Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Automobiles take center stage at Concours D’Elegance
|The 29th Annual Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook Hall will feature more than 225 classic cars.|
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Members of the media joined automotive leaders to kick off the 29th Annual Concours d’Elegance at Meadow Brook Hall during the media preview event. Visitors received just a taste of the power and beauty that will be on display at Meadow Brook Hall on Sunday, Aug. 5, including vintage four-cylinder motorcycles and a tribute to the Italian masterpiece, the Alfa Romeo — both classic and modern with the North American debut of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.
Chaired by Larry Smith, the Concours d’Elegance combines traditional events with new ones. The events start Thursday, Aug. 2 with the Lufthansa Welcome Reception and Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show from 5-7 p.m. at Meadow Brook Hall. The fashion show is followed by the Airport Hanger Party at the Oakland Airport from 7-11 p.m. Besides cars, a V-17, P-51 Mustang and a WACO biplane will be on display. The event is sponsored by Lufthansa German Airlines.
On Saturday, there will be two auto-related workshops, including an automotive photography workshop and panel discussion on the state of classic car collection.
“This really fits into our goal of adding education into the Meadow Brook Concours experience,” said Matthew de Larcinese, Concours d’Elegance executive director.
Other 2007 Concours d’Elegance events include:
- Motoring Tour, Friday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., beginning at Meadow Brook Hall
Concours d’Elegance participants will take part in this invitation-only motoring tour in the local area.
- Automotive Art Reception, Art Auction and RM Auctions, Inc. Automotive Preview, Friday, Aug. 3, 6-9 p.m., Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion
For ticket information, visit the Concours ticket Web site. For a list of cars at this year’s automotive auction, visit the RM Auctions, Inc. car list.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Saturday, Aug. 4, 9-10:30 a.m., Somerset Collection
Admission is available only to Concours car entrants and VIP Platinum participants.
- Design Seminars, Saturday, Aug. 4, 9-11 a.m.,
How the Pros Shoot Cars — Garden Courtyard, Meadow Brook Hall
The State of Art Collecting—Ballroom, Meadow Brook Hall
- RM Auctions Vintage Motor Cars, Saturday, Aug. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion
Registered bidders and consignors buy and sell classic automobiles. For a list of cars at this year’s automotive auction, visit the RM Auctions, Inc. car list.
- A Night of Surprises, Saturday, Aug. 4, 6:30-11 p.m., Meadow Brook Hall
This Concours reception is centered around the classic antique automobile theme. For ticket information, visit the Concours ticket Web site.
The Concours d’Elegance show itself will be held Sunday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Meadow Brook Hall. This year, motorcycles will join more than 225 classic cars on display at Meadow Brook Hall. Four-cylinder vintage motorcycles, dubbed the Forty Fours, along with other big bikes, will be displayed in features like “The Class of ‘57” and “American Super Stock.”
“This is one of the first times ever there has been such a focus on these machines,” Smith said. “It’s probably something you’ll never see again.”
This year's Concours also includes a tribute to the great Italian masterpiece, Alfa Romeo; and a tribute to the 1957 convertible with examples of the finest automobiles created in this iconic year of auto design. Three Alfa Romeo BAT cars, concepts from ’53, ’54 and ’55 will be on display. Smith said the styling cues given by these cars were evident in many cars through the ‘60s.
“The cars were way ahead of their time,” Smith said. “They are absolutely fabulous.”
While the Concours d’Elegance features classic cars, a new car will also be on display. The 2007 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione was introduced during the media event and will be on display during the Concours.
|The 2007 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione was introduced during the media event and will be on display during the Concours. |
With 500 cars produced and only 100 destined for North America, the Competizione has a carbon fiber body, six-speed transaxle and V8 engine. The car is the automaker’s step toward new production cars, which will be released in 2009.
In addition, a Bugatti Royale from the Henry Ford Museum will also be on display. The wheel base of the classic trumps that of some of today’s largest sport utility vehicles.
At each vehicle display, there will be a storyboard outlining the history of the vehicle, another attempt to incorporate education into the event.
“We really want people to leave with a little more than they came with,” Smith said.
Tickets are $25 at the gate the day of the event. Children 12 and under are free. College students who can show a valid student ID will be able to attend the annual Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance for free.
The Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance collector car show and its various related events support the preservation efforts at Meadow Brook Hall. Over the years, the Concours d’Elegance has contributed more than $5 million to the preservation of the mansion, the former home of Matilda Dodge Wilson, the widow of John Dodge and wife of Alfred Wilson. In 1957, the Wilsons gave their Meadow Brook Farms estate, including the Hall, and $2 million to found what would become Oakland University. Now operated as a cultural center of Oakland University, the Hall is the fourth largest historic house museum in the country and is self-supporting.
For more information on Meadow Brook Hall, visit the Meadow Brook Hall Web site. For more information on the Concours d’Elegance or ticket and event information, visit the Meadow Brook Concours Web site.