Greenwich Concours d’Elegance: Classic Cars, Aircraft and America’s Cup 12-M Yacht

This year’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, 1 and 2 June at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park will feature an interesting car that defies identification at first – or second or third – glance, baffling even knowledgeable collectors. Its smooth lines, lustrous red paint and Carrozzeria Ghia crest confirm its Italian heritage, but what, exactly, is it?

Selected as the Poster Car for the 2013 Greenwich Concours it is a 1955 Jaguar XK140MC, with a custom aluminum body by Ghia of Turin, Italy. The MC suffix signifies that the engine was upgraded to produce 20 more horsepower, for a total of 220 hp. It was built for Marge and Gower Champion, the Hollywood musical stars, who later sold it to fellow actor, Ricardo Montalban; it is currently owned by Greenwich-collector Michael Schudroff. Thanks to its hand-made aluminum body, the coupe is substantially lighter than a stock XK140. Its greenhouse has slender roof pillars and greater glass area for a bright and airy interior. The greatest owner satisfaction though, comes from the exclusivity and the stir it creates wherever it appears at a gathering of car enthusiasts.

The poster car of the 2013 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance is a 1955 Jaguar XK140MC, with a custom aluminum body by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin, Italy. Photo by Bruce Wennerstrom
The poster car of the 2013 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a 1955 Jaguar XK140MC, with a custom aluminum body by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin, Italy. Photo by Bruce Wennerstrom

Also making an appearance at the Greenwich Concours this year is Andy Rooney’s 1966 Sunbeam Tiger. The outspoken “60 Minutes” television commentator was a passionate “car guy.” He lived in Rowayton, Connecticut, and his station car, the 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, was a class of car known at the time as a “hybrid.” Not the politically correct electric/gasoline hybrids of today; Rooney’s Sunbeam was Brit-built but was powered by a hot 289-hp American Ford V8. Such cars were called hybrids because they combined European coach work with American power trains, an amalgam of Yankee horsepower and sleek European curves. His Sunbeam was a light-weight two-seat sports car, painted, of course, in British Racing Green.America II and Lionheart, the Greenwich-based ex-America’s Cup yachts will again be berthed by the Greenwich Concours and will offer two days of match racing. The association of classic cars and America’s Cup yachts is appropriate, for the yachts are truly classic, in the same sense that the cars are, being the finest craft that yacht designers, builders and sail makers could create, and conceived for the sole purpose of defending the America’s Cup during a series of challenges from sailors of other nations over a period of decades.

The Greenwich Concours – considered one of the premier concours in the country – is unique. Since its founding in 1996 it has comprised two separate concours, back-to-back; Saturday’s Greenwich Concours Americana features American cars from the 1900’s to the present, while Sunday’s Greenwich Concours International is exclusively for imported sports, competition and touring cars, again from the 1900’s to the present. From the beginning there has been a Best-of-Show trophy for the American cars, and a Best-of-Show for imported cars, with over a hundred classic cars and motorcycles on display each day.

This 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, with a hot 289-hp Ford V8 engine, was the favorite ride of Andy Rooney, the famous "60 Minutes" TV commentator will be shown at the Greenwich Concours.  Photo by Russ Rocknak
This 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, with a hot 289-hp Ford V8 engine, was the favorite ride of Andy Rooney, the famous “60 Minutes” TV commentator will be shown at the Greenwich Concours.
Photo by Russ Rocknak

Additionally, Bonhams auction company will hold an auction of rare and important collector cars and automobilia on Sunday, 2 June. The cars offered will be on display for the day prior to the sale and open to prospective bidders and the public.

Automobile Magazine is the Title Sponsor of the Greenwich Concours. Renowned radio host Bob Long, will be broadcasting live from the Concours for two hours each day. AmeriCares, the respected international relief organization, ranked best by Money magazine, is the charitable beneficiary.

In addition to classic Duesenbergs, Pierce-Arrows, Packards, Auburn Speedsters, 16-cylinder Cadillacs, Mercedes 300SL gullwings, and the popular post-war American muscle cars, spectators can also check out the very latest offerings from the Concours’ sponsor companies in a relaxed no-pressure setting. The new-car offerings of BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Hyundai, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and other sponsor companies will be on display for viewing by show attendees,
plus Chubb Personal Insurance has all the answers for insuring collector cars.

Greenwich Concours Basics
A great attraction of the Greenwich Concours is the stunning beauty of its waterfront site, Roger Sherman Baldwin Park – a verdant peninsula at the head of Greenwich Harbor – which affords cooling sea breezes and a delightful water-side setting for alfresco lunches.

The Greenwich Concours Americana and the Concours International are open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. The admission is $30 per day, or $45 for a two-day pass, and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is free, and food service is available on site. The dates for 2013 are 1 and 2 June, rain or shine.

The ease of getting to the Concours also contributes to its popularity, for it’s immediately off Exit 3 of I-95, and within a block of the Metro North train station with express service from New York and Boston. And, within walking distance, is Greenwich Avenue – the Rodeo Drive of the East – with all of its many restaurants, antique shops, luxury stores, and numerous boutiques. Hotels, ranging from the modest to ultra-luxe, are also close by, with the Delamar, the host hotel, right at the Concours site.
The Concours web site, www.greenwichconcours.com includes a map, driving directions, and contact information. For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Lime Rock Starts Summer Racing Season May 24-26

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Lime Rock Park located on Rte. 112 in Lime Rock CT kicks off the summer racing season with several exciting events. The Memorial Day Race weekend Friday, May 24, Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 (no Monday event) will be jam-packed with top rank sports car series races topped off by a fabulous car show.

New this year, the sports car race series will feature the newly revitalized SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series. This is Detroit’s big “iron” that includes Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes going head to head with each other while fending off advances of some of Europe’s best sports cars. In addition to this, there will be the added excitement of heart pounding Formula F and F2000 races.

On Sunday, May 26 one of the most popular events, the 4th annual Royals Car Show will return to the historic Lime Rock track again this year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is exciting to be able to get out on the track to view all the fantastic cars that will be showing off. Participating vehicles include muscle cars, tuners and imports, street rods, motorcycles, classic cars, antiques, antique trucks, race cars, exceptional contemporary cars and fire trucks – the list is endless. The car show entry fees is $10 for adults, $5 for military, and kids 12 and under are free. Proceeds raised from the car show at Lime Rock Park benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

For tickets for the Trans-Am Races and Royals Car Show visit http://tickets.limerock.com. For general information on Lime Rock Park http://www.limerock.com. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com.

lime rock track copy

About Lime Rock Park

Dreamed up in 1956 by Jim Vaill and with the help of John Fitch and Cornnell Aeronautical Labs, Lime Rock is 1.50 miles of up hill and down dale, a track that looks deceivingly simple but is immensely challenging to drive at high speeds. Its setting is in a village in the heart of the Litchfield Hills renowned for its great natural beauty and cultural heritage.

In its 55 year existence, almost all of the sport’s greats have raced here: Andretti, Moss, Gurney, Posey, Rodriguez, Hobbs, Hill, Donohue, Ward, Fitch…the list of great drivers who’ve raced here is endless.

Lime Rock has also seen virtually every kind of racecar grace its corners and straights…from ground-pounding NASCAR stock cars to Can-Am, Camel GTP, F5000, Trans-Am and Atlantic, this list also goes on and on.

Today, Lime Rock is the leading edge of American LeMans Series and Grand-Am with their own stars and cars that are writing history.

Lime Rock Park: A Very Special Auto Museum and Vintage Car Parade


While New York City may be home to some of the world’s finest museums, when it comes to celebrating the history of personal mobility, automotive enthusiasts will only need to travel 100 miles from the Big Apple to visit a unique once-per-year “museum” – Lime Rock Park’s Sunday in the Park concours d’elegance. The concours, and its unusual companion event, the Gathering of the Marques, is Sunday, September 2.
The historic weekend kicks off with a Vintage Racecar Parade that takes place on August 30 beginning at 3:30 p.m. At this time over sixty vintage racecars from the Historic Festival weekend at Lime Rock Park will parade 15 miles through Lime Rock, Lakeville and Salisbury to Falls Village.

The parade route winds from Lime Rock Park along Rte. 44 to downtown Lakeville and Salisbury where the street are lined with spectators. The parade continues on through Noble Horizons and then proceeds to Falls Village where the cars line up to be admired at a festive community street fair.

This annual event is free and open to the public. In honor of this festival, traffic in downtown Falls Village comes to a standstill for this two-hour kick off to the Labor Day weekend celebration. A highly anticipated highlight of this event is the opportunity to win a chance to waive the green flag at a vintage race at Lime Rock as well as to see these rare historic cars up close and personal, one after another as they line the street.

When visiting the concours, participants will see a variety of cars from very old cars, some of which look virtually brand new to race cars from more than half-a-century ago that are still raced today. The concours and marque gathering have been integral to Lime Rock Park’s traditional Labor Day weekend vintage extravaganza since the 1980s. This year’s Historic Festival 30 is presented by Jaguar from Friday, August 31 through Labor Day Monday, September 3.

The concours embraces the notion that the automobile is art as well as celebrating the fact that these vehicles were built to be enjoyed – not just left in the garage to be polished every week! More than 200 cars have entered the Sunday in the Park Concours, from Brass Era and pre-WWI all the way through select examples from the 1980s.

While concours are staged throughout America, Lime Rock’s is unique; no other venue in the U.S. has three days of on-track racing sandwiching a prestigious concours event – all on the same property.

Historic Festival 30 presented by Jaguar, the Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques is Friday, August 31 through Labor Day Monday, September 3. The vintage racing itself is Saturday and Monday, dawn to dusk, 300+ cars divided into 10 competitive race groups. The 2012 Honored Guest is Sir Stirling Moss, considered motorsports’ greatest “all-rounder” driver in the sport. Many of the famous cars he drove to noteworthy victories at the peak of his F1 and sports car career – Vanwalls, Coopers, Jaguars, Maseratis – will be displayed, demonstrated and even raced over the weekend.

ABOUT LIME ROCK PARK

Lime Rock Park is one of America’s most recognized road racing venues and has been continuously operated since its opening in 1957. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the National Park Service, the track is 1.5 miles in length, encompassing seven corners and more than seven stories of elevation change. The track is considered one of the most beautiful – and challenging to drive – in the world, constructed in a natural valley in the Berkshire Mountains of Litchfield Hills northwest Connecticut. Discounted advance-priced tickets can be purchased at www.limerock.com or by calling 860.435.5000

For area information visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Shelton Historical Society’s Vintage Vehicles Antique & Classic Car Show June 17

Enjoy a day with Dad and Granddad peeking under the hoods of the cars they remember from their youth at the Shelton Historical Society’s Vintage Vehicles Antique and Classic Car Show on Father’s Day, June 17th. Two wheels or four, from Model T’s to muscle cars, there’s bound to be something that will trigger a memory or maybe a chuckle from every visitor. The event will take place at Shelton History Center, 70 Ripton Rd. from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Best In Show – 2011

Past shows have featured everything from a 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom, to a restored rickshaw that was used as an ambulance in the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, to a 1911 wood paneled Model T. A Locomobile produced locally in Bridgeport in 1921 was a one-of-a- kind entry last year. Nearly every decade of automotive history from the 20th century has been illustrated on the shaded grounds of the Shelton History Center with more recent muscle cars, Mustangs, and Army Jeeps joining many Ford Model A’s and T’s. All vehicle owners generously share information, their cars, and their hobby with the public.

There is still time for owners of antique and classic vehicles of all kinds to register to participate in this special event. Entry forms may be found at http://www.sheltonhistoricalsociety.org or by calling (203) 925-1803. Pre-registration costs $8.00 but will be $10.00 on the day of the event.

Awards in five categories will be presented to crowd favorites. Visitors will enjoy tours of the buildings at Shelton History Center, refreshments, and voting for their favorite vehicles. Admission is $1 for dads, $5/adults and $10/family. Proceeds will benefit the educational programs of the Shelton Historical Society. For additional information including directions, please call (203) 925-1803 or visit www.sheltonhistoricalsociety.org.