Atlanta concours’ winning formula: Southern hospitality and classic cars

It’s only two years old, but the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance held on the grounds of automotive entrepreneur and racer Don Panoz’s Chateau Elan resort, acts like a seasoned veteran of the car show circuit.

The concours presented an informal car show this past Saturday, kind of an all-day cars and coffee, as well as a road tour that climbed the hills and dales of suburban Atlanta and toured the famous Road Atlanta race track just a few miles up the road.

The crop of more than 180 vehicles was as deep and as broad as you would expect at a senior concours, with special attractions like Fabulous Fins Of The Fifties, vintage motorcycles, a display of nearly all of the surviving Lozier automobiles — and members of the Lozier family. There were special presentations by the Evergreen Collection of Lebanon, Missouri, circles of cars from collectors Jim Gebhardt and Ray Morgan, and a Russian astronaut-recovery airboat. Brass, classic, sports, prewar, muscle, oddballs.

In short, something for everybody.

With the vehicles arranged in a giant U-shape behind the resort’s golf club, the spectators had plenty of room to wander through the various classes of cars and enjoy the special presentations arrayed in the center of the fairway.

On Sunday, masters of ceremonies Keith Martin of TV’s What’s My Car Worth and motorsports broadcaster Bob Varsha, this year’s special honoree, made sure that all the class winners were recognized, and then they were parked together on a long slope so that spectators could have a final look at each one.

Concours founder Harry Krix then presented the Karen L. Krix commemorative trophy to the automobile that best exemplified the spirit of the Atlanta Concours. It went to Rob Adams, the owner of the 1956 Arnott Sports Climax 1100, the first car designed and built by a woman. Mrs. Krix died of cancer in July.

Then it was time to present Best of Show American to the 1930 Packard 745 SP Phaeton owner by the Cofer Collection of Tucker, Georgia, and Best Of Show European to the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K shown by Evergreen Historic Automobiles, the 600-car collection from Missouri.

Cool, breezy Atlanta fall weather, 180 wonderful cars, a dozen vintage motorcycles, and Southern hospitality adds up to we are coming back next year.

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