Is Houston a serious candidate to join that club?
Pebble Beach, Scottsdale and Amelia Island have become focal points on the classic car calendar, drawing enthusiasts from across the country (and around the world) because of their overlapping multiple events. Is Houston a serious candidate to join that club?
Consider that soon after Mecum Auctions completed a record-setting sale in Houston’s Reliant Center, there will be not one but two concours d’elegance in the oil-driven boom town on the same weekend in early May, each with an auction and all sorts of other activities.
Recently, we shared the news that a Motostalgia auction will join the lineup for the 19th annual Keels & Wheels concours at Seabrook, on Galveston south of Houston. But that early May weekend also is the date for the third annual Concours d’Elegance of Texas, which is held less than 100 miles away, albeit on the other side of the city, northwest of Houston at the La Torretta Lake resort and spa on Lake Conroe in Montgomery.
In its third year, the Texas concours includes:
- A driving tour
- Golf tournament
- Worldwide Auctioneers 19th annual Houston Classic auction
- “Next Gen” educational summit (with experts from Hagerty and Worldwide instructing high school students and at-risk youth on classic car preservation, maintenance, restoration and judging)
- Cowboys & Cars strolling charity dinner and dance
- A 5th annual antiques festival in historic Montgomery
- The concours, sponsored by the Gullo family auto dealership group, with 34 classes of classic cars on display and being judged.
Featured vehicles at the auction include:
- A 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster
- An ex-works 1930 Riley Brooklands two-seat roadster
- A garage-found after 40 years 1957 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mark III
- A 1-of-4 1934 Auburn Twelve salon cabriolet
- A 2,700-mile 1969 L88 Chevrolet Corvette
The Texas concours calls itself “The Family Concours” because of its family-friendly location, said the event’s head of operations, John Aguillard. The La Torretta Lake resort includes its own water park, a variety of restaurants and a baby-sitting service.
“Our chief judge, R.C. Willbanks Jr., has two small children and told us ‘this is an absolutely wonderful place to have a concours. Not only do I get to have fun, but I get to have fun with my family’,” said Aguillard, who explained that the judge’s remark led to the event’s subtitle.
The location also makes the event an easier drive for classic car enthusiasts from Dallas, which is the home of event chairman Mike Ames. In addition to Ames, others on the event’s board of directors include Don Sommer, founder of Michigan Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook (now held at the Inn at St. Johns); Hudson and AMC collector Ed Souers; former Keels & Wheels co-chairman Ron Stein; and David Madeira, president of The LeMay museum.
Maybe it’s not only Houston’s but Texas’ turn in the classic car spotlight: In addition to the recent Mecum sale and the two Houston-area concours, Leake Auctions has a sale April 25-26 at Dallas, and north of there, up near the Texas-Oklahoma border, the second-annual Cruisin’ Nocona old-car festival, complete with a Vicari classic car auction, takes place May 1-3.
The Leake docket is highlighted by:
- One of only three known extant (of 16 built) 1957 Chevrolet El Moroccos
- A 1991 Ferrari Testarossa with only 8,119 miles on its odometer
- A 2005 Bentley Continental GT that will be sold to benefit St. Cloud’s Rescue, a care and adoption program for large-breed dogs
- A never-raced, 49th of 50-produced 2014 Ford Mustang Super Cobra Jet (the buyer gets a complimentary visit to the Roy Hill Drag Racing School)
- A 2009 Dodge challenger SRT8 SEMA show car.