On July 28th, the 41st Annual Concours d’Elegance of America took place on the grounds of the Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth, Michigan. This beautiful location hosts a beautiful hotel and golf course that every year play host to this remarkable and exclusive classic car show. Some of the most prestige, incredibly rare and unique vehicles attend this Concours from all over the United States, Canada and sometimes even from Europe. The vehicles are hand chosen to fit within the certain classes which are judged and displayed together. This year, the show featured a few new marques, including a Bentley and Rolls Royce individual class and display to commemorate the marque’s anniversary. This year, a classic Gasser, drag car class, also attended and were definitely heard.
This year, the Concours was held yet again on a very warm, humid but sunny day and brought a few hundred unique vehicles to the show. A few guests were also in attendance including Wayne Carini, David Hobbs, a former race car driver and Bill Warner, the enthusiast of the year. One of the most outstanding and unique classes this year featured the rise and the fall of the Cadillac fin. This design display, brought together in part with Cadillac and GM Design, looked at the evolution of the tailfin on Cadillacs until its demise in the late 60s. The cars were also chronologically displayed so the progression from the rear of the vehicles was amazing. Hurst Oldsmobiles were also displayed as 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first year of the popular H/O Hurst 442s. These vehicles were very iconic and the original prototype as well as the Linda Vaughan parade car were in attendance.
The most remarkable vehicle that caught my eye at this year’s Concours of America was actually a vehicle from right here in Canada. The 1973 Ferrari 365 Daytona coupe was originally owned by renowned and legendary racer, Niki Lauda, as payment for his driving with Ferrari in the 1974 season. This Daytona was gifted to Lauda by Enzo Ferrari himself and driven by Lauda before he sold it to a Canadian doctor in Austria a year after. The beautiful Daytona, subtle in silver paint unlike many other Ferraris, was kept by the same owner until he fell ill and became older. The current owner is from Ontario and the car still resides in Ontario, Canada as it has since 1974. The only tip to its history to an unsuspecting passerby is the licence plate Lauda365. Yet another year has passed by and this show yet again did not disappoint. The winners of this Concours of America this year were a 1938 Graham 97, also shown at Cobble Beach previously and a 1954 Ferrari 375MM. Truly stunning vehicles with amazing histories, racing and one as a coachbuilt rarity.
Written by David Murphy