What would you do with $10 million?
Before you answer, consider that the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance has raised that much for the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County in the last 12 years. Sure, the Pebble Beach Concours has raised $23 million, but it’s taken 68 years. Boca has raised 48 percent of that figure in less than 18 percent of that time.
Credit some amazing local sponsors, like auto dealer Rick Case, the founder of the event, as well as AutoNation, headquartered in Broward County.
And let’s not discount the local citizenry, who love the Concours gala dinner and silent auction, which this year featured celebrities Tim Allen and Jay Leno. Bob Newhart, Jeff Foxworthy, Howie Mandel, Dennis Miller have appeared in years past.
Then there’s the weather. It’s South Florida in February during President’s Week.
Any questions? OK, there’s one. Surely, it must be a great car show, right?
Well, the show’s 12th outing featured its biggest field ever, with more than 230 cars, including 32 Lincolns, the featured marque. Notable samples included industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s modified 1941 Lincoln Continental, Ralph Marano’s handsome 1938 Lincoln Model K LeBaron–bodied convertible sedan, and a stunning 1967 Lincoln Continental rendered entirely in stainless steel through a cooperative venture between Ford and Allegheny Ludlum, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of specialty metals now known as ATI.
Other special displays included a selection of Florida beach cars, with such usual suspects as a 1973 Fiat Jolly, 1957 BMW Isetta 300, 1955 Willys Utility Station Wagon, 1949 Ford Custom station wagon, and a 1964 Amphicar, which surely proved helpful during Hurricane Irma.
Not to be overlooked were cars from the collection of Palm Beach collector Larry Wilson, the show’s “Collector of the Year.”
There was also a handpicked circle of AACA cars, collaboration between Boca and the AACA that began with the Boca’s founding.
Nevertheless, with more than 230 cars on the field, it wasn’t hard for the discerning concours fan to figure out which car would nab Best in Show. That honor went to Robert Jepson of Savannah, Georgia, and his 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe. With a teardrop body by coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi. Jepson is no stranger to the show, having won the same award two years ago with his 1919 Pierce-Arrow 66A-4 once owned by silent movie comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.
Concours may have become a dime a dozen, but Boca proves its merit by delivering good times, great weather, along with a reasonably interesting car show. Is it a concours? Who cares? It’s 80 degrees and sunny.
Look for next year’s show to be held February 22-24, 2019.
And if you’re bummed that you missed Jay Leno this year, don’t worry; he’ll be back next year. Tim Allen? Don’t count on it.