by George Dyke…..
Another Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance has come and gone with certainly no regrets once again.
Three Citroëns made it on a two day trip this year, traveling from Toronto. I drove my Traction 15-6, Roland Voegele his Traction 11BL and Leszek Krawczyk his heavily customized reflective gold 2CV. (Hard to miss that one on your rear view mirror)! We met Citroënvie members Harriet Nixon and Elizabeth Matthews at Cobble Beach at 4 PM, along with recently joined member Jason Bauer who has a 1959 to 2CV. Jason recently had the car for sale but has decided to keep it and is glad he did. He’s enjoying it immensely now that he has freed up its centrifugal clutch and hopes to do some restoration work on it over the course of the winter.
From Cobble Beach we took the lovely shore road along Georgian Bay to Wiarton where Harriet and her husband Roy Pope had invited us for dinner. Along the way we checked out a DS21 that was advertised for sale in Wiarton that had been sitting for many years. Although the engine actually runs, it’s pretty much our classic “all it needs is a clutch” descriptive for a Citroën that needs pretty much everything! Also joining us were Mike and Linda Gillespie who drove over from Southampton, ON in their newly restored 2CV. Since Harriet and Roy volunteer on the show field of Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, we made it an early evening so they could get up at 5 AM.
Like Saturday, Sunday’s weather was spectacular. An overnight fog gave way to clear skies and a great photo op to shoot the sprawling array of cars in a truly stunning setting at the Cobble Beach Golf Club. The organizers have to be congratulated for a spectacular staging of the event and unlike most Concours d’Elegance, there was also an informality that permeated on the show field with people having the opportunity to walk around the cars, being able to appreciate them from every angle and the owners more than willing to discuss each vehicle’s history and unique features.
Yes, there were the immaculately restored Delahaye, Duesenbergs, Packards and Rolls Royces, but two cars in particular tickled my fancy:
One was a 1959 Osca Model 118S Touring Coupe Prototype, the only one made and beautifully restored by its owner, Peter Boyle from Oil City, Pennsylvania. He located the car in Florida and had full documentation of its meticulous restoration. It was found intact but severely rotted. The level of trim detail and finish on this darling little coupe was unbelievable. Kudos to it winning 1st place in the Unique and Limited Production Class.
The second car I found fascinating was a 1948 Playboy Hard Top shown by Lee Singer of Williamsville, NY. Manufactured by Playboy Motorcar Corporation in Buffalo, NY, just ninety-four examples were built, this one being assembled from recovered factory parts and shown for the first time at Cobble Beach.
1948 Playboy Hard Top – (Read about the history of Playboy Motorcar Corporation here in Hemmings: https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/07/29/playboy-americas-first-retractable-hardtop-convertible/).
Three other cars of note; a bespoke one-off 1937 4¼-Litre Bentley A, a 1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster, and a 1949 prototype Cadillac Coupe De Ville:
The Bentley was bodied by one of the most exclusive English coachbuilders of the day, the Carlton Carriage Company. This car is one of only four in Bentley records to feature a Carlton body fitted to the 4¼-Litre chassis (number B55KU), and is the only two-seater open tourer ever built. With numerous special-order items, this car is a rare matching-numbers survivor, with the original body, engine, and gearbox. It was restored by renowned Bentley specialist Dale Powers. The car’s first owner was Gordon C. Wood of Weybridge, Surrey, England, who accepted delivery from renowned Bentley dealer H. R. Owen on July 14, 1937. He clearly was one of the early car enthusiasts, as he specified the car was to be prepared “for use in town and touring.” He went on to compete in several rallies in 1939, including at the Royal Automobile Club’s Blackpool Rally.
The 1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster was initially intended as a design exercise, but the response was so strong when it was shown at the London Motor Show that Sir William Lyon immediately announced production of the model. Production was slow at first since the aluminum-alloy bodies were constructed by hand. By 1950 Jaguar aimed to reduce production delays by producing the bodies out of steel. It is interesting to consider that initially the firm only intended to produce approximately 200 examples, but demand was so strong, even at a cost of almost 1,000 pounds sterling, that over 12,000 would ultimately be sold. Of that relatively large production, only 242 of the early examples were bodied with aluminum alloy, which put them in a class of their own. Of those, 184 were left-hand drive and 58 right-hand drive. In total, about 175 are known to exist today.
