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Cobble Beach Concours makes impressive debut

Canada's first major Concours d' Elegance featured a full field of high-quality collector cars

Published: September 15, 2013, 11:00 PM
Updated: September 4, 2020, 3:20 PM

Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2013

A spectacular venue, perfect weather, superb organization and more than 125 classic and collector cars ensured success for the inaugural Cobble Beach Concours d' Elegance, held on Saturday.

While Canada abounds with collector-car shows of various types, Cobble Beach is the country's first major Concours d'Elegance, in the class of those like Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, St. John's and Meadow Brook (now defunct).

As a first-time event, Cobble Beach may not have the stature of those established extravaganzas just yet, but all the ingredients are in place for it join that illustrious rank.

The event was held at the Cobble Beach resort community - hence the name - which is located on the scenic shores of Georgian Bay, near Owen Sound, Ontario, about 180 km northwest from Toronto.

According to Rob McLeese, the show's founder and chairman, holding a Concours at Cobble Beach was a goal from the time the resort was conceived by he and his late father, Willis. September 14, the date of the debut event, would have been his father's 100th birthday, and next Year's event will be held on this same date - a Sunday.

Turning that dream into reality was a mammoth task that took the support of a huge network of people and organizations, including a world-class judging panel, but the organizers pulled it off with aplomb.

The stars of the show, of course, were the cars and they more than lived up to the show's billing, ranging from Brass- and Nickel-era pioneers and Grand Classics from both North America and Europe to vintage hot rods and race cars. There were 16 classes competing for awards, as well as some special exhibits that included modern-day exotics.

Along with eight special awards, Best-in-Class and second-and third-place awards were presented for each class. The winner of the coveted Best-in-Show award, chosen from the 16 Best-in-Class winners, was a rare, 1928 Isotta-Fraschini 8 A SS boat-tail convertible coupe, owned by Peter Boyle do Oil City, Pennsylvania.

While all Isotta-Fraschinis are exotic, this one is particularly special because it's Italian-built chassis was shipped to the U.S. for installation of its original custom body by the American coach-builder, Lebaron.