Concours Events

Hybrids with Style: The 2011 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Frank Sinatra bought a hybrid car in 1957! So did his pals, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Eddie Fisher, as did music legends Hoagy Carmichael and David Rose, and numerous other celebrities.

But the cars were not the politically correct gas/electric hybrids of today; Sinatra’s clan, known as the “Rat Pack,” drove Dual Ghias, sleek high-performance GT convertibles with Dodge D-500 hemi engines and custom bodies hand-made by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin, Italy. Such cars were called hybrids, because they combined reliable and easily serviced American engines with hand-crafted bodies by Italian, French, and British coach makers. The hybrids of the ’50′s and ’60′s were exquisitely beautiful automobiles, part of the mid-twentieth century renaissance in architecture, furniture, and automobile design. The 2011 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, taking place on June 4 and 5, in Greenwich, Connecticut, will have a special two-day centerpiece display of these stunning, but seldom-seen, mid-century hybrid cars.

Included in the amazing assemblage of hybrids to be shown are a Dual Ghia, Facel Vega, Cunningham C-3, Iso Grifo, Cobra, Allard P1, Hudson Italia, Fitch Phoenix and a Nash Healy.


dual-ghia-greenwich-concours

Because these cars all have American running gear and, in many cases, chassis and instrumentation as well, they qualify for inclusion in Saturday’s Concours Americana for American cars, while, because of their European bodies, they also qualify for Sunday’s Concours International for imported cars, and therefore will be shown on both days.

The mid-twentieth century also produced some outstanding motorcycles, such as the legendary Triumph Bonneville TT Special series of competition motorcycles, produced in the 1960′s. Another special display at the Greenwich Concours will be an exhibit of every model in the series, all superbly restored and owned by a single collector, and one of just two such complete collections in existence.

triumph-motorcycles-greenwich-concours

Also, 2011 being the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-type, dubbed “the sexiest car ever made,” and one of only two cars in the permanent collection at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York City. There will be a dedicated circle of E-type Jaguars with examples of all the series and models.

The newly restored ex-Steve McQueen “Baja Boot” off-road racer is another one-off custom-built vehicle that will be exhibited at the Greenwich Concours.

Automobile Magazine, the Title Sponsor of the Greenwich Concours, will have a special treat in their pavilion, an installation of incredible Virtual GT driving simulators. Concours visitors will be able to test their driving skills at a great variety of race venues, in a wide choice of cars, with both manual and automatic gear boxes.

In addition to Saturday’s Concours Americana and Sunday’s Concours International, Bonhams will hold it auction of collector cars and automobilia on Sunday afternoon. Sponsor Chubb Personal Insurance can insure new purchases for lucky bidders, and Plycar is on hand to transport purchases to their new garages.

Another great favorite of Concours spectators are the displays of their newest cars by such Concours sponsors as Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Lexus, Ferrari, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Fisker, and McLaren. Some even offer test drives.

Again this year, there will be a regatta for former-America’s Cup 12-M yachts, which will compete in match races, both days, for the Greenwich Concours Cup. Depending on availability, spectators will have opportunity to take a short sail on a Cup boat. They can also board the very latest Sunseeker yacht at the adjacent pier.

As with past Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, The 16th Annual Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will take place at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 4 and 5. AmeriCares, the renowned international relief organization top-ranked by Money Magazine, has been the charitable beneficiary of the Concours since 1996.

Hours are 10 am to 5 pm; admission is $25 for one day, or $40 for both days. Children 12 and under are free. Lunch is available on-site, and parking is free. Immediately off Exit 3 of I-95 in Connecticut, the Greenwich Concours is also accessible by train, plane, and boat. Check the Concours web site at GreenwichConcours.com, or call 203-618-0460 or for further information.


