Bigger and bigger! Concours in the Hills continues growth

Now in its seventh year, the Scottsdale-area show breaks 1000 vehicles and shatters fundraising and attendance records

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Tom Malloy's 1956 Watson-DeBisschop Dirt Champ Car & 1962 Lesovsky Indy Roadster attracted lots of attention -- even more when the two tied for Best in Show | Tom Stahler photo

The seventh Concours in the Hills filled the Fountain Hills, Arizona, park with a cornucopia of automobiles and tens of thousands of people and raised an estimated $250,000 for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Organizers said this event has seen unprecedented and consecutive growth each year.

A plethera of Panteras | Tom Stahler photos

Scuderia Southwest, which puts on this and the monthly Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering, touted as “the best cars and coffee in the country,” proudly shared year over year results, reporting 1,052 vehicles, an estimated 30,000 spectators and a nearly $100,000 jump in fundraising.

The GT40 Spyder prototype — recently resurrected

The setting for the event is very pretty. Considering the Phoenix area is smack dab in the middle of a desert, Fountain Park is like an oasis, surrounded by mountains, the groups of cars are positioned around the large man-made lake, with the fountain itself shooting a jet of water, at 7,000 gallons per minute and reaching up to 560 feet above the surface. During normal days the fountain is on for 15 minutes every hour.  For this event it was on the entire time.

The fountain jets some 500 feet over the Concours in the Hills event

The cars themselves were pretty fabulous. Clearly a collection of automobiles belonging to so many ‘snowbirds’ who burgeon the population of Scottsdale during the winter months. The event is not a formal concours like Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, there is beautiful iron, without the pretension. It felt like almost every type of high-performance, sports, classic, race, muscle, hot-rods both import and domestic was represented.

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A mass meeting of McLarens

Tesla even had its own area and category. This seemed unusual after walking through the history of the combustion engine. Other cars were highly modified. There really is little to do to a Tesla. Overhearing a conversation between a spectator and an owner: “So have you done any modifications?” Owner answers, “well, I had the dashboard vinyl wrapped….”

An Offy-powered Kurtis roadster with racing provenance

The Concours in the Hills has seen great success because of the support it reccieves from the leading car clubs of Arizona representing Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, McLaren, Maserati, Jaguar, Corvette, Viper, Ford GT, Lotus, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, DeTomaso, DeLorean, Mustang, Cadillac and many others.

Overall, a really terrific event.

Best of Show (tie) – Tom Malloy – 1956 Watson-DeBisschop Dirt Champ Car & 1962 Lesovsky Indy Roadster

Best Domestic – Al Meehan – 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda
Best Import – Terry Larson – 1935 Jaguar SS90 prototype
Best Club Display – Citroen

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Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

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