Concours d'Elegance of America at Meadow Brook

Concours d^Elegance of America at Meadow Brook July 2010
The Meadow Brook Concours - now called The Concours d'Elegance of America at Meadow Brook - proved once again that it is among the world's most prestigious classic automobile exhibitions. The event celebrates heritage, automotive history, enthusiasm for the old car hobby, and quality of restoration. This years featured groups included GM's Motorama Cars, Celebrity Owned Cars, Altered Factory Experimental Cars from the early days of Drag Racing, Speedsters and Roadster, Space-Age Sport Coupes, and Woodys.

Along with a name change, there was another big announcement. After 31 years of calling the Meadow Brook Hall home, the event will move to a new location for 2011. The Concours' new home is the Inn at St. John's in suburban Plymouth, Michigan, a location that includes a conference center, an 118-room hotel and 27 hole golf course. The hotel room and the conference center were a significant factor in the decision to move. 'As times have changed, the economics of producing an event such as ours necessitates the presence of an on-site hotel with conference facilities specifically designed for large events,' Peter Heydon, the concours chairman, said in a statement.

From the Brass Era to Muscle Cars, the Concours of America encompassed all eras of automobile production, and had a very strong presence of cars built in America, celebrating Michigan's rich automotive history and culture. Except for the 'European Luxury and Sport' and the 'Sports Car' categories, nearly every other group were American-car exclusive.

Just like other concours as well as in past years, there were the classic brass-era cars, the recognized classics based on Classic Car Club of America standard, along with other unexpected displays, such as the A/FX class of drag racing cars of the 1960s. These were defined as 'factory experimental' wild race cars from each of Detroit's big automakers and were raced by famous drivers of their day. The list included the 'Old Reliable', Dick Landy's 1964 Dodge with altered wheelbase precursor to later funny cars, and Gasper 'Gas' Ronda's custom 'Long Nose' Mustang.

Another 'non-traditional' Concours d'Elegance category was the ferocious Muscle Car group. Looking under the hood of these iconic American masterpieces made one re-think the phrase 'beauty is only skin deep' - physical beauty is not always superficial. The judge's favorite in this group was Chevrolet Impala Z-11 Sport Coupe. The car has just 1,080 miles and a distinguished racing career. It was ordered from the factory with the Z-11 package that included aluminum front end and bumpers, and a 427 cid 'Mystery Engine' with special Z-11 heads. It has recently undergone a complete frame-off restoration and is one of the finest examples in existence.

The Space Age Coupe Category was a popular field, featuring cars of the late 1950s and early 1960s that incorporated design elements inspired from 'space-age' styling. These large automobiles were given large tailfins, wide rear decks with 'rocket-pod' tail lamps, rear skirts, and sharp-edged rooflines. The interiors were equally as extreme. The judges selected the Ford Thunderbird owned by James Cappuzzo as the most deserving for the 'Best in Class' award. Cappuzzo's 1963 T-bird is one of only 37 cars produced with the rare 'M' code engine. When new, the car cost a staggering $5,563, a hefty figure in the 1960s.
Perhaps the most anticipated car on the field was the 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne Motorama Car owned by Joe Bortz. The car had just undergone an extensive restoration and was making its restoration debut. The car was rescued from a scrap yard in the late 1980s and at the time, was in very poor shape. It had no powertrain or chassis and was missing many pieces. After years of work and dedication, the car was transformed to its former glory, and made a very special restoration debut at this years event. Three other cars from the Bortz collection were on display, including the 1953 Pontiac Parisienne, the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special and the 1953 Buick Wildcat. All were part of the General Motors' Motorama touring exhibitions of the 1950s. 'Any concept car is something special,' says Bortz, 'but the cars from the Motorama shows are the crème de la crème.'

Best of Show
The Concours d'Elegance of America awards three Best of Show awards, one to the most elegant American car on the field and another to the most deserving European car. The third award is for the most deserving motorcycle in attendance.

