Created by ClassicCars.com Journal’s East Coast editor Andy Reid, the Isolation Island Concours is a virtual car show on Facebook presented as a life-size concours, complete with professional judging and coveted awards. Many big names in the actual concours world have been enlisted as judges and organizers; Bill Warner, the founder and chief of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida, gets credit for the Isolation Island name.
Don’t feel bad if you missed entering your favorite desk-top model in this first Isolation Island event because a new one takes place every two weeks, pretty much for as long as the coronavirus keeps up cooped up. For information about entering the next event and to see the current crop of great little cars, visit the Isolation Island Concours d’ Elegance Facebook page.
Among the less-prestigious judges picking concours winners were the editors of the Journal, managing editor Tom Stahler, founding editor Larry Edsall and associated editor Bob Golfen. Each of them focused on their favorites, and by three-way consensus eventually arrived at a mutual choice of the editors’ Best of Show.
Their pick for overall winner is the magnificent 1:18-scale model of a 1936-37 Auto Union Type C grand prix car entered in the concours by Russ Rocknak of Maine. Gorgeously photographed, the Auto Union is a replica of the revolutionary mid-engine racer, with its mighty V16 engine mounted behind the driver, who was seated practically in the nose of the car.
“My choice for the winner was hands down for Russ Rocknak’s 1936-1937 Auto Union Type C. Wow!” Stahler said after the judging. “First of all, what a car! Second of all, love the detail: the double rear axle, the removable panels revealing the supercharged V16 engine and cooling systems, and a highly detailed cockpit.
“This car was so far ahead of its time and the model, in 1:18 scale, just took my breath away. Some of it honestly had to do with the photography as well. Nice pics, Russ!”
Edsall was captivated by the back story that the car’s owner provided in his description.
“Not only is this large, 1:18-scale model impressive, but Russ Rocknak’s story clinches its selection,” Edsall said. “As a youngster, he saw a photo of a Silver Arrow in one of his father’s books. Years later, he was at Monterey for vintage races where several of the Silver Arrows were being featured. Soon thereafter, he acquired this model.”
Golfen pointed out that while the Auto Union Silver Arrows originated during a dark period in German history, with lavish support from the Nazi government, they were still remarkable pieces of innovative engineering. And they were so cool-looking.
“This model seems to capture the splendor of the Silver Arrows, with incredibly fine detail not often found in a popular-priced model,” Golfen said. “Rocknak’s photography is also superb, which most-certainly helped this entry gain thumbs up from the editors.”
As in a full-scale concours, there were many excellent and appealing models vying for attention, so picking the winner was not a simple task.
“It was not easy for us to come to an agreement about the winning entry; there were several worthy of the award,” Edsall said. “For example, David Brill’s 1953 C-type Jaguar, Gordon McCall’s Lancia Aurelia in Carrera Panamericana colors, Ted Parrotts’ Hudson Hornet, Sean Smith’s Shark Nose Ferrari and my personal favorite – the 1934 Chrysler Airflow that Gregory Coe found underneath floorboards while restoring his home.”
Stahler was also effusive about the high level of choices, including those showing the ravages of time, and perhaps child’s play.
“I love a good barn find,” he said. “You will generally witness me at car shows as the idiot exclaiming, ‘Ooooh, PATINA!’ Add to that, I really like a good story, which makes it quite coincidental that I tell stories for a living.
“Because of this, I found myself particularly attracted to Gregory Coe’s 1934 Chrysler Airflow sedan and how it was found beneath the floorboards of a circa 1860s house during restoration. Sean Smith’s Sharknose Ferrari and Hugo Garritsen’s pre-war Maserati Grand Prix car were really neat, too.
“Edward Fiore’s ‘Family Truckster’ from National Lampoon’s Vacation along with Edward’s cool travelling photographs with the car were awesome.”
Speaking of patina, Golfen liked seeing the slightly scruffy 1913 Mercer Type 35J runabout entered by Bruno Hacke, who said in his description that it was given to him by his grandfather decades ago. “A lovely thing,” Golfen said.
