Concours d'Elegance of America at St. Johns

Concours d^Elegance of America at St. Johns July 2012
The 34th Annual Concours d'Elegance of America at St. Johns was held at The Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan. Last year, the Concours moved to its new home after 32 years at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan. The new location was highly praised by attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. With the larger show field, onsite hotel, beautiful weather and many ancillary events, the 2011 Concours was deemed a great success. This year's event was equally successful.

The name, 'Concours d'Elegance of America' is a bold title, but one that describes the event perfectly. There are traditional 'Concours d'Elegance' classes featuring elegant creations of talented designers and skilled craftsman that were often fueled by unlimited budgets. There are also non-traditional classes, many of which pay tribute to the Motor City's heritage and their role in automotive history. Examples include drag racing cars, muscle cars, and Jet-Age station wagons. What are included in these groups, in true concours fashion, are some of the best and rarest examples in existence.

Featured classes included 'Pioneer Cars: Before 1900', SCCA Trans-Am cars, Cord Cousins, Slingshot Rails, Jaguar vs. Corvette, Micro Cars and Jet-Age Station Wagons.

Several hundred vehicles were on the show field, making it the one of the largest displays of historically important automobiles in the world. The vehicles were judged and given awards within their respective classes, with each Best of Class vehicle eligible for the coveted Best of Show nomination. As is custom at this Concours, two vehicles were awarded these honors, one for the most elegant American car, the other for the most elegant Foreign Car. Since many of the cars on the showfield are America, predicting the winner is always a challenge. With a class devoted to Duesenberg, the challenge becomes even greater. Other motoring greats on display included Cadillacs, Lincolns, Stutz, Pierce-Arrows, and Packards.

The 1933 Chrysler Imperial Dual Cowl Phaeton of Joseph and Margie Cassini won Best of Show honors for American cars. It has coachwork by LeBaron and received several unique features including dual rear-mounted spare tires, a painted radiator, and lower-mounted headlights. It was certainly the most elegant American car on the showfield.

The most elegant Foreign Car was Jim Patterson's 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster. It is the 1934 Paris Show Car and the Best of Show winner at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Jet-Age Station Wagons
The Jet-Age Station Wagon class contained some of the most interesting and rarely seen American station wagons from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Though their primary purpose was utilitarian, these tri-toned, finned vehicles were also a styling statement and a celebration of flamboyant design. The 1961 Chrysler New Yorker Station Wagon was selected as the Best of its Class. Only a few were built mostly due to their astronomical price tag of over $5,000. They had imposing style, luxurious appointments, and impressive performance. The example on display was powered by a dual Quad Cross Ram induction, 413 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 375 horsepower.

One example that received much attention throughout the day was the 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview. It is a custom-built car and one of only six made. It has an incredible 156-inch wheelbase and features a large plexi-glass observation panel in the roof.

Slingshot Rail Dragsters
The Slingshot Rail dragsters got their name from the extreme rearward positioning of the driver's torso behind the axle and slicks. In the early years of drag racing, the front-engine slingshot dragsters stood above the rest. The cars, also known as Top Fuel dragsters, run on a mix of approximately 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol rather than gasoline or simply methanol.

The cars were purpose-built for drag racing with an exaggerated layout that resembled open-wheel circuit racing vehicles. However, slingshot dragsters are much longer, much narrower and are equipped with large tires in back and small tires in front. Built by professional chassis builders, they were constructed by bending and welding together tubing and with the engine in front of the driver, as traditionally placed in race cars.

Best in Class awards went to the 1964 AA/FD Logghe Dragster owned by Bob Gladstone.

Pioneer Cars pre-1900
By the late 1800s, the auto industry was in its infancy and after much experimentation, the automobile was growing in popularity. Steam, internal and external combustion and electrical motors had all been attempted by the late -1800s.

