I agree with his assessment, but it's a tempest in a teapot except for the competitors (as he admits). Were there at least 40 "more elegant" cars at Pebble Beach last year? Absolutely. BUT, it was one of 3 or 4 that even I thought had a shot at BoS, and I don't care much of anything for race cars - old or new. (Yes, it's called a "tourer," but it's a high-powered, 2-seat car designed by a racing driver. It's a race car.)
The original concours d'elegance were marketing events for coachbuilders and other luxury item purveyors trying to garner sales (and stay in business). It's no longer a competition among coachbuilders and fashion designers, but among (mostly) millionaire car owners. It's a car show. Period. The "d'Elegance" name only stuck as a matter of tradition and convenience. Admittedly, there is still a sales aspect, as "Show on Sunday. Auction asap" seems to be the appropriate recoining of the old expression, "Win on Sunday. Sell on Monday."
I find it curious that he suggests repeat winners being suspect. I don't find it suspect at all. They have the money to have the finest cars (plural). It's not like they're winning the same show with the same car repeatedly. In fact, some concours have rules against the same car competing again until a certain number of years have passed - especially if they won. They may be winning multiple shows around the country/world, but again, they have the money to participate with a rare car in Monterey one week, and Italy the next. What is suspect about that?
The article is mostly about the fact he doesn't like this specific car's design. Well crap. I could give you a list of what I think are the 50 most "elegant" cars ever made, and as long as at least one example of those 50 cars is in the competition, no other car should ever win. Every other car outside of those 50 could be criticized for not being "as elegant." I could probably get it down to 30.
Concours organizers have to pay the bills, and the bills get paid by putting butts in the seats (feet on the fairway, sponsors on the ledger and large donations to the chosen charity). That means playing to the current trends, and the current trend is sports and racing cars. As long as the millionaire collectors (the multi-thousand$ donors and sponsors) are focused on sports and racing cars, the concours organizers are going to kiss their feet. The subject car is a rare, meticulously restored, racing car owned by a major benefactor of the classic car world. All the most important boxes - check, check, check and check.
However, if one of the top concours, like Pebble Beach, is going to specifically state that "elegance" is a main acceptance and judging criteria and not just part of their co-opted name (and I think they do), then they should stick to it. But to survive, concours now have to include classes for racing and sports cars, and it doesn't seem right if they were to exclude winners of those classes from the BoS judging. Was last year's winner "elegant" among other sports/racing cars in 1929? Maybe.
It seems to me that rarity, restoration, historical significance, current popularity trend and the owner's financial leverage is a more apt description of the competition, but "Concours d'Millionaires with Expensive Toys" would be a tougher sell to the mass market. Maybe if they shortened it to CoMET...