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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

A wealth of car shows around the country

In a photo from Bob Jensen, the 2021 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance. Enthusiasts who love classic cars have many opportunities to admire, and sometimes buy, stunning sheet metal.

By Norman Mayersohn

The warm-weather season of car shows has been underway for months, with major displays, including in Amelia Island, Florida, and Greenwich, Connecticut, already completed. Still, a schedule extending deep into fall awaits enthusiasts and collectors, offering a chance for admirers of automotive artistry to bask in the glamour of yards-long hoods, gleaming chrome and glistening paint.

Appreciating classic cars at these events can be inexpensive. A day spent with vehicles covering a century or more of transportation history costs about the same as entry to a major sports event, and many of the biggest and best shows — local cars and coffee gatherings or Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise come to mind — are free.

The most formal type of event, a concours d’elegance, typically assigns vehicles into a variety of classes judged by volunteer experts for their condition, correctness and significance. Special attention at such shows may be lavished on featured marques, chosen to highlight an anniversary of the brand’s founding or perhaps a significant racetrack victory. Often, the proceeds of a concours support charitable causes.

Many of the events listed here are multiday affairs, with driving tours, concerts, public shows and classic-car auctions held over a span of days. Check the websites for a full rundown of schedules and attractions. Costs listed below for adults are starting prices.

Keeneland Concours d’Elegance

JULY 16: Keeneland racecourse, Lexington, Kentucky

Admission: $25 adults; children under 12 are free.

The horsepower at Keeneland is usually of the four-legged thoroughbred sort, but for a weekend in mid-July a show field of four-wheel conveyances, in 20 judged classes, will take over. The featured marque this year is Porsche, with four classes devoted to the brand’s models. A Car Club Paddock with upward of 500 vehicles offers a less formal, and perhaps more relatable, attraction for spectators to take in.

Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance

JULY 17: Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon

Admission: $20 adults; $17 seniors; $8 ages 13-17; children 12 and under are free.

An established show in the Pacific Northwest featuring more than 300 entries, this year’s concours directs special attention toward Jaguars and, more generally, British elegance. A concert is held Friday and a vineyard tour for concours entrants is on Saturday.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

AUG. 21: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California

Admission: $425 adults ($525 starting Aug. 1); children 12 and under are free.

For much of the classic-car world, Pebble Beach is the season’s peak and arguably the world’s most prestigious showcase. A two-week schedule of activities around the Monterey Peninsula in California includes several market-setting auctions, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at nearby Laguna Seca Raceway and specialist gatherings like the Concorso Italiano, all culminating in the Sunday show on the Pebble Beach fairway.

Historic Festival 40

SEPT. 1-5: Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut

Admission: $140 adults (for the full festival); children 12 and under are free.

The premier vintage motorsports event in the Northeast, celebrating its 40th year in 2022, Lime Rock’s festival encompasses Labor Day weekend and features racing for a broad selection of competition classes. Sunday is reserved for a judged concours featuring some 200 entries, with an emphasis on racecars, and a Gathering of the Marques display anticipated to draw 600 vehicles.

Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance

SEPT. 11: Radnor Hunt Club, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Admission: $60 adults; $30 ages 13 to 17; children 12 and under are free.

The horse country outside Philadelphia hosts a three-day gathering that includes a barbecue, road rally and parade of horse-drawn coaches leading up to the Sunday concours, whose highlights will include Cadillac, Derham coach work and BSA motorcycles. A separate MotorSport Park area offers attendees the opportunity to display their own vehicles of special interest.

Detroit Concours d’Elegance

SEPT. 18: Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Admission: $45 adults; $35 seniors; children 15 and under are free.

A much-anticipated highlight of the 2022 season promises to be the re-imagined concours previously known as the Concours d’Elegance of America, which has moved from Plymouth, Michigan, to Detroit and under the management of Hagerty, the classic-car insurer. An expected field of 140 cars will include Cars of Harley Earl, Cars of Woodward Avenue and Detroit Autorama customs and concepts.

Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week

OCT. 2: The Breakers mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Admission: $150 adults; $115 children

A relative newcomer to the concours circuit, the Audrain event, held on the grounds of the Breakers, a Vanderbilt mansion from the Gilded Age, will showcase about 200 cars. Featured marques include Cadillac, Jaguar and the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. In the days preceding the concours, seminars, a visit to the Audrain museum and a tour for concours entrants will take place.

AACA National Fall Meet

OCT. 4-7: Hershey Park (adjacent parking lot), Hershey, Pennsylvania

Admission: Free

The diversity of the Eastern fall meet of the Antique Automobile Club of America, an end-of-season event for enthusiasts since 1955, nearly defies description. For many who attend, the main attraction is a sprawling swap meet where one can buy virtually every part needed to assemble something like a Ford Model A. But there’s also an area for vintage vehicles, mainly postwar, offered for sale. The final day has an enormous everyone-welcome show of cars ranging from the industry’s earliest models through modern classics.

Chattanooga Motorcar Festival

OCT. 16: The Westin Chattanooga, Tennessee

Admission: $79 adults; children 12 and under are free.

Chattanooga’s 3-year-old concours is set on closed-off streets of the city’s West Village section. Besides the judged classes, the Pace Grand Prix vintage race and a rally, there will be displays of modern supercars and NASCAR competitors of the 1980s.

Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance

OCT. 29: Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas

Admission: $100 adults

In its third year, the Las Vegas concours is partnering with the Wynn hospitality organization to stage its 120-car show at the golf club, with its date chosen to lead into other auto events in the city, including the Formula One race in 2023. The weekend will also feature a drive of concours participants on the Las Vegas Strip, free to spectators.

Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival

NOV. 6: Port Royal Golf Club, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Admission: $75 adults; students with valid IDs admitted free.

German makes will receive special attention as honored marque classes at Hilton Head, which serves as the closing curtain of the season’s major concours events. A well-attended car-club showcase takes place on Saturday along with the Legends of the Autobahn display and an Austin-Healey gathering.

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