As in years past, selecting the Best-of-the-Best was an extremely difficult decision that required the expertise of judges who had equally impressive talents in the automotive industry. In the European car category, there were two Bugatti Type 57s with one having won Best of Show at Pebble Beach in 1976. These were some of the most beautiful, desirable and advanced of all Bugattis, with Jean Bugatti's lean, sleek, aggressive Atalante coachwork complemented by the low Type 57 surbaisse chassis. Also in the group was a Talbot-Lago T150C with a Teardrop Coupe body, arguably the pinnacle of the French streamlined design movement. Sitting in close proximity was a Voisin C27 Aerosport Coupe which had been on display at the 1935 Geneva Motorshow. Other memorable name-plates from the group included Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Mercedes-Benz. From this group of paragons, the judges selected the Talbot-Lago from the Off Brothers Collection in Richland, MI as their favorite.

The long list of eligible Packards, Pierce-Arrows, Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Duesenberg stretched from one end of the field to the other. Of the three Duesenbergs in attendance, the judges selected the Phaeton Sweep-Panel Model J owned by John Groendyke of Enid, OK.

There were several days of auto-related events leading up to the concours, which included RM Auctions 16th sales at the event. More than 100 cars crossed the block, with the focus of the sale being on American classics. Total sales surpassed $10 million dollars, with the top-seller being the 1953 Chrysler 'Thomas Special' Coupe, selling for $858,000. Other activities related to the concours included a design forum and a motoring tour.

With a field of over 200 cars along with a range of vintage motorcycles on display, the 2010 Concours d'Elegance of America at Meadow Brook showcased more than 100 years of automotive history. Entries hailed from across 25 states as well as Canada and close to 10,000 automotive enthusiasts were in attendance.

'We were overly pleased with the weekend's event. With cars coming from 25 states, the field represented one of our most diverse showings in history, with some of the greatest automobiles ever built on display,' says Larry Moss, Chairman of the Car Selection Committee, Concours d'Elegance of America at Meadow Brook.

'There was truly something for everyone and all elements came together well to make for a great and memorable day with strong attendance,' Moss adds.