Amelia Island to be Graced by Pope Mobile

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

pullman-600-mercedes-benzLook at all the screaming, crying seniors and young children waving the papal flag as the Popemobile passes! They are jumping up and down like mad as the Pope waves and rolls down the crowded streets of Amelia Island, Florida! Well, not quite, but as the 125 year anniversary celebration of the invention of the automobile continues for Mercedes-Benz the 1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman landaulet built specially for Pope Paul VI will roll into the Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 11-13, 2011.

And though the religious faithful may have long gone from the flank of this particular Mercedes, the MB faithful will be out in force to view this car. The historic vehicle is making its first appearance on U.S. soil at Amelia Island and is part of a featured Class of Mercedes-Benz 600 vehicles on display during the automotive event, which features nearly 250 rare vehicles.


The Benz 600 Pullman landaulet was originally presented in September 1963 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, and quickly became the vehicle to have among Europe’s wealthy elite. Weighing in at nearly 5,000 pounds, the 600 featured a number of technological advances for the day and was equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s first ever V-8 that could reach 0-100 km/h (kilometers per hour) in an impressive 10 seconds – similar performance to many of the sports cars of the period.

mercedes-pope-mobileSpecially customized for the Pope, this Benz was constructed with an individual seat for the pontiff that could be raised and lowered during the car’s procession through crowded streets. An elevated roof, extended rear doors, and raised floor were fitted along with other special equipment such as bulletproof glass. Over two decades, the car was used by three popes and was returned to Mercedes-Benz’s Stuttgart, Germany headquarters in 1985. It comes to Amelia courtesy of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, where it is one of many famous and priceless cars in its collection.

The 600’s basic equipment package was far above anything offered at the time and included air suspension, power brakes, central locking systems and an electronic heating and air conditioning system. With the numerous body designs and interior features to choose from, no two 600s were alike which ensured exclusivity for the owner. This was especially true for the owners of Pullman limousines and landaulets. The last 600 rolled off the assembly line in summer 1981 and during its 17-year production run, 2,677 were built of which 428 were Pullman limousines and 59 were landaulets.

“We are deeply indebted to the people at Mercedes-Benz for agreeing to send us the Pope’s personal 600,” says Bill Warner, Concours founder and co-chairman. “It has never been seen here in the United States and it makes a statement worthy of the Pope’s status around the world. It is an incredible vehicle and a true showcase for Mercedes-Benz workmanship and advanced technological thinking.”

The Amelia Island Councours is one of the premier Concours on the East Coast. We love the fact that since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated nearly $1.7 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other deserving charities. The 2011 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 11-13 on the at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. www.ameliaconcours.org


Amelia Island Concours 2011 Honoree: Bobby Rahal

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

bobby-rahal-amelia-island-concoursThe Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance announced that Indy Car great Bobby Rahal will be the honoree for the 16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance scheduled for March 11-13, 2011, at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. Rahal has impacted the sport like few other drivers and continues today as a team principal in Rahal Letterman Racing.

“One of the great pleasures about Amelia is that we can honor the best of the best and Bobby Rahal certainly falls into the category,” says Bill Warner, Concours founder and co-chairman. “In nearly 20 years of racing, his record speaks for itself and he is still going strong today managing a successful racing team along with his son’s budding racing career. We are honored and excited to have him with us on Amelia Island.”

Racer, Team Owner, CART Executive, Businessman & Mentor

Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal was born in Medina, Ohio, in 1953, and worked his way up through the racing ranks starting with the SCCA’s feeder series to Formula Atlantic and then onto European Formula Two. In an 18-year career spanning F1, Can-Am, Le Mans/IMSA, and CART, Rahal notched three CART championships, including a win at the 1986 Indy 500, along with wins at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races.

(more…)

Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

alfa-fairfield-county-concoursSeptember 11-12, 2010 saw the return of the 7th Annual Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance to the Fairfield Hunt Club in Westport, CT. Though gray skies threatened rain for the concours on Sunday, the rains never came but the awesome cars and crowds did show up.

