It’s that time of year again, when you ditch your weekend plans at the last moment because you realize that it’s Greenwich Concours weekend. Or perhaps you’re the kind of person who remembers what the weather was like during the first weekend in June for every year of the last ten years, because you have a very detailed memory of every single Greenwich Concours of the last decade. Either way Greenwich Concours weekend is upon us, and with the very very untimely demise of the Fairfield County Concours and the placement of Newport Concours into cryogenic stasis, Greenwich is now the sole first-tier concours event in all of New England and the Iron Islands.
If you’re going to be in the NYC area this weekend (or in the lower 48 really), the concours is June 1st and June 2nd in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT. As always, Saturday is the concours for American cars, and on Sunday it’s Concours Europa with foreign cars taking the field. If you are, shall we say, into foreign machinery, then might I suggest that Sunday is the more promising day to be there. Finding a parking spot has gotten more ornery in the last few years, so either get there early or plan to park quite far away. And speaking of parking, don’t miss the “parking lot concours” right across from the entrance to the park, as there is always an
insane varied selection of visitors’ cars to see. After the jump, let’s take a look at some highlights from the 2012 edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
Best in Show for American cars last year went to Ralph and Adeline Marano’s 1954 Packard Panther, above. One of four originally built, and one of two that remain, the Panther is a low-slung coupe that features an unmistakably Packard front fascia, coupled with a wide, barrel-like body. Designed by Richard Teague, who also worked on Packard’s Balboa concept, the Panther’s body is made out of fiberglass. The Maranos exhibited it at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the Postwar American Chassis with Special Body class in 2011.
Sunday’s Best in Show award for foreign automobiles last year went to Judge Joseph Cassini’s 1938 Horch 853 Special Roadster. The Horch 853 premiered in 1937 and utilized a number of engineering advancements that came out of Auto Union’s racing experience. This example was originally brought to the United States by a servicemember returning from Europe after WWII, and was restored decades later by RM Restorations, achieving Best in Show at Pebble Beach in 2004. I believe this car was sold at Monterey later in 2012.
Both days also saw the return to the concours of the Chevrolet Rondine, which has been making the concours rounds during the last couple of years. The Rondine was a concept built by Pininfarina for the 1963 Paris Motor Show, and sits on a Corvette C2 chassis. It resided in Pininfarina’s collection until 2008, when it was sold for $1.76 million to Michael Schudroff who, amazingly, had no qualms about leaving the Rondine on the show grounds overnight). It just sat there basically from Saturday afternoon till Sunday morning. I was kind of afraid a skunk would walk by at night…..and yeah, that would be a first.
An obscure but fascinating Italian-American collaboration was the 1973 Momo Mirage 2+2 from Peter S. Kalikow’s collection, which we took a close look at a couple weeks ago. The Mirage emerged out of Peter Kalikow and Alfred Momo’s joint venture to build a large 2+2 GT. Designed in part by Pietro Frua and powered by a Chevrolet 350-cu.in. V-8, the Mirage fell victim to high production costs and the economic crisis of the early 1970s. Only five were built, and Kalikow still owns several. The Mirage appeared earlier this year at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
The wonderful Lincoln Premiere sedan from 1956, looking remarkably like the very last Packard models such as the Caribbean. Or a GAZ 13 Chaika, depending on where you’re reading Redusernab.
Guess the make and model of this car (You can find the answer in the Flickr gallery below)
A wonderful Lancia Aprilia Corsa Sport from 1951. Not something you see every day, to put it mildly.
A stunning Aston Martin DB6 Coupe from 1967. This is the type of thing I love seeing at Greenwich, bespoke cars in understated colors.
This, I am told, was a Ferrari F40. It was glorious.
A sharp BMW 507 Roadster from 1959. These appear at Greenwich with enviable regularity, so if you’re of the Bavarian persuasion, odds are that one of these may be here this weekend.
An understated rarity, on this side of the pond anyway, was the 1990 BMW Z1 Roadster owned by Maurice Cozzo. One of only a handful in the United States, and one of the few that have been successfully registered for road use, the Z1 features (relatively) easily removable plastic body panels which in theory would allow owners to change the color of the car in a matter of hours. The Z1 is probably best remembered for its drop-down doors that didn’t quite drop all the way down, making ingress and egress a maneuver that required some practice. Needless to say, we’re not going to see more of these on our shores until the earliest examples turn 25, though two of these were present at Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals in 2011.
Concours Americana on Saturday featured a number of bespoke estates based on full-size saloons of the time, including this 1941 Packard Model 110 Station Wagon. As concours events often like to have two or three examples of very similar vehicles, often of the same model but slightly different specification, the Packard was kept company by an earlier 1940 Packard 1801 Station Wagon, in addition to a 1937 Chrysler Royal Station Wagon.
Returning from the 2010 edition of the Greenwich Concours was this 1974 De Tomaso Longchamp, owned by Walter Eisenstark and Richard Klein. We took a closer look at this car just a couple weeks ago, you may recall. First shown to the public at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, the Longchamp was based on the De Tomaso Deauville. A little more than 400 Longchamps were built in coupe and convertible form between 1972 and 1989. After De Tomaso was purchased by Maserati in the late 1970s, the car was reworked inside and out and sold as a Maserati Kyalami. You may recognize the headlamps from the MkI Ford Granada. Yes, it was that kind of time at De Tomaso in the early 1970s. But hey, at least they’re readily available, which is more than could be said for parts from many other small Italian manufacturers of the 1960s and 1970s.
Here’s a car that probably doesn’t come to mind when you hear Chrysler V-8. The Facel Vega II used a 6.3-liter Chrysler Typhoon engine good for 355bhp. This one is owned by Ken Swanstrom.
A very impressive stretch limousine by Mulliner Park Ward, stretched at the C-pillar with longer rear passenger doors, a higher roof, and automatic glass divider. Rare to see one in LHD built to U.S. specs. A very labor-intensive conversion, needless to say. Carat Duchatelet built similar limousine conversions based on the Mercedes-Benz W140 S-class sedan, and they’re even tougher to find now. I am now of the opinion that the license plate is meant to be ironic, perhaps paying homage to Joseph Ducreux.
Get thee to the event website posthaste, my good Sirs.
Massive gallery from Greenwich Concours 2012 below:
[Images: Copyright 2013 Redusernab/Jay Ramey]