2019 Crescent Beach Concours
2019 Crescent Beach Concours, Surrey BC
I was lucky enough to get to the site early and get shots of the cars as they drove onto the field. The cars staged in the parking lot and the first car in line was longtime friend Spike Contini in his stellar red 1961 Impala Convertible. Of course his battery decided that was the time to die, but Brad Pelling lives close by and had a jumper pack to get Spike going. Brad’s company, Pelling Insurance, was one of the main sponsors of the events and it is sort if in his front yard on a little triangle of land right on the water called Blackie’s Spit.
The wild car in any outdoor car show is the weather and this show had dark skies looming overhead and a short period of rain. Luckily it stopped and the sun came out before the spectators showed up. Admission was charged and proceeds went to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. This event is a (ICJAG) International Chief Judges Advisory Group Concours d’Elegance that is sanctioned by the (NAACC) National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada Corporation. Almost all the judges are members of NAACC Member clubs.
The classes for the show were
Class 1 Maximum Muscle
Class 3-Collector Motorcycles
Class 2-Classics (Ccca Approved)
Class 5-1conic Convertibles To 73
Class 6- Avant Garde
Class 7-American 50s And 60s
Class 8-European Sports Cars To 73
Class 11 – Pre-War Alfa Romeo
The crew in charge of selecting the cars for this show really got a great group of cars and motorcycles for this event. I have to admit the Muscle Cars and 60’s American performance car are my favourites cars to see so obviously Class 1 was my first choice, but Class 7 American 50’s and 60’s, Class 6 Avant and Class 5 Iconic Convertibles all had some pretty cool Pony cars or muscle cars lurking within! I grew up in an Austin Healey and it was great to see two Healeys at the Concours.
But the stars of any of these Concours are the Vintage classes of cars. Class 2-Classics and Class 11 – Pre-War Alfa Romeo had a wide selection of cars that have huge historical significance and the lone Pre War Alfa Romeo was arguably the most significant Pre War Alfa Romeo within 500 km of the event.
The classics class included:
1910 Russell Knight 22
1929 Franklin Speedster (by Dietrich)
1930 Packard 733 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
1937 Packard V-12 Convertible Sedan
1938 Packard 1604 Victoria Convertible
1948 Jaguar 3 and 1_2 litre Drophead Coupe
It is important to note that from the time of the printing of the field guide of the cars and the show, some cars were replaced by alternates and they were also exceptional classics. The 1910 Russell Knight 22 was one of these that showed up at late notice.
The Special Display had a 1909 Pierce Arrow 24 Runabout and 1933 Riley 14/6 Special and there was only one Pre War Alfa, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 MM Touring.
The 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300 Touring owned by noted car collector, and vintage racer Jon Shirley of the Seattle area. This car has a supercharged straight 8 cylinder engine and it’s snarling exhaust note rivals any of the muscle eras V8’s. It rolled in to it’s prime spot in the center of the field and won best of show.
I am glad I do not have to judge! Too many great cars to pick my favourite, but the Judges are all a great bunch of Carnuts and I am honoured to know many of them. John Carlson taught me most of what I know about working on engines and it was great to see him there as chief judge.
I spent lots of time talking to many owners and one cool story was the three generations of carnets presenting a 1968 Fiat 500 bought new by Grandma…or Nonna, in Italy and the 1957 SILA Bimboracer owned by Gransdon Massimo Calandra. This was an electric childrens car built by S.I.L.A. in Turin and designed by Giovanni Michelotti. Based on the open Ferrari Spider of its time and has Connolly Ferrari leather interior. Young Massimo was a hit with the judges.
But choosing best of show must have been tough because there were so many cool cars. There was a 1909 Pierce Arrow 24 Runabout that came in with protective bags over the Brass to protect it along with a 1910 Russell Knight 22 owned by Peter Findlay and I would not be surprised to know they drove it to the show. The 1929 Franklin Speedster at the show has an aluminum body and a similar vehicle was given to Charles Lindberg in hopes of promoting the benefits of the Franklin’s air cooled engine!
Another cool engine was the 1936 MGNB that had a 6 cylinder. For years after the 30’s MG’s stuck with all sorts of 4 cylinders for their cars so this was a pretty unique car to see. The flip side to small engines was the big bad Shelby GT 500KR of Alyn Edwards with the 428 Cobrajet. Alyn took a day off of reporting and judging to just come to the show as an entrant. Beside the Shelby was the biggest baddest of the 50’s wild decade, the audacious 1959 Cadillac Series 62. The rear of these cars are probably the most photographed tails of all time.
Some other of the crazy 50’s tails included the 1958 Imperial 4 door Southampton, owned by Ernie and Colleen Stepney, Doug Taylor’s 1957 Mercury Turnpike and the 1957 Dodge Custom Royal D-500 of Bob & Josie Cunningham. Similar to the Dodge Custom was the Orange Creamsicle coloured 1958 DeSoto 2 Door Hardtop Firedome Sportsman owned by L’Donna Lynds. I took a huge amount of photos of these 50’s cars adding to them being the most photographed cars of all time.