Awards presented on field ranged from best pre and post-war foreign and domestics to Porsche, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Motorcyles and Barn-Find categories. The Barn-Find category was particularly interesting as you can see from Wayne Carini’s SAAB to the Split Window Corvette. Featured as well were categories of automobiles “Styled by the Wind”, cars with coachwork by Drake “Dutch” Darrin and photography by Jesse Alexander. (more…)

Kemp Museum to Show Mercedes at Amelia Island

Friday, March 12th, 2010

mercedes-benz-540-k-cabriolet-aThe Kemp Auto Museum of Chesterfield, MO has been invited back for their third consecutive Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which is taking place this weekend, March 12-14 at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach.

Executive Director Rodger Van Ness will be showing the Kemp Auto Museum’s rare, award-winning 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A at this year’s prestigious Amelia Island Concours. Van Ness commented, “Being invited back to the Amelia Island Concours for the third consecutive year is an honor, and to have the opportunity to show our 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A again is a real treat.” He remarked, “Receiving invitations for two consecutive years is a tribute to and recognition of the one-of-a-kind collection The Kemp Foundation has obtained and the Museum maintains.”

About The Kemp Foundation and the Kemp Auto Museum:
The intent of the Fred M. Kemp Foundation is to demonstrate the evolution of European 20th century automotive design and engineering and its impact on the worldwide automotive industry. The Foundation is dedicated to the education, preservation, maintenance, expansion and the public display of the vintage antique, classic and contemporary European automobiles previously owned by Fred M. Kemp. Functioning as an educational facility through the Museum, the Fred M. Kemp Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization approved by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as tax exempt under Section 501c3.

The Kemp Auto Museum collection is built from one of the finest and extensive private collections of classic Mercedes automobiles in the world, and includes the acclaimed coupe, cabriolet, sports car and sedan designs from 1886 up to the present.


mercedes-benz-540-k-cabriolet-a

Classic Show Cars of the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance 2009

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

fairfield-county-concours-delegance-hunt-clubSeptember 13th, 2009 brought out the sunshine and some of the most amazing classic and collector cars on the east coast to the 6th Annual Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance at the Fairfield County Hunt Club. The Fairfield County Concours is a really fun event to attend. The organizers Bill Scheffler (Chairman) and John Shuck (Director of Operations) are backed by a great team of friendly volunteers and the show is always raises money and awareness for great charity causes. (more…)

Fairfield Concours d’Elegance – The Porsches

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

fairfield-concours-delegance-porscheMuch can be said about a concours event that draws amazing Duesenbergs, rare one-off prototype Packards and unusual makes from Britain, Italy and automotive meccas and this year, the Fairfield Concours d’Elegance in Westport, CT did just that. At this event there was a truly remarkable collection of fine, rare, classic and collectible automobiles; important automobiles. (more…)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance: Round Two

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

rare-cars-pebble-beach-concoursOur friend Peter L. continues to send over his pictures from the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Concourso Italiano.

Pebble Beach astounds every year with the diversity, rarity and high quality of cars that show.  And what better setting than on the golf course next to the Pacific Ocean.

(more…)

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Pictures

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

ferrari-dino-pebble-beach-concours-deleganceThe 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is perhaps the pinnacle of all concours events in the US and possibly the world. Certainly the turn-out of rare Ferrari race-cars coupled with other exotics and one-off sports cars is enough to put this concours at that top of the heap. (more…)

Hemmings Sports & Exotics Car Show, Saratoga Springs – 2009

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

hemmings-sportsexotics-car-show-saratoga1Saturday, August 8th marked the return of 4th Annual Hemmings Sports & Exotics Car Show at Saratoga Springs, New York. Alfa Romeo was the “featured” automobile marque this year with many gorgeous examples on hand ranging from Alfa Romeo Spiders, to GTs and Giuliettas. Classic Honda Motorcycles were the featured bikes. (more…)