Eye Candy: Lake Bluff Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan

Drum corps leads the way as the pass in review beings | Steve Purdy photos
Drum corps leads the way as the pass in review beings | Steve Purdy photos

In its 11th year, the Lake Bluff Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan drew big crowds to Lake Bluff Park in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan. And with comfortable temperatures in the low 80s and mostly cloudy skies, photographers were happy and spectators were cool. Nearly 100 special cars were on display, including a section for “special interest” cars not included with the 80 participating in the officially judged concours competition.

Lake Bluff Park runs for about six blocks along a ridge the overlooking Lake Michigan shore and provides a lovely venue for a classic and collector car show.

Dar Davis, retired from the Krasl Art Center across the street from the park, founded the show after he had curated a special exhibit based on the aesthetics of the automobile. The concours became a natural extension of that exhibit and has grown in stature each year. Davis now oversees the show as entrant liaison, recruiting cars with the help of his committee.

For 2015 the concours committee established a variety of featured classes: 1965 full-size cars celebrating “The Class of ’65;” a station wagon class called “Groceries, Kids and Vacations;” and “Showroom Showdown” featuring Cadillac and Lincoln models from similar years to show the differences in style and design between the two major automakers.

Roy Sjoberg, known as the “Father of the Viper,” was special guest at the show and presented a talk at the Friday evening reception dinner. He was chief engineer for Viper and many of his original team attended the dinner and the concours. More than a dozen special Vipers were on display in the special interest area.

All the cars in the show participate in a “pass-in-review” with introduction and narration by Ed Lucas, classic and collector car expert and voice of many of the most concours events including Amelia Island. Lucas has been with this show from the beginning and offers a rich and colorful commentary on every car.

Photos by Steve Purdy

 

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