Variety spices The Elegance at Hershey

Three days of varied activities enhance this concours d'elegance

The Elegance at Hershey is special among concours events in that it offers spectators and exhibitors such variety in a single weekend — the Grand Ascent vintage hill climb, several seminars, a club day on Saturday, and the main event concours on Sunday. Basically, there is something for every classic car enthusiast at the Elegance.

The hill climb starts the weekend and includes everything from big-dollar vintage competition cars to zany microcars and virtually every other vintage sporting car you can imagine. The cars make their runs up the hill all day Friday and Saturday and the event always draws a large number of spectators. 

Those who attend on Saturday also get to take advantage of the Cars and Coffee event open to just about any enthusiast car you might imagine. Some standouts on club day this year were the MG Magnette with a canoe on the roof, a Porsche 914/6 race car that ran at the Daytona 24 hour race in 1971, and the same Triumph Herald shooting brake that was featured a few days ago as our Pick of the Day. 

The scene at the show

Fisher Body Craftsman Guild models on display

Later on Saturday, Hershey offered two special events, a viewing of the film The Red Griffo, made by Guy Smith, and a seminar on the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild with four former participants as panel members. 

The guild, was a program sponsored by General Motors from the 1930s until 1968 and gave teenagers the opportunity to design a car in miniature based on a set of guidelines, with college scholarships as the prizes. The graduates of this program often went on to become famous industrial and automotive designers and engineers. 

I had never even heard of the guild until this seminar and it was great to discover something new thing about the history of classic cars.

Weekend starts with hill climb competition

Sunday was the big day of the weekend. The Elegance limits the field to 75 cars and arranges them around the rear gardens of the historic Hotel Hershey. These gardens are a wonderful setting to see these elegant and important cars. 

This year featured great weather until around 10:30 a.m., when the rain arrived, forcing the awards ceremony indoors, but at least spectators got to see the cars for a few hours before.

Some of my standouts were the 1 of 1 1920 Carroll C Phaeton, the completely original 1937 Bugatti 57 special coupe, and the 1967 Bizzarrini P538 Can Am racer.

Other standouts included the 1966 Bosley Interstate Mk. II, the 1954 Siata 200CS, and the 1938 Delahaye 135MS coupe.

Best of Show, called the Governors Cup, went to the 1937 Bugatti T57S Atalante Coupe by Gangloff that is part of the Rare Wheels Collection and the Founders Award went to the1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Torpedo Phaeton owned by Terry and Jennifer Adderley.

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