2015 Arizona Concours d'Elegance

2015 Arizona Concours

The second edition of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance hit all the right notes! In last week’s Newsletter, we shared an image of the lovely Mercedes 540K that won the event. This week, we offer a gallery of images of the other fine cars that were on display.

The Saturday Seminars were both lively and judging by the quality of the questions from the floor the audiences for both were quite knowledgeable. The first panel dealt with the current state of the collector market and called on the panel, all knowledgeable collectors, to give their views on where the market is going and what currently overlooked jewel, bought at a bargain price today, might make its new owner a wealthy genius tomorrow. Given that the auctions were less than a week away that is a tough spot from which to volunteer a definite opinion. But they were wisely cautious. Even when I expected eyebrows to be raised at the mention of hidden value in Japanese cars, the audience merely nodded. In the final moment, the crowd was buoyed by the enthusiastically positive response to the dispiritedly posed question as to whether bargains were still to be had at today’s auction. A nice note on which to end.

2015 Arizona Concours

The designer seminar title Elegance at Speed, and led by Lyn St. James, was both entertaining and quite revelatory. Kip Wasenko, who designed Cadillac’s Le Mans Prototype car and Peter Brock who designed the successful Daytona Coupe and was involved in the styling development of the now legendary ‘63 Corvette Stingray, shared the platform with British designer of note Nigel Bennett. He designed F1 and IndyCar race cars and was associated with Lola and Penske in the eighties and nineties. Moderator St. James kept bringing everyone back to the question of elegance and speed and Bennett probably had the best line of the afternoon when he shared the pit truism that no winning car was ever ugly. Wasenko’s stories about designing cars in a corporate environment, with the odd exception, understandably seemed studies in frustration. Peter Brock’s comment about the important influence of Italian design on the GM designers put me in mind of the Pinin Farina Design display at Pebble Beach a number of years ago. One of the prototypes that never made it to production was a stylish sports car with a deep scalloped indentation from behind the front wheel that gently faded into the body panel behind the front door. It was shaped much like the signature cove of the 1956 Corvette that was to appear several years later. Brock backed up his candid comments about being told to borrow from other designers with an illustration showing the similarities between the Stingray and an earlier Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint Speciale. The similarities were stunning. Like you, I have been looking at both these cars for years and never saw it.

2015 Arizona Concours

Sunday’s Concours was a gift. The predicted rain never appeared. The weather cooperated and so did the entrants. The setting, large flower beds, low vine covered cottages in a large well watered courtyard ringed by the imposing FLW inspired Biltmore Hotel on one flank and two story sandstone block buildings on the other three, gave a sense of security and isolation. Exceptionally tall palm trees, standing guard over the manicured lawns, the odd pond, flower beds, and bubbling fountains crisscrossed by faded red concrete paths. Idyllic really. Unquestionably, the upper end image of a desert city. Into this scene drop 90 exceptional cars, each on enough grass to allow passersby to step off the path and give it a good look over. In the ‘50s, motor racing in England was not for the faint of heart or the weak of pocket. Events were called “meets” and they had a feeling about spectators best expressed by their motto that attendees were the “right crowd” and “no crowding’. Though hardly that haughty, this did seem like the right crowd for this location and this event.

2015 Arizona Concours

It is obvious that the organizers know their cars and their market and spent the time and money on details like ample quality food and refreshment stations and enough comfortable chairs and linen covered tables at which to eat it. Now that we have explained the setting and the organization, scroll down and see the cars. Enough words. The pictures are worth a ...

Well done Arizona Concours d’Elegance!

pb

More images from the event ...

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours d'Elegance

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours

2015 Arizona Concours