Category archives: Concours & Events

Another unique slate of special classes for Amelia Island Concours

The BeatNik Bandit custom roadster was Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth's most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos
The Beatnik Bandit custom roadster was Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida is well-known for its imaginative and sometimes quirky special classes – Cars of the Cowboys, Beach Cars, and Orphan Concept Cars come to mind – and the lineup for March 2018 stays true to form.

Eleven special classes have been revealed by the concours for its 2018 show, most of them featuring classic era, sports cars and motorsports icons. But the organizers, led by founder and chairman Bill Warner, always have a few unexpected themes thrown into the mix. Continue reading

Events: Concours, Cadillacs and motorsports champions

The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours
The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours

The 39th annual Concours d’Elegance of America, which actually comprises a weekend of 15 events, will host about 300 rare collector cars from around the world from July 28 through July 30 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Featured marques for the main-event concours, which takes place on Sunday, July 30, are Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and Shelby Cobra, while the featured coachbuilder is Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena and the featured body styles are boattail classics, hypercar exotics and Jet Age Juniors. Continue reading

Pebble Beach concours to celebrate Isotta Fraschini

The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be at this year's concours | Pebble Beach Concours
The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be shown at this year’s concours | Pebble Beach Concours

Isotta Fraschini, the greatest luxury brand of pre-war Italy, will be celebrated with three full classes at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 20.

Among the opulent cars that will be present on the grass at the 67th annual Pebble Beach Concours will be the marque’s first chassis ever built, a 1901 prototype, and also the last one, a 1948 cabriolet. Continue reading

Buick passion kept alive by dedicated enthusiasts

A 1948 Buick Super coupe and a 1933 panel delivery at the Buick meet | William Hall photos
A 1948 Buick Super coupe and a 1933 panel delivery at the Buick meet | William Hall photos

Just about all of us knew a nice old lady or fellow who lived down the street with a well-kept classic Buick. Now imagine if all of those ladies and gentlemen decided to converge on one spot at the same time every year. Well, then you would have the Buick Club of America’s National Meet.

This year’s 51st annual Buick meet brought about 360 registered Buicks of all years to Brookfield, Wisconsin, for a mid-summer convention held from July 5-8. Continue reading

Iola welcomes car enthusiasts, even younger ones

Show section dedicated to  Camaros and Firebirds | Nicole Ellan James photos
Show section dedicated to Camaros and Firebirds | Nicole Ellan James photos

Very rarely do I manage to find myself on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Each time I do, it’s as if I am transported from Phoenix to an alternate universe –- it’s humid, everything seems oversaturated in green hues, and I not only meet some interesting characters, but the cars are always nice.

My latest such adventure took me to the Iola Car Show, held July 6-8 in Iola, Wisconsin –- a town of around 1,300 people located approximately a two-hour drive north from Madison, the state capitol.

The swap meet area was full of visitors
The swap meet area was full of visitors

For the last 45 years, over 120,000 people flock to the town of Iola for its annual three-day festival-style car show.

The event earns festival vibes with camping on site available for those with tents or campers — there’s even an area dedicated to campers made before 1975 — as well as free concerts with regional performers like Raised Reckless, Vic Ferrari, Highfield Drive and BoxKar. A PinUp contest is held along with the car corral and swap meet and car show.

Well, actually, car shows.

The show portion of the Iola festival presents over 2,000 cars showcased in groupings — Pre-War (1942 or earlier), Post-War (1945-1990), all-original vehicles pre-1976, modified cars pre-1990, as well as a Blue Ribbon Concours and a themed category dedicated to the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird and Trans-Am pony cars.

Staged near the “winner’s circle” and seemingly endless rows of Camaros and Firebirds was the first Camaro built, N100001, parked behind velvet ropes next to its clear trailer, with owners Corey and Logan Lawson nearby.

The Lawsons shared the story of how the car was acquired by 13-year-old Logan, a kid from Kansas, and his English-teacher grandmother, who’d been convinced by his father that buying the car was a better “college fund” investment than the stock market. The father-son team restored the car to its original specs with every single piece from an original GM part other than the seat cover and carpet.

