Hot day, cool cars at the Concours of America

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Classics were there, too, but Concours America also includes Can-Am racers and other classes | Steve Purdy photos
Classics were there, too, but Concours America also includes Can-Am racers and other classes | Steve Purdy photos

Classic and collector car enthusiasts, and folks who just appreciate the beauty, engineering and historical context of old and not-so-old cars, swarmed the fairways of the golf course surrounding the Inn at St. John’s near Plymouth, Michigan on another hot, bright summer day at the end of July. Over 300 cars basked in the sun while throngs of show-goers strolled by. This is the 39th presentation of this world-class exhibition of excellence formerly known as the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, now the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s.

We expect to see the usual American and European classics at these shows along with the garish, big-personality cars of the 1950s and ‘60s. Trends, over the past decade or more at these high-end shows emphasize classes outside the traditional ones. In this case we saw classes like Can Am Race Cars, Cars Bodied by Murphy, Jet Age Compact Cars, Boattails, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, Cars with Rumble Seats, Drag Racers, Cobras and special displays featuring Cadillac Eldorado Biarriz, RM Sotheby’s auction cars and plenty more.

The pass-in-review narration describes the class winners in detail where even already-knowledgeable spectators learn more than they expected and it culminates in the two top winners driving up face-to-face for their presentation. Best of Show American honors went to the Stutz DV-32 Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini and Best of Show Foreign went to the Peterson Collection’s 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A.

Photos by Steve Purdy

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Steve Purdy has been writing about and photographing cars, both old and new, for over 30 years. His words and images have appeared in more than a dozen publications and his photos have been featured in a variety of galleries. He has been involved in radio, film and TV projects as well including the creation of his own radio show about automobiles and motorsports that is currently part of the Web-based Michigan Business Network. His first love is classic and collector cars which, he says, represent the best in automobile aesthetics.

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