It seemed like an audacious undertaking when the first Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance was held in September of 2013. Just imagine: a Pebble Beach-like Concours d’Elegance, with only the most elegant, original and authentic vehicles invited to participate, near a small Ontario town two hours outside of Toronto! Could it possibly succeed?
Indeed it could, and it has, earning a well-deserved place among the finest Concours events in North America, with a roster of classic vehicles on display that rivals many more established events – a huge proportion of which come from Canadian collectors.
As an example of what to expect, among the 100-plus classics that will grace the fairway at the sixth annual Cobble Beach Concours next weekend, is this fabulous 1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster – a genuine American sports car as well as a true icon of the Art Deco era.
The curvaceous boattail bodywork was the product of renowned American designer Gordon Buehrig, who was also responsible for multiple Duesenberg Model J/SJ designs and the iconic Cord 810/812.
The Auburn is powered by a potent, supercharged Lycoming straight-eight engine, driving through a three-speed transmission and a two-speed rear axle.
The glistening chrome side exhaust pipes herald the presence of a Schwitzer-Cummins blower boosting the Speedster’s horsepower to 150 from the normally-aspirated model’s 115, making it one of the most powerful cars of its day.
Each Speedster was fitted with a dashboard plaque inscribed: “This certifies that this Auburn Automobile has been driven 100.8 miles per hour before shipment.” It is signed by David “Ab” Jenkins, the speed record holder who achieved some of his greatest successes at Bonneville behind the wheel of a late Auburn Speedster.
According to Buehrig’s book, ‘Rolling Sculpture’, a total of about 600 Speedsters were built over two years but no factory records still exist and it is believed there are only about two-dozen authentic survivors. At best, they are extremely rare.
This one – chassis #852 35209E – is owned by Larry Titchner, of Toronto, Ontario. Formerly part of the well-known David Tunick collection, it was fully restored in 2014/15 and is Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club-certified as an authentic Category One model, as well as a CCCA Full Classic. To further validate its originality and authenticity, it was ACD re-certified in 2018.
This Speedster is just one of the magnificent machines that will be on display, each with a story of its own to tell. They will range in age from the early days of the past century up to the early 1970s and include everything from antiques to exotics, so there’s sure to be something to pique the interest of every auto enthusiast.
The Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, September 16, at the Cobble Beach Golf Resort Community on the shores of Georgian Bay, about ten minutes north of Owen Sound, Ontario.
The day before, Saturday the 15th, the site will also host the Second Annual ‘Cars and Coffee at Cobble Beach presented by Michelin’, in which all vehicles 25 years of age or more can take part.
More information for both events can be found at www.cobblebeachconcours.com. A portion of the proceeds raised by the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance is donated to The Sunnybrook Foundation, in support of research, education and equipment initiatives at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.