Crowd surrounds first Camaro
Crowd surrounds first Camaro

The Lawsons tour the car to various shows. Logan Lawson told the crowd at Iola, “We’re trying to bring the history back to everyone who enjoys it.”

My favorite class at the Iola Car show was “Old Cars Young Drivers” and was just what it said — cars 25 years or older driven by enthusiasts 25 years or younger.

Aside from age restrictions, to be included in this class, cars and trucks could be stock or modified and of any quality, as long as they could be driven onto the show field under their own power.

I liked the class because I was among my peers and it was refreshing to find other people my same age who enjoyed old cars, not just the cars our same age. I also enjoyed seeing how welcoming the long-running classic car show was to the under 25 crowd and to our need for modifying our cars.

Despite the culture shock I encounter each visit east, I appreciate the “foreign” experience. They always make for the best memories.

Millers at Milwaukee provides mile of smiles in vintage Indy cars

Early Indy race cars on the track at the Milwaukee Mile | William Hall photos
Early Indy race cars on the track at the Milwaukee Mile | William Hall photos

The recipe for a good motorsports event comes down to great cars in a historic venue with true enthusiasts. For 23 years, the Harry A. Miller Club has delivered that and more at its annual Millers at Milwaukee vintage Indy car event at the Wisconsin State Fair Park’s “Milwaukee Mile” oval track.

The club was founded by Schlitz brewery scion and car collector David V. Uihlein, Sr. who was challenged to form the organization by the former chairman of Rolls-Royce. The British auto executive was astonished that no one was honoring the creations of one of America’s greatest open-wheel racecar designers. Uihlein and fellow collectors took inspiration and banded together to celebrate Wisconsin-native Miller. The club continues today after Uihlein’s passing under the guiding hand of club president and auction-company owner Dana Mecum. Continue reading

Ford becomes new sponsor for Woodward Dream Cruise

Street rods on parade in the Woodward Dream Cruise | Kevin A. Wilson
Street rods on parade in the Woodward Dream Cruise | Kevin A. Wilson

Ford picks up where Chevy left off as the new presenting sponsor of the 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise, the largest annual celebration of the automotive lifestyle in the U.S. Chevrolet had sponsored the Woodward Dream Cruise since 2011 but recently withdrew as presenting sponsor for undisclosed reasons.

The 19th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, set for August 19, is expected to attract more than a million people to a massive American Graffiti-style feast of vintage cars, muscle cars, exotics and what have you, as families pull up lawn chairs to the curb to watch the parade rumble past. Continue reading

XK Jaguars do a lap around Great Britain, and for good reason

XK Jaguars from the 1950s set off on a lap around Great Britain | Jaguar XK Club photos
XK Jaguars from the 1950s set off on a lap around Great Britain | Jaguar XK Club photos

The goal was two-fold, as it is on so many classic car tours: have fun driving great cars, and raise money for a good cause.

In the case of the Jaguar XK Club, the tour was an 18-day Round Britain Coastal Drive, open to owners of the iconic 1950s sports cars. The goal was to raise at least £50,000 ($64,500) for Prostate Cancer UK. Continue reading

Goodwood Festival of Speed elevates Ecclestone’s F1 career

Goodwood's tall sculpture highlights Bernie Ecclestone's reign over F1 | Festival photo by Paul Melbert
Goodwood’s tall sculpture highlights Bernie Ecclestone’s F1  reign | Festival photo by Paul Melbert

Gerry Judah has created art to remember the Holocaust for Britain’s Imperial War Museum. He has done set designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company. And since 1999, he has done the huge automotive sculptures that soar above Goodwood House during the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Last week, his latest Goodwood sculpture was designed to recognize the long motorsports career of former Formula One chieftain Bernie Ecclestone. Three of the cars mounted on the lanes that spun off a circle towering some 100 feet were selected to reflect specific F1 eras ruled by Ecclestone. Those cars were a Lotus, a Ferrari and a Mercedes. Continue reading