Every year, Cobble Beach hosts one of Canada’s most premiere and definitely the most prestigious automotive event, the Cobble Beach Concours D’Elegance. This event, the brainchild and dream of the McLeese family, became a reality in 2013 and now in its sixth year, the show never fails to impress with beautiful and stunning automobiles, boats and motorcycles from different eras and different parts of the World. This year, Cobble Beach attracted some stunning European automobiles with amazing history, stories and styling, as well as beautiful American automobiles. General Motors was also at the show to celebrate 100 years in Canada. For the special occasion, General Motors brought some stunning vehicles up from the private collection in Sterling Heights, MI.
For the 100th anniversary of General Motors in Canada, General Motors showcased their vehicles in a tent just out front the clubhouse of Cobble Beach. This tent housed two beautiful and prized possessions of General Motors, the 1959 Firebird III gas-turbine powered concept as well as the first concept car, the 1938 Buick Y-Job. These two beautiful classic concepts were created under Design Director Harley Earl and influenced a stunning era of GM automobiles with fins and chrome. Many Harley Earl era GM vehicles were also on display at the Concours. The 1999 Cadillac Evoq concept was also on showcase from Michigan to illustrate the start of Cadillac’s Art & Science Styling. A 1973 Corvette Stingray was also on display from the Heritage Collection. This Corvette may seem slightly less significant than the other concepts, but this 1973 marked the start of polyurethane bumpers, the rear still being chrome, and this car was customized and created for Design Head Bill Mitchell’s wife Marian. This special Vette includes a pearlescent white paint job with pinstriping, custom interior, red wheel wells and much more. It is a truly one of a kind car. Lastly, GM has a 1918 Chevrolet Model T truck as well as the new 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial edition on hand to show 100 years of Chevrolet Trucks, as well as 100 years of GM of Canada. In 1918, McLaughlin Buicks and the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada joined to create General Motors of Canada.
This year, there were many outstanding vehicles and outstanding classes including a motorcycle class focusing on German motorcycles, a Volkswagen class for vintage Volkswagens, and a special class for concepts and prototypes as well as a Preservation class. The show field featured everything from turn of the century horseless carriages to fabulous, big-winged American automobiles from the fifties. The field also featured a great Shelby Cobra class, featuring stunning examples of the Cobra with great race history as well as a Supercar class, hosting some beautiful exotics and supercars. Some beautiful cars that caught my eye were in the European classics, which included a beautiful 1937 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton, a stunning Brooklands speedster which was one of 4 built and bodied by Carlton and the only one in a two-seater configuration. This car was brought up to the show from Rhode Island and was surely a show stopper. A 1938 Steyr 220 Roadster that was brought up from Pennsylvania was also one to catch your eye. The curves and European elegance of this car created a sleek look that makes the car look fast, even while standing still. This Steyr was one of three built and features stunning Art Deco streamlining.
Among the most remarkable were the three show winners, the Most Outstanding Pre War, Most Outstanding Post War, and the Best in Show. The Most Outstanding Pre-War vehicle was awarded to the 1942 Chrysler Town & Country “Barrelback” from Newfoundland. This beautiful wagon is stunning with beautiful woodwork and chrome work, as well as an interesting cabinet-style rear door, giving it the Barrelback name. This stunning vehicle was only produced for two years and production was cut short to switch over to wartime production efforts. This beautiful wagon is one of 16 still known to exist. The Most Outstanding Post-War vehicle was awarded to the 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S that was brought to the show all the way from Los Angeles, California. This stunning roadster was designed by Pininfarina and is one of 521 examples to be produced and one of fewer than 20 known to exist today. This model was a car designed for performance and spirited driving. The Best in Show was awarded to a car with an amazing story and history behind it, a 1938 Delahaye 135MS Coupe from Savannah, Georgia and owned by Robert S. Jepson Jr. This beautiful coupe was designed for the 1938 Paris Salon and was showcased at the show, where the first owner had purchased the car and driven it for 3 months before having to hide the car from the Nazis. The car was built into the house to avoid being stolen or torched by invading Nazi forces and the car remained hidden for 27 years. The beautiful teardrop styling, sleek lines and long hood, as well as the remarkable French flag colour coded grille make for an outstanding and timeless design. This car was truly a deserving winner of the 2018 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best in Show.
Next September, be sure to make it up just north of Owen Sound to the beautiful grounds of Cobble Beach. This show is guaranteed to impress attendees with very expensive and elegant automobiles as well as some priceless automobiles. The venue is just as beautiful as the vehicles, with beautiful grounds, lake views from the whole show, and views of passing sailboats, watercraft and even the occasional float planes.
Written by David Murphy