As a judge or spectator, I attend around 20 concours events each year. Some are nice events that are good for a single visit. Others are better than that and I go on an almost annual basis. But there is a third category, comprising those events that, as soon as they end, I start counting the days until the next one.
In past years, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut has been in that second category, a nice event but if I missed it for a year it wouldn’t be heartbreaking. But this year Greenwich crossed over into the third category, and I already am eagerly awaiting its 2019 edition.
You might think the quality of the cars alone are the determining factor. But it’s more than that. It’s really the people who make or break these events, and Greenwich has gathered some of the nicest people in the hobby while also keeping us entertained throughout the three-day event.
This year, the program included a driving tour, a seminar on Briggs Cunningham and the Cunningham cars, and a gala dinner.
The weekend also included the presence of such people as Tom Cotter, concours judge and journalist Bill Rothermel, noted collector T.G Mittler, expert on all things Shelby Colin Comer, preservation expert Dr. Fred Simeone, and collector Bill Scheffler, among others. When you get a group of car people as hard core as this one, you cannot help but have a great event.
But let’s look as well as the cars on the lawn Saturday and Sunday. For the first time in history, all of the Cunningham cars ever built, with only one exception, a race car Briggs Cunningham owned, were present at Greenwich. We have Cotter and Chuck to thank for setting this up.
The Cunningham cars represented everything from road cars to race cars. Walking the line of these amazing cars was a fantastic experience, especially with Schoendorf as tour guide, explaining where each car fit into the history of Cunningham. Also part of the Cunningham display were a number of race cars from other marques that were raced by Briggs and his team at places such as Le Mans.
Another class that featured amazing cars was the Corvette class, which included a one-off 1963 coupe that was specially built for a GM exec, a 1968 L88 convertible, and a 1962 C2 with 867 original miles.
Other amazing classes were the Mercedes class that featured two stunningly restored 300SL roadsters and an all original 1955 300SL Gullwing; the Ferrari class that featured the nicest 330 GTS I have ever seen as well as the Best of Show winning 1955 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider; and the celebration of the Jaguar SS100 which included an example of every body style SS100 I can think of, and in some stunning color combinations.
The Best of Show winners for Greenwich on Saturday, which is the American Day for the two-day concours, were a 1934 Packard Convertible Victoria of Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini III, which received the American Best of Show-Elegance Award, and a 1952 Cunningham C-3 owned by Joseph Robillard and winner of the American Best of Show-Sport Award.
Sunday winner for the International Best of Show-Sport Award was the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider by Scaglietti of Scuderia N.E., and a 1935 SS1 Tourer owned by Colin Seid and Richard Annis and winner of the International Best of Show-Elegance Award.
This year felt like a full reboot of the Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance, an event quickly rising in the concours ranks.
And I’m already counting down to the 2019 edition.