The St. Johns Concours displayed five early automobiles. Each had a unique design, ranging from motorized tricycles to runabouts. The 1899 Orient Autogo Trike was awarded Best in Class. When new, the Autogo sold for $450 with either an Aster or DeDion motor. By removing the front wheel, the $150 Forecar Kit was added, forming a quadricycle that accommodated a passenger. When the current owner acquired the car in 2005, it was in poor condition. After six years of research and restoration, the car was returned to its original glory. It is one of only three Orients known to exist in the world, until a fire destroyed one in Germany in 2011. It is also the sole survivor with the Forecar kit.

Concours d'Elegance of America
This event is recognized through its longevity as the pre-eminent American-centric car show in the country. By featuring the heritage and history of Detroit, the show highlights the important role of styling, engineering, custom manufacturing, volume manufacturing, celebrities and technology on the evolution of the automobile. The event has built a reputation for its wide breadth of vehicles on display, covering all eras, and vehicles from all countries.

In addition to the Concours, there are a plethora of activities that make this event special, including seminars, vintage racing, dinners, concerts, and auctions. There was an Open Track Event at held at Waterford Hills Road Racing, a collector car auction presented by RM Auctions, a Motoring Tour, a VIP Tour to the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe, Saturday Night Charity Gala, and an Art Display.

