- Jun 20, 2009
2009 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance
2009 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, Day 1 - Click above for a high-res gallery
The web is all about immediacy, and by that token, you should have seen these Greenwich Concours d'Elegance photos right after the event happened. Your humble correspondent, however, was juggling the Concours with his own family vacation preparations, and couldn't deliver in a timely fashion. However, like Dick Nixon, I'm now tanned, rested and ready, so follow the jump for several themed photo galleries and the annual rundown on what you missed if you weren't able to make the stop in Greenwich,
All photos Copyright ©2008 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.
2009 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance Day 2 - Click above for high-res photo gallery
Put simply, you can't make up how good the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance is. To adequately put a value on the two days worth of cars that populate the field at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, you basically need to hold your pinky up to your mouth, affect a Dr. Evil voice, and spout some absurd number. And you'll probably come in low. To walk through the concours, is to update your personal bucket list in real time. By the end of the weekend, this makes for a pretty long list.
Day one was, as always, dedicated exclusively to American automobiles. Given the current state of Detroit, the metal arranged before visitors in Greenwich served as an extra-harsh reminder of the glory days that are very much dead and gone today. Of the long-defunct marques, Packard was extremely well-represented, with easily a dozen gorgeous examples bathed in the intermittent sunlight. A couple of Marmons were in on the fun, too, including one Roosevelt, which sported a badge bearing the likeness of our 26th President on its grille frame, as well as a hood ornament sculpted in the shape of a bear. Awesome.
Up near the front gate, a light brown 1930 Cadillac Roadster parked up front was a crowd favorite. Gorgeous. Huge. Long car. Long hood. And under that hood, as advertised by the badge centered on the gleaming radiator grille, resided a V16. The owner hopped in and turned it over for the crowd, who, to a person, were impressed with just how quietly and smoothly it ran. You could almost see "Standard of the World" epiphanies taking place inside people's heads. This is what elegant American luxury was. A few yards away stood a circle of even older cars, among them a 1914 Detroit Electric that was, unwittingly, politically correct way, way before the term entered the vernacular. A small green oasis in this sea pf pistons.
Every year, I fall in love with one particular car on each day. This time around, it was a 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst. This Nimitz-class, fuselage-body Mopar hardtop is the ride I most wanted to drive home at the end of day on Saturday. Chalk it up to nostalgia -- my grandfather had a pair of Imperial Lebaron hardtops when I was a kid ('69 and 71), but this '70 Hurst is the coolest-looking version of all, what with the special white-and-tan paint scheme, integrated rear spoiler, and rally wheels. The hidden headlamps these superbarges sported just put them over the top. A '69 GT500 parked two cars away was no slouch, either. Three NACA ducts on the hood is three times more awesome than no NACA ducts, after all.
Speaking of NACA ducts, day two brought them in abundance with the arrival of all the international rides. Competing for the heart of yours truly were an eye-tearingly beautiful 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400, an '83 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, and an '88 Ferrari 299 GTO. The Ferraris were in a circle dominated by their brethren from Maranello, while the LP400 was mixed in with other newer Lambos, an F40, an M1, and a Nissan GT-R -- which looked positively hulking next to the classic Bimmer supercar. Still, in that ring, the LP400 ruled; drawing visitors toward itself as if it were equipped with a humanity tractor beam.
Over in the circle of Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, a pair of Rolls shooting brakes demonstrated what real class and practicality look like, while a brown 1947 Franay-bodied drophead Bentley may well have been the most beautiful car present all weekend. Of course, given the material assembled, opinions were subject to change by the moment. The Bonham's auction tent was home to wildly diverse lots ranging from the yellow Rolls-Royce driven by Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby, to a Fiat 600 Multipla, to an avocado-green '73 Impala with factory airbags.
As usual, the show went on even when you left the grounds, as the parking lot served as an unofficial satellite concours. There wasn't a Lamborghini Miura to be seen in the show, but a yellow SV was parked outside in the lot on day two. You never know what you'll find at the Greenwich Concours, but chances are, you'll be happy you found it. We'll be back again to see what next year holds.
1914 Cadillac 7-passenger Touring 1914 Detroit Electric 1930 Cadillac Roadster V16 Fleetwood 1929 Cadillac 341B 1930 Cord L29 front-wheel drive 1931 Studebaker President 1932 Chrysler CL 1933 Cadillac V8 Roadster 1933 Marmon 16 1933 Pierce-Arrow 1236 Salon 1933 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster 1934 Duesenberg Model J 1934 Packard 1106 783 4 1935 Ford Woody 1935 Wetteroth Offenhauser Championship Car 1935 DeSoto Airflow 1937 Packard 115C 1939 Graham Supercharged Combination Coupe 1939 Packard 1705 1941 Cadillac Sixty Special 1941 Packard 160 Packard 160 1941 Packard 180 Custom 8 (air-conditioned) 1954 Cadillac Eldorado 1954 Kaiser Darrin 151 Roadster 1955 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Prototype 1956 Chevy Bel Air 1956 Chevy Nomad 1956 Novi 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 1959 Lincoln Continental 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 1960 Chrysler 300F 1963 Corvette Yenko Sebring 1965 Shelby GT350 1966 Fitch Phoenix 1967 Chevy Malibu L79 1968 AMC AMX 1969 Chevy Camaro 1969 Ford GT40 1969 Shelby GT500 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 1973 Chevy Impala (factory airbags car) 1991 Chevy Corvette ZR-1 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Indy Pace Car 1973 AMC Matador Shelby Cobra Terrafugia Transition
1934 Aston Martin Short Chassis 1935 Rolls-Royce 20-25 1937 Lagonda LG 45 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 1938 Lagonda LG-6 Rapide 1947 Bentley Franay Drophead 1947 Bentley Franay Drophead 1948 Delahaye M135 1952 bentley R Type Continental Fastback 1955 Porsche 356 Continental 1955 Porsche 356 Continental (The "before" photo) 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220S 1957 Wendler Sportswagen 1959 Lotus Elite Type 14 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Shooting Brake 1961 Fiat Jolly 1961 Maserati 3500 GT 1961 Renault Caravelle 1962 Bentley Continental Park Ward 1962 Sabra 1963 Ferrari 330 Le Mans Berlinetta 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB 1964 Fiat 1500 GT Ghia Coupe 1965 Jaguar E-Type 1966 Sunbeam Tiger MK-1A 1966 Triumph GT6 1968 Neri and Bonacini Studio GT 1970 BMW 2800CS 1970 Porsche 908/3 1970 Porsche 908/3 1971 Lancia Fulvia HF 1.6 1972 Lotus Elan SL Sprint 1973 Iso Rivolta Lele 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP400 1980 BMW M1 1980 BMW M1, 2009 Nissan GT-R 1983 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer 1983 Porsche 956 1984 Audi Quattro, 1962 Sabra 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO 1992 Ferrari F40 1992 Ferrari F40 1988 Lamborghini Countach Anniversary Edition 1993 Ferrari 348 Morgan trikes 1959 BMW 600
All photos Copyright ©2008 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.