The 1949 prototype Cadillac Coupe De Ville was built by General Motors (GM) for the Transportation Unlimited Exhibition, the company’s first auto show following the Second World War, and the precursor to its traveling Motorama exhibition. The custom hardtop was the superstar prototype coupe on display at the show and became the personal car of Charles Wilson, president of GM. In 1953, Mr. Wilson left GM to become Secretary of Defence for President Eisenhower. At this time he gave his secretary the car and she moved to California. The black licence plates were still on the car in 2011. This 1949 coupe is the only survivor of the four prototypes produced, making it the oldest surviving Motorama’s dream car. It was exhibited for the first time in 64 years at the Amelia Island Concours in March of 2013.
Also featured at Cobble Beach was a display tent highlighting 100 years of GM Canada. Shown was an Oshawa-built 1918 Chevrolet truck parked beside a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition; and several GM concepts from the automaker’s Heritage Center in Michigan, including the priceless 1938 Buick Y-Job which was GM’s first concept car and the 1958 Firebird III turbine-engined prototype.
Proceeds from the event were donated in part to the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation and the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation.
I had the opportunity to speak with Rob McLeese, Founder and Chair of Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Rob was pleased with the warm response given to the Volkswagen Class this year and felt that Citroëns could be of interest to showcase next year. I mentioned that considering it will be the 100th anniversary of Citroën next year it would indeed be appropriate for Cobble Beach to embrace them. We’ll see…
I capped off a perfect weekend with a drive home Sunday evening windows down in the Traction and ‘a just perfect temperature’ breeze wafting through the interior. When you drive from Toronto all the way to Cobble Beach and return back home without any need to even dust the car, that’s a testament to great weather and fine roads! I only had to wipe off a few small bugs that had collected on the front. Alas, another Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance is over, however anticipation has already begun for next year!
2018 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Award Winners
Outstanding Pre-war – 1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country “Barrelback”, Vernon Smith, Swift Current, NL
The Windsor Town & Country Wagon (referred to as the C-34) was introduced in March 1941. The interior came
standard with leather upholstery. The unique design of the back end with cabinet-style doors gave it the nickname
“Barrelback.” The centre seat can be stowed in a forward position to enlarge the trunk; or in a rearward position to
enhance passenger leg room. The “Barrelback” was produced for only two years. The Windsor Town & Country six-
and nine-passenger wagons were the only wood-bodied cars made by Chrysler in 1941 and 1942. The wood for the
Town & Country was furnished by the Pekin Wood Products Co. in Helena, Arkansas. The cars were assembled at
the Jefferson Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan. Production ended abruptly in February 1942, when all American
automobile production was curtailed for the duration of the Second World War. Total production figures indicate
that 849 Chrysler nine-passenger Windsor Town & Country wagons were manufactured; however, total production
numbers were never reached due to war-time curtailments. Body numbers suggest that only 500 to 600 examples of
the 1942 Town & Country six- and nine-passenger wagon (combined) may have been produced, of which only 16
are known to survive today.
Best of Show – 1938 Delahaye 135MS Coupe, Robert S. Jepson, Jr., Savannah, GA
This 1938 Delahaye 135MS Coupe was featured at the 1938 Paris Salon, where it represented Figoni & Falaschi’s contribution to auto design in that year. The car is equipped with the larger 160-horsepower MS racing engine, with a Cotal electro-mechanical four-speed gearbox. The 114-inch chassis features fully independent front suspension, with quarter-elliptic rear leaf springs and four-wheel Bendix drum brakes. In its day, this automobile was one of a rare few that were capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph, with superb handling performance. The teardrop Delahayes of the 1930s are renowned for the beauty of their design, their engineering, and their superb road handling. The original purchaser of this car first saw it at the 1938 Paris Auto Show where it was the star. The owner drove this car for 3 months post Auto Show, realized the Germans were coming into France and proceeded to build it into his house where it remained hidden for 27 years. This year marks the second time a Delahaye has taken best in show at the Cobble Beach Concours: a similar 1936 Delahaye Type 135 teardrop coupe received the honour at the 2014 event.
