DETROIT, Michigan – Like the Pebble Beach Concours and many others of its ilk, the Concours d’Elegance of America July 27-29 in Plymouth, Michigan, is a celebration of art and fashion as well as classic cars. Unlike many of those others, this one offers enthusiasts a wide array of cars from different eras, countries, and styles.
This year, the Concours d’Elegance of America offered us a preview of this, its 40th show, to be held at the Inn at St. John’s, in Plymouth, on the campus of the College for Creative Studies. This year’s displays include a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Porsche marque, with appearances from several significant Porsche race cars, as well as drivers Vic Elford, Brian Redman, and Hurley Haywood.
You’ll have to wait until the end of the month for all that. Meanwhile, here’s a look what you can expect, courtesy the CCS sneak preview earlier this week…
1. 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward
We wouldn’t normally lead off with a Rolls-Royce-era Bentley, but this one has special provenance. Some time after it was featured in the 1992 movie, “King Ghazi of Iraq,” Saddam Hussein confiscated it for his own collection. The car was all-but destroyed after Hussein fled his Baghdad palace in 2002, and the original owner sold it rather than pay for its restoration, which was restored by Vantage Motorwerks, of Miami.
1b. Current owner Jim George shows a spares kit Bentley provided to its customers for longer trips. Owners were charged for the spare bulbs, head gaskets, etc., that were removed, much like a modern hotel mini-bar. This kit was not original to this ’58 Bentley, though George says the engine and transmission were original.
2. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Cabriolet by Graber
Duesenberg sold 480 Model Js between 1929 and 1937, that received custom coachwork. Powered by a DOHC 420 cubic-inch inline eight, this Graber-bodied Model J is particularly distinctive for its more organic, swept-back styling compared with even the rakish bodywork of the most well-known Duesies of the era. This one is owned by Sam and Emily Mann.
3. 1931 Marmon Convertible Coupe by LeBaron
Marmon and Cadillac were the only two automakers to produce V-16 engines, which makes an appearance by anything by this marque quite unusual. This Marmon’s LeBaron coachwork was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague, influenced by Ray Dietrich and Frank Hershey. The 930-pound engine is a 491 cubic-inch V-16 with a 45-degree angle, and it now belongs to Terry and Jennifer Adderley.
4. 1939 Bugatti T57C Stelvio by Gangloff
Described as the first Bugatti model built under the direction of Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean, for 1934, it’s powered by a dual overhead cam, 3.25-liter supercharged inline-eight, rated 160 horsepower. This one is part of the Keith Crain Collection (Automotive News, AutoWeek).
5. 1983 Porsche 911 SC
This one belongs to the parents of Automobile Magazine contributing photographer Andrew Trahan. This Euro-spec SC is no trailer queen, driven regularly, according to Mark Trahan.
6. 1973 Dodge Demon Flip Top Funny Car
Inspiration for the street-legal 840-horsepower 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon surely came from pure drag racecars like this one, currently owned by Jim Matuszak. According to the Concours’ description, this Demon was the first Flip Top Funny Car to exceed 230 mph. It was capable of 6.3-second quarter-mile times, making it one of the most competitive drag racers of its time.
7. 1910 Ford Model T Touring by Gray and Sons
Yes, it’s a Model T with a bespoke body. Its running chassis was built in March 1910 at Ford’s Piquette Plant in Detroit, then completed with the custom touring body in Walkerville, Ontario. Shortly thereafter, Ford sold the Piquette plant to Studebaker, and moved Model T production to its new Highland Park factory. Owner is Ralph J. Boyer.
8. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso Coupe
This 70th anniversary edition is finished in Rosso Corsa paint and is owned by Lauren and David Mendelson.
9. Winning Porsche poster
CCS students submitted poster designs in a contest by the Concours to recognize its honored marque this year, Porsche. The top three poster designers were named apprentice judges. This is the winning poster, by David Pichla, who just graduated from CCS, and already has a job designing interiors for General Motors.
10. And motorcycles…
This one is a 1969 Triumph Bonneville Board Tracker by Knight Cycle Works, in front of Diane Flis-Schneider, executive director of the Concours d’Elegance of America.
11. …and fashion.
LaPorcshia Winfield wears a dress made of Hudson’s department store bags, designed by Matthew, from the Paper Bag Collection.