Jay Ward, Pixar’s Creative Director for Franchise, has accepted the invitation to serve as Grand Marshal for the 25th anniversary edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, to be held on October 24. As the automotive and later franchise creative consultant on all three “Cars” films and “Cars Toons,” Ward’s and Pixar’s family-friendly focus makes him the perfect fit for Hagerty’s innovative 2021 Southern Connecticut Concours.
In 2001, Ward created the Pixar campus classic car show, “Pixar Motorama.” What started as a low-key employee car show grew into an influential event hosting vehicles from the collections of Jay Leno, Chip Foose, The Petersen Auto Museum as well as manufacturer concepts and a number of his own classic cars.
Ward’s automotive knowledge has opened doors at the highest level of the collector car hobby; serving as an Honorary Judge at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and a Class Judge for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Audrain Newport Concours and Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance.
“When our team considered a long list of potential candidates for this year’s Grand Marshal, one name rose to the top — Jay Ward,” said McKeel Hagerty, Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Chairman and CEO of Hagerty. “Jay’s impact on pop culture, capturing the imagination of the next generation and awakening a life-long passion for cars and driving, is inspiring.”
Moving beyond the traditional Concours, Saturday and Sunday in Greenwich will feature the event’s first Youth Zone, anchored by a life-sized version of Lightning McQueen from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The area will also include slot cars, racing simulators and serve as home base for the weekend’s Hagerty Youth Programs.
Saturday’s inaugural “Festival of Fun” features the unexceptional cars of Concours d’Lemons; RADwood favorites from the ’80s and ‘90s; and Porschella by CarPark, a celebration of all things modified Porsche. A range of hands-on activities – ride and drives, racing simulators, youth programs and more – will entertain enthusiasts and their families.
On Sunday, both domestic and international marques will be celebrated in the 25th Annual Concours d’Elegance.
“I’m incredibly honored and excited to be selected as the Grand Marshal because Hagerty has gone to great efforts to rethink what an automotive Concours can be, with many events and vehicles sure to widen the audience to more car lovers than ever,” said Ward. “Greenwich is such a beautiful setting for this show and inviting our life-sized Lightning McQueen to be on display allows Pixar and “Cars” fans to spend up close and personal time with the No. 95 too. I can’t wait for what I expect to be an unforgettable weekend of great cars and plenty of fun.”
For event information, log onto greenwichconcours.com.