When the first Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance took place in 2013, it was an upstart among the established order of Classic car exhibitions in North America. Now it has become an entrenched part of that establishment, with the some of the most prestigious collector cars on the continent vying for top honours.
The fifth annual Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance takes place this weekend, on Sunday, September 17, 2017 and it’s the place to be if you have any interest in automotive history, beauty and sheer elegance.
Not only is it the most prestigious classic car show in Canada, it is the only one that can be mentioned in the same league as such established Concours as Amelia Island, St. John's, and Pebble Beach. Like them, it takes place in a picturesque setting worthy of the cars – in this case on the shores of Georgian Bay, at the Cobble Beach resort community near Owen Sound, Ontario.
More than 100 classics, hand selected from private collections all across North America will take part in this extravaganza of excellence, part of a tradition that dates back to 17th century French high-society.
The rules of the Concours prohibit repeat entries by any cars for at least four years so, while there will be a handful of cars from that inaugural event reprising their appearance, almost all the cars on the show grounds will be new to the event.
While Grand Classics, such as Cadillacs, Cords, Packards and Pierce-Arrows from the 1930s, are typically the crown jewels of such shows, there is something to satisfy every automotive taste among the 17 classes of vehicles on display.
They include everything from Antiques (pre-1916) – which include such rare specimens as a one-of-one-existing 1913 Henderson and a 1915 Stutz Bearcat – to European Sports Cars (to 1973) that include such exotica as an original Ford GT and a Lamborghini Miura.
Other entries of particular significance include:
> Three Classic-era Rolls-Royce, including one custom-built for Woolf Barnato, who owned Bentley before it was sold to Rolls-Royce in 1931;
> Three Classic-era Pierce-Arrows, including one a rare, Canadian-built 1932 Series 54 Convertible coupe;
> Three exotic Ferraris, including a 1971 365 GTB/4 Daytona;
> A storied 1977 Maserati Khamsin with a back-story as enthralling as the car itself;
> A whole class of Muscle Cars, including a high-winged 1970 Plymouth Superbird and a 1967 Shelby GT350;
> A rare 1946 AlfaRomeo 6C 2500 Pininfarina Cabriolet Speciale;
> A display of historic Cadillacs from the private collection of Steve Plunkett, including “The Duchess,” a custom-bodied limousine, built by General Motors for England’s King Edward after he’d abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson;
> A special class for classic hot rods and another for vintage motorcycles;
> A display-only class of wooden boats.
And there's much more! The weekend now includes events spanning Friday through Sunday. Saturday’s schedule encompasses a variety of events from a Participants’ Tour for Concours car owners who are touring the local area in their vintage vehicles to Cars & Coffee at Cobble Beach presented by Segal Motorcar, an opportunity for local car enthusiasts to showcase their cherished automobiles.
The day also includes two seminars; one with a panel of experts hosted by Hagerty and the other a showing of vintage race films. The day concludes with a Kick Off Reception presented by Chubb for judges, participants and honoured guests to celebrate the automotive spirit while giving back to the Sunnybrook Foundation charity, supported by the Concours, through a live auction.
The Concours itself takes place at the Cobble Beach Golf Links Resort Community, near Owen Sound, about two hours north of Toronto. Gates open to the public at 9AM. Further information is available online at cobblebeachconcours.com.