F Features

Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2018

Cobble Beach, ON, Sept 16/18 (Howard Cohen/PRN): The Concours d’Elegance at Cobble Beach, just north of Owen Sound, Ontario, has turned into more than a car show. It has become a grand event for car enthusiasts from across North America. Whether the person is a car owner, builder, restorer or admirer, this Concours draws people from all walks of life. Their common draw is to see some of the most beautiful cars ever made. Car names such as Duesenberg, OSCA, Delahaye, McLaren, Auburn, both pre-war and post-war, and so many more, all gather on the shore of Georgian Bay for a weekend of sharing their history.
The Concours weekend starts Saturday morning with a 100-km tour around the Georgian Peninsula. Many of the cars follow a scenic route, attracting curious eyes all along the way: 1928 Chevrolet Station Wagon, 1960 Triumph Italia 2000GT, 1932 Ford hot rod, Ferrari 330 GTC, 1955 Corvette, MGB-GT, 1953 Oldsmobile, 1939 Lincoln Zephyr and dozens more. In the late afternoon, the cars start to head for the show field, the 18th fairway of the Cobble Beach golf course, to prepare for the Sunday event. The cars are parked in position according to the class they are in.
At 5:30 Sunday morning, the sun is not yet showing, the show field is lit up with special lights brought in to illuminate the fairway. Cars that set up Saturday are under covers, much like many people in the area at that hour. The morning dew is on the covers, the grass and misting in the air. More cars are being driven to the show field with vintage exhaust sounds filling eardrums. Hagerty Insurance is busy providing fresh coffee for everyone. Concourse staff are guiding cars into position. The fairway is foggy, the bay in the background not yet visible, the show still prepares.
By 9 am, the fog has lifted, the sun is bright, the main gates have opened and thousands of car enthusiasts are arriving and taking in the many beautiful cars set out in classes: American, European, Horseless Carriages, Muscle Cars, Corvettes, Supercars, Hot Rods, Volkswagens, Limited Production, each category special in its own right, each different than the other, with a common theme of elegant beauty. The public knows some of the cars, they talk about car they have owned or wanted to own or wish they could own. There are show guides in each class to answer questions that may arise. The public has the opportunity to vote for their favourite car of the day and they examine each car closely.
There are special exhibits on the show field and in the vendor area, artists that paint, draw, carve, display and sell automotive products. Jay Koka is a world-renowned artist famous for his car art and posters, one of which has been created just for this Concours. Many commercial sponsors are promoting their products such as Michelin Tires, Pfaff Motorsports, Hagerty Insurance, General Motors and more.
There are specially trained Concours judges on the show field. They check each car to make sure that it runs, that it has been properly restored, that the fit and finish are perfect. They talk to each car owner and builder, they check any booklets that are with the car. They assign points for each car, engine, interior, body, chassis. They confer and make a final tally. The owner is not told about the outcome just yet but will be told later.
Mid-afternoon and it is time for the awards presentations. There are awards for each class plus special awards. The cars must be driven to the winner’s circle to receive their award. The announcer, Ed Lucas, starts calling the cars by class, with a short description of each car. The cars drive up, the presentations are made, cameras capture the ceremony, the public applauds every car. There are several special awards that follow the classes including, ‘Most Popular Car by Public Vote’, ‘Best Pre-War Car’, ‘Best Post War Car’ and finally, ‘Best of Show’.

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Most Popular Car by Public Vote and ‘Best Pre-War Car’:
1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country ‘Barrelback’; Vernon Smith, Swift Current, NL.

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‘Best Post-War Car’: 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina; Robert Mirvis, Los Angeles, CA.

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‘Best in Show’: 1938 Delahaye 135MS Coupe; Robert S. Jepson Jr., Savannah, GA.
It is over. The awards have been presented with the public appreciating each car, each recipient. The sun has been shining all day, making the Concours perfect. An event that takes all year, and longer for the car builders, to prepare is over in a few hours. The crowd heads for their cars and homes knowing they have seen some of the finest cars anywhere and already wanting to know what next year will bring … September 14-15, 2019 … don’t miss it.

Check out the gallery of Howard Cohen's photos on the 'PRN Motorsport Magazine' Facebook page.

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