Concours d'Elegance of America, July 26-28, Plymouth, MI, USA
The long-running show features the finest classic cars will be on full display for the purists at heart. They will be flanked by some of the most unique and exquisite featured classes ever seen together. Features including; Ferrari Race and Sports cars, The Rise and Fall of the Cadillac Fin, 100 Years of Bentley, Rolls Royce, Alternative Fuels,
Woodies, Muscle Cars Class of '69, AA/Gas Supercharged Drag Cars and Modern Collectibles.
2019 poster art by Jay Koka
The show features extensive art related activities throughout the three show days.
The 2019 Featured Poster Artist
is Jay Koka, Waterloo, Ontario Canada. Exhibiting artists include
Alexander J. Buchan, Warren, MI, Dan Brown, Troy, OH, David Chapple, Marshall, MI, Gerald Freeman, South Lyon, MI, Charlie Maher, Bloomfield Hills, MI, Steven Macy, Des Plaines, IL, and Dan McCrary, Charlotte, NC
The September issue will feature full coverage of the art exhibition.
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance "dispatch"
The organizers of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance have a Rolodex with the best of the world's greatest racing cars and racing drivers. The 2019 Amelia Island Concours was no different.
Race cars were expendable tools; when done they were pushed to the back of shop to rot, but here they return restored and ready to celebrate past glories. This year spotlighted one of the last dual-purpose sports cars: the Ferrari 250 Short Wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta from the late 50s to early-60s. Nine inches shorter than its predecessor the 250 Tour de France, the 250 SWB was light, powerful, and a fully sorted out car that won races on Sunday, and could be driven to lunch on Monday.
By the 1980s and 90s, the single purpose sports racing prototype of choice was the Porsche 962. It was Porsche's first monocoque body, and early foray into aerodynamics getting the car to 200+ miles per hour down Le Mans' Mulsanne straight.
The car helped make the careers of Jacky Ickx, Hurley Haywood, Derek Bell and others who were on hand for the weekend with multiple Le Mans wins and IMSA championships.
Amelia Island draws the rare and classic cars, and high-quality auctions, but if you want to see thunder and lightning dragons still ready to be tamed, it is the place to be in March of each year.
Story and photos: Rob Alen
The Benedict Castle Concours, Riverside, CA, USA
Most concours in the US take place at golf courses or public parks but one unusual location for one held near Los Angeles each Spring is the hilly terrain of Benedict Castle, a real honest-to-gosh castle built in the 1920s that is in the suburbs of Riverside CA.
The Concours is produced by George Cross and company, a company that has produced the Pomona Swap Meet for many years. All the proceeds go to Teen Challenge, a drug and alcohol recovery program (and I was pleased to see the teens working the event as volunteers.) They enticed two major automotive museums to participate, the Petersen in Los Angeles, sponsoring a VIP Pavilion, and the Nethercutt Museum setting up a tea and fashion show.
The cars are an eclectic bunch; a few genuine prewar classics but about 90% postwar including such diverse cars as Packard Caribbeans and Bentley R-model sedans.
This show is located in an area with many hot rodders and ‘50s cars fans so I would say that those two categories dominate the show. In fact there was one classic prewar car that looked like a Pebble Beach candidate until you read the sign and discovered it had a modern day engine, plus, unseen, a modern suspension, these called “restomods.”
So this show is a combination of sorts , a hot rod show, a custom car show and a few classics. I could see the Benedict Castle event either going full classic (unlikely) or full hot rod and custom cars.
Story and photos: Wallace Wyss
La Jolla Concours
You don’t need a reason to go to La Jolla. It’s hard by the ocean, with dramatic rocks and beaches and some tourists go there just to see the seals cavorting right next to the bayside park. That same park is also where the annual La Jolla concours is held. This year was again a sort of miniature of Pebble Beach with many prewar and postwar cars. In size and number of cars it is about one fourth the size of the Pebble Beach concours.
A real treat this year was some old American racing cars, the kind that raced at Indy. The American cars were well represented, with a Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. But I have to say that the best of the American luxury cars shown there had a tough time competing with the best of the European luxury cars, the crown jewel of which was the Bugatti Type 57 by Van Vooren that was commissioned by the country of France as a wedding present in ’39 for the then new Shah of Iran.
In postwar British luxury cars the car that stood out for me was the Bentley Continental fastback, its rear skirts so flawlessly continuing the body lines. And then there’s the curved top dash. These Mulliner fastbacks look like they may have inspired the Chevrolet fastbacks but I think the Chevys came along before the first Continental fastbacks.
The layout of the La Jolla show is very pleasant. First of all it’s on a park on the beach so it gives the displayers of cars (and spectators) ample opportunity to see the ocean. But I missed the fact that there was no fine art on display .
Story: Wallace Wyss, Photos: Richard Bartholomew
The Queen's English Concours
The annual Queen’s English is a car show in the San Fernando Valley that is open free to the public, though there is an entrance fee for your car to be on display. This year, with balmy skies, it was an excellent show, with all sorts of entries from very fancy to dragged out of the barn one more year.
Jay Leno was there with a one-off Rolls, a two seat roadster that I believe had a 8-liter engine and a beautiful engine-turned dash with all sorts of mysterious gauges and switchgear. When he drove off it snorted and bucked like an old prewar race car. Another showman was Gary Wales with one of his “bat” Rolls Royces, an antique looking car with a big ol’ tailfin that hs contends would be a good scene prop in a future Batman film (you know, earthquake splits open a wall in the Batcave, and there’s granpa’s old car that no one remembered…) Wales builds those kinds of cars to amuse himself and we’re all for it.
A fairly new model to show up at this venue is the McLaren. No old racing cars but you can see by these ultra modern 200 mph cars that British cars have certainly changed their image from when British cars were "qauint."
Go early to this show if you want a spot in the parking lot. Overall it’s a fun show to go to, and mostly because it’s free and you don’t meet the type of car owner who is so fussy about his concours car getting a speck of dust—warning, there is dust here! By the way they weren’t quite strict about what was British, I swear I saw a Citroen wagon...
Story by Wallace Wyss, Photos: Richard Bartholomew