State of Florida. We exist to support Tampa Bay Area charities that serve children who are most in need in our community. We operate through direct donations and monies raised through our annual juried classic car competition featuring rare, original, and historically important vehicles.
We love a good car show! We attend dozens each year, and many car enthusiasts know the difference between a car show and a Concours d'Elegance. Unfortunately, for those who do not know the difference, they can be misled into attending a car show that promotes itself as a Concours d'Elegance just to divert and mislead attendees, participants, sponsors and advertisers for the purpose of making profit. Profit is good, but it is not the motivating factor at a Concours d'Elegance.
The Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance is the only true Concours d'Elegance in the Tampa Bay Area.
What you will find as the major differences between a car show and a Concours d'Elegance include:
1. A charitable foundation, an IRS 501c3 recognized Non-Profit Organization, with a stated purpose to aid those in need. Those without may just be pocketing your contributions without your knowledge. The proof of donation to charity, and the amount, should be disclosed to the public. GCDE is a registered 501c3.
2. A substantial volunteer base. Most organizations require 100-300 volunteers to put on a proper Concours d'Elegance. GCDE has 150+ volunteers.
3. A Board of Directors who oversee the organization, the financial propriety, and the overall good business practices of the Concours d'Elegance. GCDE has a sizable BOD of experts that range in professional occupations of accounting, legal, entrepreneurs and car collectors.
4. A system of selection that is truly motivated by experts who form a Committee that evaluates and choose the field based on originality, historical importance, and rareness. Car shows are great to find cars of all sorts, including modified vehicles, but that is not what a Concours d'Elegance focuses on.
5. Quality is king. You expect a beautifully bound commemorative color Program, keepsake signage that shares the history of the vehicle, art components, multi day events, exceptional food and beverage offerings, live entertainment, exquisite awards, Red Carpet Awards Ceremony, a knowledgeable and professional Master of Ceremony, VIP's and Celebrities, a beautiful venue, such as golf courses, parks and airports with waterfront views. All these qualities add up to a substantial investment in producing a Concours d'Elegance, for the enjoyment of all involved.
6. Marketing and Capital. A Concours generally requires far more capital to produce, and the budget is well into the six figure mark. Professionally produced commercials on network television, radio, social media, print advertising. This allows the event to produce the results the attendees, participants and sponsors come to expect.
We hope you are able to visit many true Concours d'Elegances throughout the country, and the world. It is a truly unique experience.