Fourth time was the charm for The Elegance At Hershey.
The shaky weather that plagued the event every year stayed away this time. This year, show-day weather was as spectacular as the cars arrayed in the formal gardens behind the historic Hotel Hershey.
The very select field of cars, just over 6o in total, covered the gamut from a 1901 Oldsmobile “French Front” Light Tonneau to a 1970 Plymouth Hemicuda race car. An impressive selection of one-of-a-kind or few-of-a-kind cars, such as the 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II convertible by Hess & Eisenhardt, the 1947 Delahaye 135M roadster by Figoni et Falaschi and the 1931 Minerva AL convertible sedan by Rollston, were more than enough to satisfy the most jaded of concours attendees.
There was no overriding theme to the cars on display, just an effort at putting the best examples on the field and allowing the public to soak it all in while the judges struggled with some difficult decisions.
One special display area was dedicated to the cars of Jack W. Rich, a prominent Pennsylvania collector and the founder of the event. He passed away in 2012 and the organizers paid a fitting tribute, displaying some of the great cars from his collection including the over-the-top 1931 Avions Voisin C20 “Mylord” Demi-Berline, a 1927 Bugatti Type 38A Gran Sport , and a stunning Hispano Suiza Sedanca Deville.
This year’s honorary chairman was Robert “Bob” Lutz. The retired head of of GM North America and GM’s global product development, Lutz is a long time motor head and car collector. He was circulating around the show field, talking to car owners and posing for photos with spectators.
The highlight of the day was the narrated drive-by of each car as it passed the review area. Each car was presented with a trophy in the shape of a giant Hershey Kiss; award winners also got sculpture-quality trophies.
No doubt the judges had their work cut out for them. With such a stellar line-up of cars it was a real contest for the coveted best in show trophy. The winner was Harry Yeaggy of Ohio with the 1935 Duesenberg Special, a.k.a. the Mormon Meteor. This car was driven by Ab Jenkins in 1935 to attain a 24-hour speed record of 135.47 mph, a record that stood until 1961. This car had everything that the judges at the Elegance have historically favored – impeccable history, rarity and spectacular design.
The spectators chose the 1954 Desoto Adventurer II by Ghia as the Peoples choice award winner. No wonder given its eye catching “supersonic” styling.
It is safe to say, every car on the show field this year was an award winner just for being there in such rarified company.
For a complete list of award winners and information about next year’s show, go to www.theeleganceathershey.com.