SSR Members Attend Concours d’Elegance of America
Over the past few years several Spirit Region members have attended Grand Classics and Concours d’Elegance events held in the Midwest. It is fun getting to see the wide variety of quality automobiles these shows attract, and it is always interesting to visit with fellow enthusiasts. Also, the shows typically serve as fundraisers for worthy non-profit associations.
Prior to its closing, The Art of the Car Concours in Kansas City, Missouri, a fundraiser for the Kansas City Art Institute, was an event many frequently attended. Some have also taken cars to various CCCA Grand Classics, attended Concours shows in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Des Moines, Iowa, Geneva, Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, and most recently Plymouth, Michigan.
This year represented the 40th year for the show in Plymouth. Formerly known as Meadowbrook, the show was held on the campus of Oakland University. The event has since moved to the nearby Inn at St. Johns and is now called Concours d’Elegance of America.
True Concours shows have a juried selection process. An application, modest fee, and several specific photographs are typically submitted several months prior to the show. There are generally various categories within a given show. In the case of this year’s show at St. Johns, the categories were Classics, race cars, modern sports cars, and other special interest, which attracted cars from all over the country.
Most Concours shows take place over multiple days. Typically, there is a day of country driving with visits to interesting private collections.
The second day usually features seminars presented by known experts. For example, one of the seminars we attended at St. Johns this year was entitled “The One That Got Away”.
Wayne Carini, host of the popular Classing Classic Cars TV program, was one of the speakers whose topic compared historical car prices to today’s car values. There were also interesting stories about collectors reuniting with their first car after several years of illusive searching. For the true financial test of a car’s worth in today’s market, speakers weighed actual car sales records against inflation. Over the years financial investment in desirable cars has out-performed fixed interest as well as most stock and real estate investments.
A concours typically culminates the third day with general public admission for which there is usually a significant charge.
As is typical of out of town Concours events in the Midwest, there were several Spirit Region members in attendance, including Bob and Sonia Abbott, John and Rose Gibson, Mark Hyman, Wendell Smith and Allen and Nancy Strong.
If you haven’t already done so, you should consider attending an out of town Concours event. Either enter a car, or attend in person to see unique cars and take in the event.
For a more complete and enjoyable experience consider tagging along with some of your fellow members who are attending. We have a fun time by taking in various attractions en route.
Congratulations to SSR Award Winners:
Bob and Sonia Abbott - Lion Award - 1928 Cunningham V5 Phaeton
Mark Hyman - Lion Award - 1911 Pope-Hartford Model W
Allen and Nancy Strong - Lion Award - 1936 Packard 1405 Rollston Victoria
Article by Wendell Smith
Photos courtesy Bob Abbott, John Gibson and Wendell Smith