1903 Packard Model F  
1909 Locomobile Model 40  
1909 Peerless Model 25  
1910 Brush Model D  
1910 Ford Model T  
1910 Mitchell Model S  
1911 Pierce Arrow Model 48  
1914 Chevrolet Series L  
1925 Diana Eight  
1926 Chrysler Model G-70  
1926 Lincoln Model L  
1928 Lincoln Model L  
1929 Cadillac 341B  
1929 Invicta A-Type  
1929 Packard 633  
1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight  
1930 Cadillac Series 452A V16  
1930 Lincoln Model L  
1930 Packard 733  
1930 Studebaker President  
1930 Stutz SV16  
1931 Chrysler CG Imperial  
1931 Lincoln Model K  
1932 Buick Series 60  
1933 Lincoln Model KB  
1933 Marmon Sixteen  
1933 Packard 1002 Standard Eight  
1934 Packard 1101  
1934 Packard 1104 Super Eight  
1934 Packard 1107 Twelve  
1936 Packard Model 1405 Super Eight  
1936 Packard Model 1407 Twelve  
1936 Pierce Arrow Deluxe 8  
1938 Lincoln Model K  
1940 Cadillac Series Sixty  
1940 Packard Custom Super 8 180  
1941 Cadillac Series 62  
1941 Cadillac Series 75  
1941 Packard Super 8 180  
1942 Packard Clipper Eight  
1947 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood  
1948 Packard Super Eight  
1929 Duesenberg Model J  
1933 Auburn Model 12-165  
1933 Duesenberg Model SJ  
1936 Duesenberg Model J  
1937 Cord 812  
1915 Mercer 22-70  
1925 Kissel Model 55  
1927 Essex Super Six  
1927 Stutz Model AA  
1929 Auburn 8-120  
1930 Packard 734  
1930 Vauxhall Hurlingham  
1931 Hudson Series T  
1932 Auburn 12-160  
1936 Auburn 852  
1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II  
1934 Voisin Type C-27  
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante  
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K  
1938 Bentley 4.25-Liter  
1938 Talbot-Lago T150C  
1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III  
1954 Bentley R Type  
1960 Mercedes-Benz 220 Series  
1973 Rolls-Royce Corniche  
1941 Chrysler Town and Country  
1942 Chrysler Windsor Town and Country  
1946 Chrysler Town & Country  
1947 Chrysler Town and Country  
1948 Chrysler Town and Country  
1934 Railton Eight  
1935 MG NB  
1938 Morgan 4/4  
1948 Tucker 48  
1950 Aston Martin DB2  
1952 Allard J2  
1953 Ferrari 250 MM  
1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina  
1953 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight  
1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1  
1954 Kaiser Darrin  
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL  
1958 Chevrolet Corvette C1  
1958 Porsche 356A  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT California  
1959 Jaguar XK150  
1960 Porsche 356B Super 90  
1962 Jaguar E-Type XKE  
1962 Jaguar Mark II  
1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso  
1964 Morgan Plus Four  
1966 Chevrolet Corvette C2  
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III  
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC  
1967 Ghia 450 SS  
1968 Ford Shelby Mustang Cobra GT 350  
1968 Intermeccanica Italia  
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400  
1972 DeTomaso Pantera  
1934 Chrysler Airflow Series CU  
1936 Ford Model 68  
1941 Hudson Super Six  
1947 Ford Super Deluxe  
1948 Plymouth Special Deluxe  
1949 Buick Series 70 Roadmaster  
1950 Mercury Series 0CM  
1955 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood  
1955 Ford Fairlane  
1955 Kaiser Manhatten  
1960 Chrysler 300F  
1956 Cadillac Series 62  
1956 Continental Mark II Convertible  
1956 Lincoln Premiere  
1956 Packard Four-Hundred  
1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk  
1957 Chrysler 300C  
1957 Ford Thunderbird  
1958 Buick Series 700 Limited  
1958 Imperial Crown Imperial  
1959 Chrysler 300E  
1960 Imperial Crown  
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado  
1960 Pontiac Ventura  
1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11  
1967 Chevrolet Impala Series  
1968 AMC AMX  
1968 Plymouth Road Runner  
1969 Ford Fairlane  
1969 Mercury Cyclone  
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Series  
1970 Oldsmobile 442  
1970 Plymouth Road Runner  
1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am  
1957 Lincoln Premiere  
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser  
1959 Cadillac Series 62  
1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88  
1960 Buick Invicta  
1960 Chevrolet Impala Series  
1961 Cadillac Series 62 DeVille  
1961 Plymouth Fury  
1961 Pontiac Bonneville  
1963 Ford Thunderbird  
1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Series  
1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11  
1963 Pontiac Catalina Series 23  
1963 Pontiac Tempest  
1964 Mercury Comet  
1965 Dodge Coronet  
1965 Ford Falcon  
1965 Mercury Comet A/FX  
1965 Plymouth Golden Commando  
1966 Ford Mustang  
1953 Buick Wildcat I  
1953 Pontiac Parisienne  
1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama  
1955 Chevrolet Biscayne XP-37  
1914 Packard Series 4-48  
1923 Checker H-2  
1928 Hudson Model O  
1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K  
1936 Cord 810  
1937 Buick Series 80 Roadmaster  
1949 Ford Custom Series  
1958 Tatra T-603  
1960 Di Dia 150  
1962 AMC Rambler Budd XR-400  
1932 Packard Model 905 Twin Six  
1938 Packard 1608 Twelve  
1942 Packard Super-8 One-Eighty  
1932 Bergholt Streamline  
1932 Bucciali TAV 12  
1953 Paxton Porsche Phoenix  
1954 Fiat 8V  
1956 GMC Suburban  
2010 Aston Martin DBS Volante  
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia  
2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder  


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