Galleries
1896 Riker Runabout  
1897 Leon Bollee Tricar  
1898 De Dion Bouton  
1899 Locomobile Stanhope Style I  
1900 Orient Autogo  
1901 Packard Model C  
1908 Baker Model M  
1908 Lozier Type I  
1909 EMF Model 30  
1910 Stanley Model 60  
1911 Chalmers Model 30  
1911 Mercedes-Benz Model 50  
1911 Pierce Arrow Model 48  
1912 Havers Six-44  
1913 Stevens Duryea Model C  
1915 Packard 1-35  
1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost  
1916 Pierce Arrow Model 66  
1922 Duesenberg Model A  
1923 Kissel Model 45  
1924 Marmon Model 34  
1926 Pierce Arrow Model 80  
1926 Wills Sainte Claire T-6  
1936 Cord 810  
1937 Cord 812  
1938 Hupmobile Skylark  
1939 Hupmobile Skylark  
1940 Graham-Paige Hollywood  
1940 Hupmobile Skylark  
1941 Graham-Paige Hollywood Custom  
1929 Duesenberg Model J  
1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy  
1934 Duesenberg Model J  
1935 Duesenberg Model SJN  
1930 Cord L-29  
1931 Cord L-29  
1933 Auburn 8-105  
1935 Auburn 851  
1928 Dodge Model M Victory Six  
1932 Oldsmobile F-32  
1935 Buick Series 40  
1936 Ford Model 68  
1936 Terraplane Series 61 Commercial  
1937 Studebaker Dictator  
1939 Packard 1700 Six  
1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe Line  
1929 Stutz Model M  
1931 Lincoln Model K  
1932 Packard Model 902 Eight  
1933 Stutz DV-32  
1934 Packard 1107 Twelve  
1938 Chrysler Custom Imperial  
1939 Cadillac Series 75  
1940 Packard Custom Super 8 180  
1930 Franklin Series 147  
1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight  
1930 Pierce Arrow Model B  
1930 Willys Knight Model 66B  
1931 Buick Series 90  
1931 Cadillac 370A V12  
1931 Henney Roadster  
1932 Lincoln Model KB  
1933 Chrysler CL Custom Imperial  
1933 Packard 1002 Standard Eight  
1934 Packard 1107 Twelve  
1936 Cadillac Series 70  
1937 Ford Model 78 Darrin  
1937 Lincoln Model K  
1937 Packard 1502 Super Eight  
1941 Cadillac Series 62  
1941 Lincoln Continental  
1927 Minerva AF  
1928 Mercedes-Benz Model S  
1930 Bugatti Type 46  
1933 Delage D8S  
1934 Vauxhall Model BX  
1936 Bentley 4¼ Liter  
1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III  
1937 Delahaye 135M  
1937 Railton Eight  
1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30HP  
1938 BMW 327  
1938 Bugatti Type 57C  
1938 Horch 853 Phaeton  
1938 Jaguar 3.5 Litre  
1938 MG SA  
1938 Talbot-Lago T23  
1939 Delahaye Type 135 M  
1947 Delahaye 135 MS  
1947 Cadillac Series 62  
1953 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster  
1953 Packard Balboa Concept  
1954 Cadillac Series 62  
1955 Ford Thunderbird  
1956 Chrysler New Yorker  
1957 Ford Fairlane  
1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series  
1958 Pontiac Parisienne  
1960 Cadillac Eldorado  
1960 Chrysler 300F  
1960 Imperial Crown  
1961 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado  
1961 Chrysler 300G  
1962 Chevrolet Impala Series  
1962 Oldsmobile Starfire  
1963 Ford Thunderbird  
1967 Pontiac Catalina  
1970 Chevrolet Camaro  
1934 Morgan Super Sport  
1949 Peugeot Triporteur  
1957 Lambretta FDC  
1977 Cushman Truckster  
2011 Morgan Threewheeler  
1966 Pontiac GTO  
1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500  
1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX  
1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28  
1968 Pontiac Beaumont  
1969 Oldsmobile 442  
1970 Oldsmobile 442  
1970 Plymouth Barracuda  
1971 Buick Gran Sport  
1949 Morgan 4/4  
1951 Allard J2  
1954 Porsche 356  
1955 Moretti 1200  
1956 Aston Martin DB2-4 MKII  
1957 Aston Martin DB 2/4 MKIII  
1958 Bocar XP-4  
1959 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL  
1962 AC Ace  
1963 Ferrari 250 GT California  
1964 Shelby Cobra 289  
1965 Shelby Cobra 427  
1966 Aston Martin DB6  
1966 Bizzarrini 5300 Spyder S.I Prototipo  
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III  
1969 Maserati Ghibli  
1970 DeTomaso Mangusta GT  
1971 Lancia Fulvia  
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4  
1973 Ferrari 246 Dino  
1948 Daimler DE36  
1948 Jaguar Mark IV  
1950 Ford German Special  
1952 Mercedes-Benz 220  
1953 Hotchkiss Gregoire  
1964 Jensen C-V8 MK II  
1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III  
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA  
1967 Ford Escort Twin Cam  
1969 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior  
1969 Porsche 911T  
1971 Alfa Romeo GTV Veloce 1750  
1971 Ford Pinto  
1964 Pontiac Tempest  
1967 Mercury Cougar  
1969 Chevrolet Camaro  
1970 Dodge Challenger  
1972 Lancia Stratos HF  
1982 Ferrari 512 BBi  
2012 Ferrari 458 Italia  
2012 Ferrari FF  
2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4  
2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4  
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG  
2013 Dodge Viper GTS-R SRT  
1951 Jaguar XK120  
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Test Mule  
1955 Jaguar XK-D D-Type  
1957 Chevrolet Corvette C1  
1960 Chevrolet Corvette LeMans Racer  
1962 Chevrolet Corvette Fuel Injection Racer  
1962 Jaguar E-Type XKE  
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  
1963 Jaguar XKE Lightweight  
1965 Jaguar XKE E-Type  
1966 Chevrolet Corvette C2  
1968 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1969 Chevrolet Corvette C3  
1971 Jaguar XKE E-Type  
1981 Jaguar XJR-4  
1983 Jaguar XJR-5 IMSA  
1990 Chevrolet Corvette C4  
2011 Jaguar XKRS GT  
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air  
1957 Oldsmobile Super Eighty-Eight  
1958 AMC Rambler Ambassador  
1958 Packard Series 58L  
1959 Buick LeSabre  
1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview  
1959 Chrysler New Yorker Series  
1959 Ford Station Wagon Series  
1959 Mercury Country Cruiser  
1960 Buick Invicta  
1960 Dodge Polara  
1961 Chrysler New Yorker  
1950 Crosley FarmORoad  
1951 Crosley Hot Shot  
1952 Crosley Model CD Fire Truck  
1955 Messerschmitt KR200  
1957 BMW Isetta  
1958 BMW Isetta 300  
1964 Scootacar MKII  
1967 King Midget MKIII  
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