• Jun 20, 2009
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.

All photos Copyright ©2008 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      For the past few years, the Greenwich Concours has supplied me with ample desktop wallpaper materiel for both work and home...and I've only been able to go on Sundays.

      Wish I had gotten there at a more opportune time for the parking lot though, only saw a Ford GT, a few Ferraris (including a Mondial!), a Ghibli, an R8, and a DB7.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like some help. In the first pic under the title, what make and model is the blue open-wheeled car?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you my friend. Now just to find one for sale.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kurtis-Kraft 500SS roadster, I believe. Basically a two-seat wide, fendered version of the Indy-winning roadsters they were building at the time. A radical ride in its day ...
      • 5 Years Ago
      interesting that Chevy didn't use the standard instrument panel/dashboard with the airbag option in '73. the one photographed wraps around the driver slightly, more like the Riviera/Toronado of the day. the regular Chevy IP of '73 was flat.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's definitely a Toronado instrument panel. I remember having some 1974 GM brochures years ago, from Oldsmobile and Buick, and each had a little information toward the back of the brochure about their airbag systems, along with a picture of the instrument panel and steering wheel, showing the airbags.

        I've also seen a couple of newspaper articles over the years, when one of these cars was involved in an accident with an airbag deployment, since the cars are so rare.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the owner confirmed that the airbag cars had the Olds interior, along with the police package suspension and Corvette-sourced V8.