Outstanding Post-war – 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina, Robert Mirvis, Los Angeles, CA
In July 1956, Lancia began offering a revised version of the B24S built on the fifth-series Aurelia GT platform. This model features modified camshafts, non-detachable cylinder liners, a new clutch, and direct-drive top gear. It also features revised bodywork and a true convertible top with roll-up windows, as well as redesigned seats for improved overall driver comfort. Officially dubbed the Aurelia GT 2500 America Convertible, only 150 examples of the new B24S were produced before a final revision was introduced in 1957 on the sixth-series Aurelia GT chassis. Following this final iteration, the model line was discontinued entirely, at which point a mere 521 examples of the B24S convertible had been produced. It is powered by a 118-horsepower 2,451-cc overhead-cam V6 engine and a single Weber carburetor, sending power through a four-speed manual and rear mounted transaxle. The suspension is a front independent sliding-pillar setup with rear De Dion axle with leaf springs and shock absorbers, along with four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. This example is one of fewer than 20 known to survive.
Class 1 Horseless Carriage – small horsepower
1st Place 1911 Ford Model T – Thomas Huehn, Warkworth, ON
2nd Place 1912 Hupmobile Model H – Roger Hadfield, Milton, ON
3rd Place 1910 Cadillac Model 30 Demi-Tonneau – Garry & Annette Potter, Oro Station, ON
Class 2 Horseless Carriage – large horsepower
1st Place 1913 Mercer 35J Raceabout – The Longfield Family, Brampton, ON
Class 3 American Production Pre-war
1st Place 1933 Ford Cabriolet – John Irish, Smiths Falls, ON
2nd Place 1932 Chevrolet Two-Door Deluxe Coach – Norm Alward, Port Colborne, ON
3rd Place 1928 Chevrolet Station Wagon – Scott Sinclair, Caledon, ON
Class 4 American Classics Open 1920’s
1st Place 1928 Stearns-Knight H-8-90 – Gallery 260 Limited, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1928 Auburn 8-88 Speedster – Richard Harding, Beavercreek, OH
3rd Place 1924 Cadillac Roadster V63 – André De Montigny Celine Meloche, St-Hippolyte, QC
Class 5 American Classics Open 1930’s
1st Place 1936 Auburn 852 SC – Larry Titchner, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1931 Chrysler Imperial CG Dual Cowl Phaeton Convertible – Paul Needham, Kilworth, ON
3rd Place 1930 Packard 745 DeLuxe Eight Waterhouse Convertible Victoria – Mike Bigioni, Uxbridge, ON
Class 6 American Classics Closed
1st Place 1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country “Barrelback” – Vernon Smith, Swift Current, NL
2nd Place 1938 Packard 1607-1136 Club Sedan – Tom Brace, Falcon Heights, MN
3rd Place 1934 Packard 1104 – Karol Shaw, Grafton, ON
Class 7 European Classics
1st Place 1938 Delahaye 135MS Coupe – Robert S. Jepson, Jr., Savannah, GA
2nd Place 1938 Steyr 220 Roadster – Peter Boyle, Oil City, PA
3rd Place 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton – David de Muzio, Newport, RI
Class 8 European Sports Cars
1st Place 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina – Robert Mirvis, Los Angeles, CA
2nd Place 1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy-Body Roadster – Gil Melo, Cambridge, ON
3rd Place 1960 Triumph Italia 2000 GT – Alan & Robin Anspaugh, Yardley, PA
Class 9 Corvettes
1st Place 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – Bill Wallace, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe – Tony McBride, Louisville, KY
3rd Place 1955 Chevrolet Corvette – Geoff Corlett, Mono, ON
Class 10 American Muscle Cars
1st Place 1969 Dodge Charger R/T – Sandro Brocca, King City, ON
2nd Place 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 – Fred Cini, Wasaga Beach, ON
