Cobble Beach Concours conjures up the best
In a busy calendar of summer car shows it is hard to stand out in the crowd. But the first Cobble Beach Concours, to be held on September 14, promises a shiny new event on the Ontario scene, to rate with the best held anywhere. Consciously styled after the famed show held at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California, there will be vehicles of all ages stretching back to the Brass Era and the dawn of motoring.
The Concours d’Elegance will be located in a golf course setting in Kemble, Ontario, on Georgian Bay. “The event will showcase breathtaking scenery, wonderful countryside, and be close to home,” says Steve Plunkett, renowned car collector, organizer of Canada’s largest car show and special advisor to Cobble Beach Concours. For the high-rollers there will be a Porter Airlines flight from Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport with connecting coach to the show site.
Dating back to a 17th century tradition in French high-society, as a parade of horse drawn carriages, the event has transformed into the most venerated display of antique and classic automobiles in the world. The Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will exhibit over a hundred years of beauty and innovation represented in ten-plus main categories, featuring the introduction of a ‘Made in Canada’ class, as a testament to the North American love-affair with the automobile.
The glittering array of vehicles will include the red 1978 Ferrari 312T3 in which Gilles Villeneuve won his first Formula One Grand Prix. After thirty years outside the country, the Ferrari will take its place among rare examples of automotive ingenuity, including the spectacular 1956 Maserati 200SI, the revolutionary 1930 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Roadster, and a 1953 Jaguar XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe, a type that featured strongly in the early days of sports car racing in Ontario, at Edenvale and elsewhere.
Adored throughout the automobile community, Margaret Dunning, 103-year-old long-time car collector and restorer from Plymouth, Massachusetts, will attend with her trademark 1930 Packard 740 roadster, hot-on-the-heels of her spotlight appearance at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “It is a real treat to have Margaret Dunning join us at Cobble Beach. It is a testament to the pedigree of this concours, the spectacular setting and the first-class cars involved. The first of its kind in Canada,” says Chief Judge John Carlson.
Other automobiles on show will include four Rolls-Royces from the 1930s, a 1938 Steyr 220 awarded “Best in Show” at the 2013 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance, and a 1934 Pierce Arrow awarded Best in Show at Pebble Beach, winning 100 points, the maximum score. Showed for the first time after 64 years, at the Amelia Island Concours earlier this year, the 1949 Cadillac concept Coupe de Ville will also make a rare appearance.
Contributing to the proper preservation of automotive history, Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance judging will consider correct preservation or restoration, as well as standards of presentation. Cars will be judged based on quality workmanship and functionality, originality and authenticity, as well as elegance in styling and design. Honourary Co-Chair Jason Priestley joins an esteemed list of judges.
A modern trend in the classic car world is the preservation of unrestored vehicles which retain their original patina. One such car on the invitation list is the blue 1954 Allard J2X-Cadillac of Al Sands, the ex-Fred Hayes car which dominated on the Ontario Hill Climb scene in the mid-fifties. A modern counterpart on display is the Allard J2X MKII, a hand-crafted version of the famed British competition roadster, now manufactured in Montreal.
Proceeds raised by Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will go to Sunnybrook Foundation to fund a state-of-the-art helipad on the rooftop of the Toronto hospital. Of the 1,000 patients that are treated for life-threatening traumas at the hospital each year, about half arrive by helicopter. Right now, the hospital’s helipad is located some 500 meters from the trauma room and transferring patients from the helicopter can add time in treating patients when every second counts.
For more information and ticket prices: www.cobblebeachconcours.com
Written by Rupert Lloyd Thomas