Concours d’Elegance celebrates over a century of rides

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published July 20, 2015

From hearses dating back to the 1890s to the luxury cars of today, a full sampling of vehicular history will be presented to the public at the upcoming 37th annual Concours d’Elegance of America on July 26.

The Concours d’Elegance, which used to be held at Meadow Brook Hall at Oakland University, is now located at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth.

According to the event’s website, the origins of Concours d’Elegance date back hundreds of years to when aristocrats showed off their carriages in France. The Plymouth event puts the practice into a more contemporary setting with vintage, luxury and collector automobiles.
Vehicles scheduled to be on display range from the antique, like the Duesenberg Model J, to Japanese sports cars, Bonneville streamliners and “1980s Dream Cars.”

Concours d’Elegance Chairman Larry Moss expected a showcase of around 300 cars from 31 states. He said his event has often been considered to be in the top three among around 60 such events nationwide.

“Every year, we always like to say it’s going to be the best and most diverse,” he said. “People will see a diverse collection of cars that they’ll never get a chance to see anywhere else at one time, one place.”

Moss said visitors come to see the cars’ uniqueness and grandeur, whether they are classic cars, muscle cars, sports cars or something else. This year, the event will specifically celebrate vehicles from the year 1955. But newer “supercars” including Ferraris, Aston Martins, Alfa Romeos and Lamborghinis will share the limelight.

Moss said a collection of hearses will also be featured.

“We’re probably the first Concours to ever feature hearses,” Moss said. “We’ll have seven examples of hearses dating back to 1893 to the 1950s. … These cars were very ornate back then. They really did them up and were very stylish.”

Car selection committee chairman Brian Joseph explained that while he loves all the cars on display, it’s pretty hard to pick favorities. He named a 1954 Fiat and a 1948 Bentley as cars that stand out.

“I love Duesenbergs,” he added. “We have six wonderful Duesenbergs that are going to be at the show.”

The 37th annual Concours d’Elegance of America will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 26 at the Inn at St. John’s, 44045 Five Mile Road in Plymouth. General admission is $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. Learn more about the event and its free parking options by visiting www.concoursusa.com or by calling (248) 643-8645.