Tom Stieber, of Grosse Pointe Park, discusses his 1928 Model A with Hunter Hughes, of Grosse Pointe Farms, during the 11th annual Grosse Pointe Concours d’Elegance last year at Pier Park in the Farms. This year’s event will take place Sept. 29 at Pier Park.

Tom Stieber, of Grosse Pointe Park, discusses his 1928 Model A with Hunter Hughes, of Grosse Pointe Farms, during the 11th annual Grosse Pointe Concours d’Elegance last year at Pier Park in the Farms. This year’s event will take place Sept. 29 at Pier Park.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Concours d’Elegance car show has a license to thrill

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 17, 2019

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Classic car owners, start your engines!

The 12th annual Grosse Pointe Concours d’Elegance will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at Pier Park in Grosse Pointe Farms. Free and open to the public, the event is presented by the nonprofit Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation and showcases unique classic and exotic American and European vehicles owned by local residents.

Dan Hughes, a GPFF Board member and the founder of the Grosse Pointe Concours d’Elegance, remains the head of marketing for this event, which has grown in size and popularity.

“I created it 12 years ago in response to finding a way to get Farms residents to visit the Pier who would not normally come if they did not have kids using the pool or owning a boat,” he said in an email interview. “The question was, how do we get them to come to the Pier Park and see the new tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, warming building, skating rink and fire pit. With that in mind, I created the Concours, which provided an opportunity for people in the Pointes to bring out that classic car hiding in their garage.”

Hughes said attendance averages 400 to 600 people.

“The trend recently has been a very large increase in families with children, hopefully planting the seed of interest in automobiles, classic or iconic,” Hughes said.

While the event typically includes about 75 vehicles, in recent years, it has had 90 or more on display.

Hughes is delighted to see that kids are as excited about this event as their parents.

“I know it sounds corny, but seeing the kids staring at cars that are not your normal minivan is fun,” he said. “The bright colors of the sports cars and the odd or sleek shapes are very entertaining to them. The owners are very receptive to have the kids look inside, stand next to (them) for photos, etc.”

Those who want to get the first peek at participating vehicles are invited to gather along a parade route that runs from Kercheval Avenue in the Hill business district to Moross Road. Starting at 11:30 a.m. the morning of the Concours, vehicles will begin driving this route into the park, which is at the foot of Moross and Lake Shore roads, on Lake St. Clair. Parade participation is optional; Hughes said vehicles taking part in the parade usually start arriving at 9 a.m.

Not all of the vehicles were registered at press time, but Hughes said the ones featured in the event poster — a Citroen and a Gulf Ford GT — have been popular with attendees of past Grosse Pointe Concours. He said roughly a third of the vehicles each year show up the day of the show, in part because some owners are waiting to see what the weather is going to be like. Hughes said they’ve been fortunate, because the show has never been rained out.

“You cannot walk away without saying, ‘I had a car like that,’ ‘I have always wanted a car like that’ (or) ‘I knew a guy who had a car like that,’” Hughes said.

Food trucks from National Coney Island and Wally’s Frozen Custard will be on hand for those who get hungry walking around the park. Hughes said there will again be free hot dogs, soft drinks and chips for attendees, while supplies last.

“This is a great event for Grosse Pointe Farms to celebrate the automotive heritage that the Grosse Pointes contributed to,” Farms Mayor Louis Theros said. “It’s a great opportunity for citizens to come and look at these vehicles that others have put a lot of love and tender care into.”

Advance vehicle registration is encouraged. Those who’d like to bring a vehicle or two to this event can now register online; a link to the form can be found on the home page of the Farms city website, grossepointefarms.org.

Pier Park is located at 350 Lake Shore Road. For more information, visit the Farms website or call (313) 885-6600.