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All Things Auto

Peter Volny on Racing Cars to Collecting Them to Creating 'The Greatest Car Show on Grass'

Scottsdale is now a focal point for car collector culture in the U.S. While that can be attributed largely to the Barrett-Jackson event in January, it is also the result of a group of dedicated car collectors who sought ways to share their love of cars with others. One of the innovators in bringing car shows to the Valley of the Sun is Peter Volny, founder of Concours in the Hills. 

From Car Enthusiast to Automotive Expert

Volny, who grew up in Australia, says his love of cars has been a part of his life as long as he can remember. His parents weren’t always thrilled with his car obsession. 

“They blew their stacks when they found out I was racing cars instead of being in college,” recalls Volny. 

But Volny’s racing career was short-lived. 

“I found out that my bravado was greater than my talent.”  

Volny left Australia in 1970, spent a year in England, and settled in Toronto, Canada. He started a marketing, advertising, and public relations firm there, and his automotive knowledge helped him acquire clients that included Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Acura, Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone, Yokohama, Castrol, Valvoline, Bosch, Blaupunkt, and others. Over the next three decades, his company became the dominant automotive agency in Canada. He sold it in 2002, retiring to the Arizona sunshine. 

“We’ve lived here for 19 years and love it,” says Volny. “This truly is heaven. We proudly became citizens in 2011.”

Car Enthusiast Turns Collector

Volny sold his prized 427 Cobra when he moved to Arizona. 

“I replaced it here with a 2006 Ford GT, which I still have and love. It’s totally analog and requires your full attention to drive,” he explains. “I later added a 1972 Ferrari Daytona and a Maserati Gran Turismo as my daily driver.”

When Volny purchased the Ford, he began going to the Cars & Coffee at the SHOPS at Gainey Ranch. He and his wife, Linda, would also travel to other shows. 

“We were going to the Monterey Car Week, where fabulous shows such as Pebble Beach, The Quail, and Concorso Italiano are all held on grass,” Volny reminisces. 

He says cars show much better on green grass than on black pavement, but there wasn’t a show on grass in the Valley. 

“So, I naively started Concours in the Hills,” laughs Volny.

Concours in the Hills

In 2014, Volny convinced the then-mayor of Fountain Hills to let him park cars in the park for the show. 

“I exaggerated and told her I was hoping for 100 cars,” he says. “We amazingly wound up with over 200.” 

Since then, the show has grown dramatically. It is 100% charity and operated with all-volunteer staff. In 2023, the show included more than 1,200 cars, brought in 50,000 people, and raised just under $500,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It also featured the elite Navy Seals parachute team, the Leap Frogs, jumping from a helicopter at 6,000 feet to land in the show. 

Volny hopes Concours in the Hills, which will be held this year on Feb. 3, continues far into the future. 

“I’m no spring chicken, so to ensure the show remains a charity event, I donated it to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I’ll be there to help them if they need me.”

So, I naively started Concours in the Hills.

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