The Elegance at Hershey

The Elegance at Hershey June 2017
The Elegance at Hershey is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. The show focuses on elegance, and the well-curated garden party attracts some of the finest creations that ever put rubber to the road. Since there are no featured marques, categories, themes, or celebrated anniversaries, it's always a mystery as to what vehicles or types of vehicles will be on display.

The event is held at the Hotel Hershey in the classically manicured gardens situated high atop the town of Hershey, PA. It features a breathtaking assortment of flowers and shrubs, and a stately collection of rare, signature trees. The location offered ample space for the gala themed night time party, kick-off cocktail party, an Afterglow party, and the Cannonball Run Seminar.

The festivities commenced with The Grand Ascent, a vintage hill climb exhibition in the European tradition, where drivers piloted some of the finest historic race cars up the historic back road to The Hotel Hershey.

Following the Grand Ascent on Saturday, The event reached a crescendo with the highlight of the weekend, The Elegance. Roughly 75 hand-selected vehicles, many of which were driven up the steep hill to the Hotel Hershey, rested amongst the botanical beauty providing visitors with unique experiences and enriching opportunities.

There was little deviation from the 'elegance' theme. The VerValen Special and the Porsche 906 on display were purpose built race cars, but undeniably elegant. Post-War Sports/Racers in attendance included the Ferrari 212 Export, Ferrari 166 Inter, Siata 300BC, Allard J2X, Kurtis 500SX, Shelby Cobra, and AC Bristol. Although their impressive engines shoe-horned into the compact engine bays are often topics of discussion, it was their classic lines and gentle sloping curves that awarded them an invitation to The Elegance.

It is always a pleasure to see concept cars in attendance at these type of affairs. The red Plymouth XNR Concept, designed by Virgil M. Exner, was presented in 1960 as Mr. Exner's dream for a sports roadster. Unlike most concept cars of the era, this one was meant to be driven. Barely 43-inches high, the car was ultimately clocked at Chrysler's high-speed proving grounds in Michigan at 152 mph. Ultimately, Chrysler decided there was just no market; even if there had been, the styling would likely have seemed just too far out to sell well. Exner's abrupt firing in 1962 killed any chance the design might have had for being refined into something more practical for production.

Perhaps the most flamboyant car in attendance, the Talbot-Lago T150C, was also one of the most elegant. It has coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi and is similar in style of the 1936 Paris Auto Salon Delahaye. It is one of the most striking designs of the coachbuilding era. Its signature features include the sweeping pontoon fenders, low windscreen and intimate seating for two. The car appears in motion while standing still. At the end of the day, it was awarded with The Hotel Hershey Award.

The Three P's of Automotive Luxury were well represented at this year's event. At least 11 Packards, 2 Pierce-Arrows, and one Peerless showcased why they were among the most coveted cars of their era.

In recent years, Preservation has become a popular topic in the collector car community. The Elegance highlighted the importance of preservation by displaying a 1924 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8, an Shelby Cobra, AC Bristol, and a Bugatti Type 57. The Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A took home the well-deserved FIVA Presentation award. It is the earliest known Tipo 8 Series extant and may likely be the first of that series produced. It remains, incredibly, in unrestored, original condition. It was first bodied by Cesare Sala of Milan. In 1926, it received solid side-mount covers and special interior fitments by Carrozzeria Riva.

The People's Choice was awarded to the 1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet. It was one of two Cord L-29 models in attendance. It was a styling sensation with its low, sweeping lines on the low-slung chassis made possible by its innovative front-wheel drive. From 1929 to 1931, Cord produced a total of 5,014 L-29 models, the first mass produced front-wheel drive American automobile. The economic depression effectively killed the Cord's chance of success as a product slotted between the popularly priced Auburn, and the high-end Duesenberg.

The Governor's Cup (aka Best of Show) was bestowed upon the 1934 Packard 1106 (Twelve) Runabout Speedster by Lebaron, owned by Bob, Sandy & Gary Bahre. The Lebaron-bodied Packard Speedster is arguably one of the most spectacular Packards of all-time. Just four were known to have been produced when new and all four remain extant today. The Speedster combined Packard's shortest wheelbase with its 160 horsepower V-12 engine, and stunning coachwork from LeBaron of Detroit. Included was a raked vee-windshield, long hood, boattail rear end, and pontoon fenders with skirts on the rear fenders and wheel covers over the wire wheels - all of which added up to one modern and sleek automobile.

The Bahre's Packard was originally owned by actor Clark Gable. Upon his purchase, Gable sent the car to Bohman & Schwartz of Pasadena, who further modified the car with stylish teardrop step plates in lieu of running boards and a further reduction of the windshield height, thus lowering the profile of the car. The Bahre's have owned the car since the late 1970s.

Established in 2010, The Elegance at Hershey once again brought together some of the world's finest collector cars to 'The Sweetest Place on Earth.'


1904 Pope-Toledo Type V  
1906 National Model E  
1908 Pullman Model H  
1908 Studebaker Electric  
1911 Packard Model Thirty  
1913 Simplex Model 50  
1914 Pierce Arrow Model 38-C  
1923 Packard Single Six  
1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8  
1925 Ford Hot Rod  
1925 Locomobile Model 48  
1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost  
1928 Auburn Model 115  
1929 Bentley 4.5 Litre  
1929 Cord L-29  
1929 Duesenberg Model J  
1929 Duesenberg Model SJ  
1929 Peerless 8-125  
1930 Packard Series 734 Eight  
1930 Packard Series 745 Deluxe Eight  
1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom I  
1930 Willys Knight Model 66B  
1931 Cadillac Series 355-A Eight  
1931 Cadillac Series 452-A Sixteen  
1931 Cord L-29  
1931 Duesenberg Model J  
1931 Marmon Model 16  
1931 Ruxton Model C  
1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300  
1932 MG F-Type Magna  
1932 Packard Model 903 Deluxe Eight  
1932 Studebaker President  
1933 Pierce Arrow Model 836  
1934 Alvis Speed 20 SB  
1934 Bugatti Type 57  
1934 Chrysler Imperial Airflow Series CV  
1934 Lancia Belna Eclipse  
1934 Packard 1106 Twelve  
1935 Jaguar SS1  
1936 Brough Superior  
1936 Jaguar SS 100  
1936 Lancia Astura  
1936 Packard Model 1407 Twelve  
1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30  
1937 Packard 1508 Twelve  
1937 Packard One Twenty  
1938 Jaguar SS 100  
1938 Lincoln Model K  
1938 Talbot-Lago T150C  
1940 Buick Series 50 Super  
1940 Packard Custom Super-8 One-Eighty  
1940 Packard Super-8 One-Sixty  

1946 Delahaye 135M  
1948 Davis Divan  
1950 Ferrari 166 Inter  
1951 Delahaye 135M  
1951 Ferrari 212 Export  
1952 Siata 300BC  
1953 Allard J2X  
1953 Buick Series 50 Super  
1955 Arnolt DeLuxe  
1955 Kurtis 500SX  
1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith  
1958 AC Ace Bristol  
1958 Dual Ghia Convertible  
1958 VerValen Special  
1960 Bentley S2 Continental  
1960 Plymouth XNR Concept  
1963 Porsche 901  
1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso  
1964 Shelby Cobra 289  
1966 Porsche 906  
1971 Ferrari 365 Daytona  
1971 Porsche 911  
1972 Dodge Challenger  
1973 Ferrari 246 Dino  

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