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Hagerty acquires Greenwich Concours, keeping current format, adding features

Hagerty acquires Greenwich Concours, keeping current format, adding features

Other event news includes a major cruise-in in California, automotive history at the U.S. Capital and motorsports figures receiving honors

Further expanding its collector car universe, Hagerty has acquired the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the nation’s most-prestigious automotive events.

The biggest and best-known classic car insurance and valuation company, Hagerty pledged to expand and enhance the Greenwich Concours, which will hold its 25th anniversary show May 29-31, 2020.

“Car people love concours events, and this is one of the absolute best,” said McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of Hagerty, said in a news release.  “We think we can take it to a whole new level by adding immersive, experiential elements that appeal to a broader swath of the car community, including younger fans.”

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Bugattis at the Greenwich Concours | Gregg D. Merksamer

As the new owner, Hagerty plans to retain the venue and format of the concours, the company said, while adding such hands-on experiences for concours attendees as driving vintage cars and the Hagerty Driving Experience, which instructs drivers 15-25 years old in the nuance of operating manual transmissions.

Hagerty said it also would take over the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society, which has gathered monthly at Sardi’s in Manhattan since 1957.

The Greenwich Concours was founded in 1996 by the late Bruce and Genia Wennerstrom, and in more-recent years was run by daughter-in-law Mary Wennerstrom, who will continue as executive director.

“I think it is very fitting that the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will now be a part of another great family business,” Wennerstrom said in the release.  “These are genuine car people with an incredible depth of knowledge and passion about the history of classic cars. I look forward to working with them and carrying on the legacy of Bruce and Genia.”

As well as insuring and valuating classic cars, Hagerty sponsors or participates in more than 2,000 events annually, the release says, including the Pebble Beach Concours in California and the Amelia Island Concours in Florida.

“We’re knitting together the car community in a way no one has ever done before,” McKeel Hagerty said. “Outstanding events like the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance get people excited about cars, and that’s what it’s all about. That’s how we’re going to save driving and car culture for future generations.”

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Corvettes in Effingham during the Fun Run | Corvette Funfest

Mid America hosts annual Corvette Funfest

Mid America Motorworks hosts the 26th annual Corvette Funfest on September 19-22 at the headquarters of the Corvette parts and accessories company in Effingham, Illinois.

Labeled as the World’s Largest Corvette Party, the event is expected to draw 6,000 Corvettes of all ages and as many as 20,000 partiers.

Mike Yager, founder of Mid America, will be there to greet an extensive list of Corvette dignitaries, including retired Chief Engineer Dave McLellan, retired Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Will Cooksey, retired Corvette Brand Manager Fred Gallasch, “Corvettes at Carlisle” President Lance Miller and restorers and authors Chris Petris and Kevin Mackay.

Featured at the Funfest will be historic GM research vehicles related to the 5th-generation Corvette: the 1993/7 CERV-IVb,  the 1997 C5 Corvette Alpha Build,  and the 1997 C5 Corvette Beta Build

The four-day festival will provide a variety of family-friendly events all centered around America’s sports car, according to a Mid America news release.

For more information, visit the event website.

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Cruisin Euclid Avenue | Route 66 Cruisin Reunion

Ontario holds a Cruisin’ Reunion

The Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion brings its 7th annual car show to 22 blocks of Ontario, California, on September 20-22, which last year had more than 200,000 participants and guests attend.

The free event brings people from all over the West to enjoy the massive cruise-in, centered on Euclid Avenue near the Ontario Town Square.

“This is an opportunity to see classic cars, not only parked to show and shine, actually cruising on the road,” said Michael Krouse, president and chief executive of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, which hosts the event. “Many families bring their lawn chairs or blankets to watch the parade of classic cars, enjoy the live music, and the fun activities for kids of all ages.”

For more information, visit the event website.

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Astronaut Alan Bean’s 427 Corvette coupe | Historic Vehicle Register

Cars at the Capital

The National Historic Vehicle Register brings its fifth annual Cars at the Capital to Washington, D.C., from September 12-26, with a pair of iconic vehicles on display at the National Mall.

The cars, which are being recognized for their historic significance with inclusion into the permanent archive of the Library of Congress, are a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray originally owned by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, and a 1966 Volkswagen Deluxe transporter that was owned by civil rights pioneers Esau and Janie B. Jenkins.

The Corvette was part of a General Motors program that leased Corvettes to U.S. astronauts for $1 a year, with a special blue-and-white plaque on each commemorating the NASA missions.  Bean chose a Gold-and-Black 427/390-horsepower coupe, which is the only one in that configuration that remains from the astronaut program.

The VW microbus was part of tireless efforts by the Jenkinses to provide opportunities and hope to the people of South Carolina.   The VW became a fixture in the community, among those that helped transport children to school and adults to jobs in Charleston, with Esau and Janie also teaching passengers the lessons needed to pass literacy exams to become voters.

For more information about the National Historic Vehicle Register and Cars at the Capital, visit the website.

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Lyn St. James and the team at Bonnevillle Salt Flats | Photo courtesy of Lyn St. James

Lyn St. James to be Savannah grand marshal

Indy racer and motorsports ambassador Lyn St. James has been selected as grand marshal of the 2019 Savannah Speed Classic, held October 24-27 as part of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance.

St. James is a seven-time starter in the Indianapolis 500 and the event’s Rookie of the Year in 1992, as well as being an accomplished road racer, two-time competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and six-time winner of IMSA GT events, in which she started in 62 races.

Her 1985 GT victory at Watkins Glen remains the only time a woman won in that series driving solo. She raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring nine times, winning the GTO class in 1990, and was a two-time winner in the GTO Class at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

She has held 31 international and national closed-circuit speed records and is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame and the SCCA Hall of Fame. She was named one of the Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century by Sports Illustrated for Women.

For more information about the Savannah Speed Classic, visit the event website.

Roger Penske to be honored by Amelia Island Concours

One the world’s most successful racers, race-team owners and businessmen, Roger Penske, will by the honoree for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance held March 5-8 on Amelia Island, Florida, as the concours marks its 25th anniversary.

Team Penske, now in its 53rd season, is one of the winningest racing teams in motorsports history, with cars owned and prepared by the teams producing more than 500 major wins, 500 pole positions and 34 championships in open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition.

The team has earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 championships, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, plus a Formula 1 victory in the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.

For more information, visit the event website.

Other concours and events

The Oregon Festival of Cars takes place September 13-15 at the Deschutes Historical Museum in Bend, Oregon.  Group drives, car show and the Sunday Dash are included in the festivities.  For more information, visit the event website.

The National Street Rod Association holds its Street Rod Nationals North on September 13-25 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center and Fairground in Kalamazoo, Michigan.   For more information, visit the event website.

The annual ididit Car Show & Open House is set for September 14 at the company headquarters in Tecumseh, Michigan, and open to “any show-worthy vehicle regardless of year, make or model,” competing for one-of-a-kind trophies made in-house by ididit craftspeople in nine categories. For more information, visit the event website.

The Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance takes place September 15 at the Cobble Beach Golf Links on Georgian Bay north of Toronto, Canada.  For more information, visit the event website.

The Danville Concourse d’Elegance will be held September 22 on Hartz Avenue in downtown Danville, California.  The concours tour takes place on September 21.  For more information, visit the event website.

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  • joe gwozdz
    September 12, 2019, 2:21 PM

    no comment…. oh yeah, BTW 40 bucks admission is TOO HIGH. plus extra $$$$ for auction.

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