3rd Place 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible – Brent Erickson, Thamesville, ON
Class 11 Supercars
1st Place 2005 Maserati MC 12 – Miles Nadal – Dare to Dream Garage, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 2018 Ford GT – Alan Boughton, Caledon, ON
3rd Place 2003 Lamborghini Murcielago – Robert Calisi, Toronto,ON
Class 12 American Production Post-War
1st Place 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible – Doug Pegg, Kettleby, ON
2nd Place 1956 Mercury Montclair – Elaine and Tony Lang, Chepstow, ON
3rd Place 1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible – Murray McEwan, Bothwell, ON
Class 13 Hot Rods
1st Place 1932 Ford DeLuxe Coupe V8 – Ted Koudys, Beamsville, ON
2nd Place 1927 Ford Model T Coupe – Mike Campbell, Blackstock, ON
3rd Place 1927 Ford T coupe – Keith MacIntyre, Binbrook, ON
Class 14 Vintage Motorcycles – German
1st Place 1975 BMW R90S – John & Kate Lammers, Wainfleet, ON
2nd Place 1973 BMW R75/5 – John & Kate Lammers, Wainfleet, ON
3rd Place 1938 DKW SB200 – Dietrich Look, Kitchener, ON
Class 15 Volkswagen
1st Place 1952 Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1) 11G Sedan – John Cilia, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1966 Volkswagen Split-screen Microbus – Gary Turner, Toronto, ON
3rd Place 1964 Volkswagen 21-Window Samba Bus – Alvin Ziminsky, James Creek, PA
Class 16 Unique and Limited Production
1st Place 1959 OSCA Model 118S Touring Coupe Prototype 1600 – Peter Boyle, Oil City, PA
2nd Place 1949 Cadillac Prototype Coupe de Ville – Steve Plunkett, London, ON
3rd Place 1973 Mohs Safarikar – Mark Zalutko, Forty Fort, PA
Class 17 Preservation pre-war
1st Place 1940 Buick 56S Super Sport Coupe – Greig & Carlene Charlton, Campbellville, ON
Class 18 Preservation post-war
1st Place 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Coupe – Jeffrey Seigel, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1978 Porsche 928 – Chris Thibert, Maidstone, ON
3rd Place 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS Convertible – Michael Chiavetta, Charlottesville, VA
Class 19 Factory-Built Shelby Cobras
1st Place 1963 Shelby Cobra – Legendary Motorcar Collection, Halton Hills, ON
2nd Place 1965 Shelby Cobra – William Halkiw, Toronto, ON
3rd Place 1965 Shelby Cobra – Legendary Motorcar Collection, Halton Hills, ON
7D-1937 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre Open Two-Seater by Carlton, David de Muzio, Newport, RI
Chief Judge’s Choice
16F-1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, Andrew Schuller, Granton, ON
National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada Rolling Sculpture Award
21C-1938 Buick Y Job Concept, GM Heritage Center, Sterling Heights, MI
HVA Preservation Award
18F-1978 Porsche 928, Chris Thibert, Maidstone, ON
Margaret Dunning Spirit of Driving Award
4C-1929 Stutz M8 Convertible Coupé, David Berks, Ottawa, ON
Bruce Grey Simcoe Award
5B-1938 Cadillac 9067 Body No. 1, Jean-Pierre Viau, Saint-Edouard, QC
Most Elegant Pre-war
5G-1931 Chrysler Imperial CG Dual Cowl Phaeton Convertible, Paul Needham, Kilworth, ON
Most Elegant Post-war
12A-1955 Cadillac Eldorado, Brenda Passer, Tottenham, ON
McLaughlin Legacy Award
16A-1949 Cadillac Prototype Coupe de Ville, Steve Plunkett, London, ON
Tom Thomson Art Gallery Timeless Design
8B-1963 Jaguar Series 1 E-type Fixed Head Coupe, Brad Marsland, Waterloo, ON
4D-1928 Stearns-Knight H-8-90, Gallery 260 Limited, Toronto, ON
Poetry in Motion
8A-1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, Miles Nadal – Dare to Dream Garage, Toronto, ON
6B-1942 Chrysler Windsor Town & Country “Barrelback”, Vernon Smith, Swift Current, NL