First Cobble Beach Concours made an impressive debut

Canada's first major Concours d' Elegance in 2013 featured a full field of quality collector cars

Published: September 4, 2020, 12:25 AM
Updated: October 11, 2021, 10:10 AM

Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2013

As mid-September approaches, we would normally be gearing up for the 2020 edition of the annual Cobble Beach Concours d' Elegance, originally scheduled for a couple weekends from now. But not this year. As has been the case for all the major North American Concours since March, Cobble Beach has been cancelled for this year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To help alleviate your need, and ours, for a Classic Car fix, we'll take a look back at the seven previous Cobble Beach Concours in a series of retrospectives, beginning here with an overview of the very first event, in 2013.

A spectacular venue, perfect weather, superb organization and more than 125 classic and collector cars ensured success for that inaugural Cobble Beach Concours d' Elegance, held on Saturday, September 14.

While Canada abounds with collector-car shows of various types, Cobble Beach was 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).

Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2013

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

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 the 2014 event will be held on the same date - a Sunday.

1912 Stutz Bearcat - Cobble Beach - 1912 Stutz Bearcat, Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance - 2013

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 of Oil City, Pennsylvania.

1928 Isotta-Fraschini - Best-in-Show - 2013 Cobble Beach Concours

While all Isotta-Fraschinis are exotic, this one was 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.