The Best Summer Car Show East of the Mississippi - Concours
D'Elegance of America at St. John 2014
By Steve Purdy
This Sunday, July 27th I’ll be off before the crack of dawn
for the one-hour drive to The Inn at St, John’s on Five Mile Road
just east of Sheldon in Plymouth, Michigan to get my early morning artsy
photographs of some of the finest and most unusual classic and collector
cars in the world. The organizers promise the best show yet. Considering
the level of past shows that’s a big promise.
In addition to the European and American luxury and sports cars of
the first half of the last century, like the Duisenberg’s and
Bugatti’s, always a staple of a Concours d’Elegance,
we’ll see a class of pre-1916 motorcycles, vintage drag bikes, a
Lamborghini anniversary celebration class, stylish 1950s pickups, along
with anniversary celebration classes for both Mustang and Pontiac GTO.
For the first time the Concours will honor a notable collector
– Oscar Davis of Elizabeth, New Jersey who will bring five unique
cars from his magnificent collection. We do not say “unique”
lightly. These are all one-of-a-kind exotics: 1938 Talbot Lago by Figoni et
Falaschi, 1954 Maserati with Zagato body, 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet
Speciale, 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia “Buegelfalte,” and a 1938
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 “B” Touring Spyder.
Virgil Exner will also honored as one of the most important
designers of his age. Starting out working under GM’s famous Harley
Earl and then the famous designer Raymond Lowey he landed at Chrysler in
the early 1950s guiding that company’s designs into the 1960s. That
was a golden age of car design that Chrysler may have missed had it not
been for the inspired designs of Mr. Exner. Three classes will honor Exner,
including one of concept cars.
RM Auctions hosts one of their best sales at St. John’s with
inspection of cars and a reception Friday and sale all day Saturday. If you
register to bid you’ll have the opportunity to buy the kind of cars
you’ll see at the Sunday show. RM produces auctions all over the
world and they handle only the finest cars. Stop by Saturday if you just
want to see all these great cars ready to change hands.
Another wonderful adjunct to the Concours is the Automotive Art
Exhibition housed in a ballroom inside the Inn on Friday and Saturday then
moved to a large tent on the field for Sunday. Here you’ll see and be
able to buy the works of some of the best artists in the world for whom the
automobile is a central theme.
As has been a tradition with this Concours, an exhibit of period
clothing will punctuate the pass-in-review. Margery Krevsky, talent agency
owner and author of Sirens of Chrome, produces the Mode du Concours with
some of her models wearing clothing she has collected from past auto shows.
The models ride to the reviewing stand in some of the most interesting cars
as Ms. Krevsky narrates.
You’ll not have to get up as early as I to see the show. It
opens to the public at 10AM and goes until 4PM. Admission is $25 and kids
under 12 are free with paid adult general admission. A VIP ticket is also
available for $125 and includes onsite parking, lunch at the Inn and
special viewing stand.
If you are anywhere near the Detroit area and would attend even one
car show a year, this would be the one. With over 300 rare and significant
cars, automobile art, a variety of vendors, and hours of narrated
pass-in-review it is a great way to spend the day.
For details go to: www.concoursusa.org or call 248-643-8645.
© Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights