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

Bruce Museum’s 31st Annual Outdoor Arts Festival Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, 10 am to 5 pm

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The Bruce Museum’s 31st Annual Outdoor Arts Festival takes place rain or shine on the grounds of the Museum on Columbus Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, from 10 am to 5 pm. The Festival is a juried event featuring more than 85 artists selected from across the country. Paintings, photography, drawings, prints, sculptures, and mixed media pieces are all available for purchase. The Festival also includes live music on both days as well as many fun, educational family activities, and a variety of food choices.

On Saturday, live performances include the dance-inducing rhythms and sultry harmonies of the Connecticut-based band The Juicy Grapes from noon to 4 p.m. and, at 2 p.m., an oil pastel demonstration by Carol Boucher on the front steps of the Museum.

On Sunday, world-class instructors from Dance With Me Stamford, part of the chain of ballroom dance studios that are home to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani, will teach a dance class and give a dazzling ballroom performance in the Lecture Gallery from noon to 2:00 p.m., and Carol Boucher will repeat her oil pastel demonstration at 2 p.m.

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Exhibitors compete for cash prizes in six categories: oils and acrylic on canvas; watercolor and acrylic on paper and under glass; graphics and drawings; mixed media; sculpture; and photography. In addition to individual category prizes, there are two major awards given: “Museum’s Choice Award” and the top prize of “Best in Show.” One of the Bruce’s most popular events, the event annually draws thousands of visitors.

The Bruce Museum is open during Festival hours and will feature new exhibitions highlighting the sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, recent gifts to its collection, and desert habitats.

Festival admission is $8 and includes general admission to the Bruce Museum. Admission is free to members and children under 5. The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum will be open for the Festival from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum galleries will also be open for the Monday Columbus Day holiday. Festival parking is available in the Island Beach parking lot at Arch Street and Steamboat Road. The Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at http://www.brucemuseum.org.

THE SIMPSONS MAKE A SPLASH AT LAKE COMPOUNCE’S CROCODILE COVE WATERPARK ON AUGUST 22nd

Lake Compounce

TV’s longest-running scripted show, The Simpsons, is hitting the road and will make an appearance at Lake Compounce’s Crocodile Cove Waterpark on Wednesday, August 22nd to host a themed waterpark takeover. Entrance to the event is free with park admission and Crocodile Cove will be open from 12noon to 7:00 P.M. This event is free with admission to the park.

Guests can dive-in and celebrate along with The Simpsons, and be the first to ride a Springfield donut inner tube that would make even Homer jealous. They can also pose for some great family photos with The Simpsons, water park style.

After spending the day at the Simpsons Summer Celebration, families can continue the fun at home with The Simpsons on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans can enjoy exclusive footage and special features available only on these releases. The Simpsons Seasons 1-14 are currently available; Season 15 will be released on December 4, 2012.
About Lake Compounce Lake Compounce

Part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks, is New England’s Family Theme Park and the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America. With the largest water park in Connecticut, and a brand new water slide called Riptide Racer, the park is now in its 167th season. Now open daily. Regular admission price for the 2012 season is $36.99. Junior admission, which is for guests under 52 inches tall, is $26.99. Senior admission, for ages 61 and up, is $18.99. Children 3 years of age and younger are admitted free. Prices subject to change without notice. All tickets and season passes may be purchased by visiting http://www.lakecompounce.com.

About Palace Entertainment Palace Entertainment

Owns and operates 40 theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers nationwide, including Kennywood, Idlewild and Storyland on the east coast. The company entertains millions of guests annually and is one of the largest park operators in the US. For more information, visit palaceentertainment.com.