Prestigious automobiles and glistening waters put a sparkle in your eye at Cobble Beach
Bugattis. Big-Winged Mopars. Brass Era Automobiles. The Cobble Beach Concours D’Elegance is nothing short of extraordinary. In its third year, the Cobble Beach Concours continues to grow with new classes each year and is now truly, earning the name, “Pebble Beach of the North.” The Cobble Beach Concours brings some of Canada’s most prestigious cars together along with some rare competitors from the United States, making it the most prestigious automotive show in Canada and one of the most prestigious shows in North America. Some new classes were also added, including a boat class in which local Danny Brackett’s father in-law, Gordon Wilson brought his 1921 Ditchburn Family Deluxe “B-IV.” The show also brought along a new leading sponsor, Cadillac Canada, and had a very impressive display with an informative and ground-breaking seminar about the brand’s direction, a cocktail hour with Cadillac executives and an impressive Cadillac building housing two beautiful concepts and excellent catering for show attendees. Alike the renaissance that this prestigious show is bringing to Canada’s vintage car community, Cadillac is refreshing their line-up to be a defining player in the world luxury car market. By 2020, Cadillac promises twelve new vehicles and according to Mahmoud Samara, Cadillac Sales and Marketing Director, “Cadillac will be present in every luxury car segment.” General Motors Canada CEO, Steve Carlisle, was also at the show to promote the brand’s renaissance and to showcase Cadillac’s rich history with four beautiful vintage Cadillacs from the GM Heritage Center. Cobble Beach also hosted Saturday seminars with Hagerty Insurance and Jack Telnack, former VP of Ford Design. Hagerty Insurance hosted a seminar about emerging collectibles, including some interesting examples such as the 1987 Buick Grand National and the 1979-1993 Ford Mustang GT. These two examples have just cracked the 25-year mark in cases but offer exceptional performance and classic looks in an era of boxy and uninspired automobiles. Jack Telnack was also on hand to speak about his involvement at Ford Motor Company with two Mustang design projects. The honour of having a renowned influence from the design industry was incredible. Mr. Telnack discussed the development of the first Ford Mustang and the Fox-Body Ford Mustang, a project in which he headed. Original sketches and renderings were shown from 1962 and full clay models displayed from the Fox body Mustang project. The Concours puts an influence on design and craftsmanship, in which these men are truly artists. Coachbuilt treasures were a large focus this year during the colder Sunday, yet the sun still made its way to glisten in the waters, creating a serene backdrop to accent the beauty of these vehicles. Three rare coachbuilt examples were on hand to showcase the elaborate details and beauty that these craftsmen achieved. One very famous Canadian example of this coachwork comes from The Guild of Automotive Restorers in Bradford. The Guild recreated one of Bugatti’s most revolutionary and stunning designs, the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe. The original car was showcased a few times before World War II, but has been lost and presumed to have been destroyed during the War. The Guild’s David Grainger had been motivated and wanted to take on the challenge of recreating this stunning automobile. An original Bugatti chassis was used, but the body had to be handcrafted out of Elektron, an alloy of magnesium and aluminum from only a handful of old photographs of the Aerolithe. Bugatti is well known for its excellent and stunning coachwork, but The Guild really showcases an outstanding level of craftsmanship with this resurrection of the Aerolithe, taking home the Poetry in Motion Award. Another Bugatti also took home some recognition as Best in its Class and the Outstanding Pre-War Award. This 1938 Bugatti Type 57C was one of 17 coupes built by the marque between 1936 and 1940. The car was found in a garage in New York, completely original, and was restored after a first showing at the Pebble Beach Concours. The third coachbuilt masterpiece however took home the Best in Show and is a very unique example, a 1938 Graham 97 SC Cabriolet with bodywork by Saoutchik. This American based automobile was coachbuilt in Europe and was one of two produced. A perfect example of Art Deco styling, this automobile features unique doors and exaggerated design that make it appear always in motion. These most prestigious highlights reside now in the United States, however, Dufferin County and Caledon were no strangers as major contenders in this year’s Concours. Our community is not unknown as a major force in the classic car hobby and this was apparent this weekend in Cobble Beach. Five vehicles from Dufferin County and Caledon took part in this year’s event, some of these vehicles also taking part in our weekly Canadian Tire Cruise Nights. One owner, Scott Sinclair from Caledon, attends our Cruise Nights and boasts a great car collection while setting a great example of how enthused and warming many owners in the automotive community, a true class act. Mr. Sinclair and his wife Kay took home 3rd place in their Corvettes 1953 to 1963 class. His beautiful 1956 Corvette took part and was purchased by Mr. Sinclair in 1978. He purchased this Corvette for the reason that it was the same colour as his motorcycle at the time and did not known much about Corvettes, other than he really had to drive it. Mr. Sinclair restored the Corvette himself in 1993 in his own garage, painting and rebuilding it with his own hands. As the Corvette sits on the show field today, it shows incredibly with 25,000 miles on the 22-year old restoration. Scott Sinclair collects his cars knowing that he likes to drive them and they feel right at the time, no brand bias here. He would not hesitate to drive his ’56 anywhere with his wife and has placed at the top in many National Corvette meets. His car is also one of 13 Canadian Corvettes to receive the Duntov Mark of Excellence Award, one of the most coveted among Corvettes. To see our community being represented so well at the most prestigious car event in Canada, it is truly inspiring. The Cobble Beach Concours D’Elegance promises to keep growing, providing an inside into our Canadian car community internationally. With more added classes each year, Cobble Beach Concours provides a great venue that is sure to impress no matter the weather. Cobble Beach is a perfect example that shows that our understated car community is an international force to be taken seriously. The same can also be said for our great car community in Dufferin County and Caledon.
Written & Photos by David Murphy