“Others that caught my attention were a couple of Alfa Romeos, a 1937 8C 2900 race car submitted by Molly McCall and Sean Zeeck’s 1967 33 Stradale Prototipo,” Golfen said. “There was also a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R grand prix car from Mark Ichiyama, a great model of a great car, and a 1965 Porsche 911 SC RS rally car from David Geisinger.
“And in the Misfit Toys class, I was really grabbed by the spectacular photo presentation of the 1961 Dodge Phoenix submitted by Bill Rogstad.”
The official judging finished today and the winners were announced in each class with best of show going to not one, but three winners.
Here are your class winners:
Class 1A. Prewar European: Koenraad Van Dorpe 1935 Audi 225 Front Roadster: Judged by Michael Furman
Class 1B. Prewar American. Dr Paul sable and Lilly Pray chose the 1938 Phantom Corsair owned by Mr. Edward M. Fiore
Class 2. Porsche: Vu Nguyen and Cam Ingram: Our first place choice is this yellow Porsche 911R of Jens VonBulow
Class 3: Alfa Romeo class winner: Sean Zeeck 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale Prototipo
Class 4. MERCEDES-BENZ SL 1952-1989: your judge is Paul Russell.
Lou Bavel’s W194 300SL in Carrera Panamericana livery was my pick as the class winner.
Class 5. JAGUAR 1948-1974: Bill Scheffler and John Saccameno: 1966 XJ13 of Evert Delanoye
Class 6. ASTON MARTIN 1952-1967: : Judged by Don Rose and Greg Nel: the 1959 DBR1 owned by Alexander Davidis
Class 7. FERRARI 1948-1973: Your judges are Massimo Delbo and Frank Campanale
The winner is the FERRARI P4/ 350 Can Am – Chassis # 0858 owned by Timothy McGrane
CLASS 8. CHEVROLET CORVETTE: Lance Miller is your judge
The winner is the 1967 LeMans L88 #9 Corvette Coupe Larry Vanscoy
Class 9. AMERICAN CUSTOMS, STREET RODS, HOT RODS: Judge is Ken Gross: My pick is Morgan Duffy’s #9, the 1967 Nic>Iey (sic) Chevrolet Camaro.
Class 10A. RACE CARS PRE-WAR:Your Judge is D. Randy Riggs editor of Vintage Motorsport magazine: My selection in the Prewar Race Car category is the 1936-1937 Auto Union Type C
CMC belonging to Russ Rocknak.
Class 10B. RACE CARS 1947-1967: judges are John Nikas Mark Moskowitz
winner StevenAshley Kraft 1953 Porsche 356 Outlaw vintage race car.
Class 10C. RACE CARS 1968-1982: your judge is Tommy Kendall.
Winner is Al Holbert’s 1976 IMSA champion Dekon Monza chassis 1008 owned by Thomas H. Ross
Class 10D. Race Cars Modern:
Winner is the 2008 Aston Martin DBRS9 owned by Ed Muncie. Your Judges are Trent Abbott and Bennett Logan
Our next class winner judge was the first judge to send in his results.
Class 10E. Open Wheel Winner: your judge is David Hobbs
Corgi Lotus 72 owned by James Edmonds.
Class 11 Misfit Toys:
The awards goes to the VAM Lerma, which was from AMC’s Mexican division and owned by Fernando Márquez Riaño. Your judge is Alan Galbraith
The best of Show is the Alfa 33 Prototipo of Sean Zeeck. According to Andy Ried, “After all our judges weighed in and voted and our chief judge McKeel Hagerty sent in his votes, the numbers actually added up perfectly. There were three cars that made it into the final running. They were the1953 Porsche 356 Outlaw of StevenAshley Kraft, 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale Prototipo of Sean Zeeck, and the 1935 Audi 225 Front Roadster of Koenraad Van Dorpe.”
Congratulations to all the winners!