by George Dyke…..

The Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance proved to be a great classic car weekend even with no Citroëns on the show field. Well, this year, just two attended the event in the club display area; Mike and Linda Gillespie’s 2CV and me with my 1973 GS, but encouragement from CEO Rob McLeese may mean that Citroëns will be featured next year.

The Concours show itself was held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at the Cobble Beach Golf Resort community on the Georgian Bay bluffs just north of Owen Sound, Ontario. Over a century of automotive design and engineering was staged on the 18th fairway of the 574-acre site, in what can best be described as a world-class automotive event.

View a full photo gallery of the event here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHcCZGQ

The year the weather cooperated for the most part. Driving from Toronto early Sunday morning, I had the opportunity to witness the most spectacular sunrise I have ever seen with the sun painting violet, orange and ruby red on the scattered clouds while to the west a full moon drifted through clouds still illuminated in the night-time sky. That set the tone of the day for me.

With just a bit of drizzle during set up from 7:30 to 9:00 am, the rain gave way to overcast skies for the balance of the morning that provided perfect defused lighting to shoot the magnificent automobiles on display. By mid-afternoon, the clouds had thinned so that we had fall afternoon sunlight for the final awards portion of the program.

As I’ve said before the setting and atmosphere of Cobble Beach is unlike any other Concours d’Elegance I’ve attended. Unlike some of the major Concours d’Elegance in the USA, it is a very sociable event with lots of interaction among all auto enthusiasts that attend.  Everyone is approachable. The cars are not cordoned off so you can get up close and see the interiors and engine bays.  From a photography standpoint, they wisely chose to have the all the car details including the ID number for display and voting on a license plate-sized stands just off to the side at the front of each car.  There are none of those annoying ID stickers affixed to headlights that ruin the pictures you are taking.

The main sponsor this year was Porsche. Models showcased from the marque spanned the full range from a 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, to a 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa to a 1952 Porsche Pre-A Coupe.

The winner of the show this year was a one-off 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K owned by Robert Jepson Jr. of Savannah, Georgia, who last year also won Best of Show with a French coachbuilt 1938 Delahaye.

The Mercedes-Benz 540K’s body was built by Norrmalm in Stockholm for Max Gumpel, who won two medals swimming for Sweden in the 1912 and 1920 Olympics. Unique features of the car include; a widened front passenger seat that could accommodate two as he was known to date Greta Garbo as well as a Swedish girlfriend, and neither would agree to be relegated to the back seat when on an outing.

The Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star hood ornament was replaced by a signature mascot – the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana with her arm raised skyward. Max had a fixation for women’s derrieres and wanted to see Diana’s in the hood ornament while behind the wheel.

For the Swedish climate, the car was fitted with 2 batteries to assure a start of the 6,300 pound vehicle in wintery conditions, and to know the direction, a ball compass was included in the dashboard instrument array.

Gumpel put his significant influence to use protecting the car from harm and government conscription during the Second World War, but sold it in 1955. The car traded hands and was restored and re-restored numerous times before being bought by Jepson in 2017. Fresh from a restoration by Prueitt Automotive in Pennsylvania, it was not only an imposing sight but obviously going to win Best of Show, be the People’s Choice winner and also take first place in the pre-war European Classic category.

In the post-war European Classic category and taking the Outstanding Post-war award, was a rare 1954 Siata 200CS, an Italian sports coupe, one of 11 made and seven remaining, owned by Walter Eisenstark of Bluffton, South Carolina.

The Outstanding Pre-war Award went to a 1917 Locomobile 48 TYPE M SERIES 7 owned by John and Mary McAlpin of Naples, New York. Even more impressive was the fact that it was a home restoration that was on par with the most professional shops.

There was also a whimsical component to the event this year as Ralph Hough from Coldwater, Ontario organized a contingent of microcars.

Ralph showed his newly restored 1957 Messerschmitt KR200 sporting a python snake skin interior trim while Jim Garbo of Franksville, Wisconsin took first place in the Microcar Class with his 1957 Messerschmitt KR201, Roadster.

Al Webster, a well known car collector in Toronto circles, brought his 1953 Kaiser Henry J, an original customized model with the documentation to prove it.

Al took third place in the Custom Award, with 1st Place going to a 1942 Packard Clipper owned by John Frey of Nestleton, Ontario and second place going to Fred Bottcher of Oshawa, Ontario for his 1957 Cadillac Series 62,

One car that impressed me was a three-wheeler 1937 Morgan Super Sport that has been superbly restored and is owned by Stephen Beer from Caledon East, Ontario.

Special thanks go to General Motors for reaching into their museum and bringing out three Chevrolet Corvair concepts that looked more like Corvette mid-engine prototypes until you took a closer look in the rear.

It’s too bad at least one of them wasn’t put into production. They looked enticing enough that even if Ralph Nader got behind the wheel, he’s surely crack a smile!

And in a special display area off the show field languished the original Batmobile.

What more could you want in a venue that combines concours quality with automotive variety? It is a presentation that at the end of the day has you saying; “I can’t wait until next year!”

Here is a full listing of the 2019 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance winners:

Class 1 Horseless Carriage
1st Place 1904 Oldsmobile Model T, Ian Boake, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1910 Ford Model T, David Fawcett, Newcastle, ON
3rd Place 1912 Ford Model T Touring, Mark Schneider, Owen Sound, ON

Class 2 Early American Production
1st Place 1933 Hupmobile B-316 “Boattail” Roadster, J.P. Viau, Saint Edouard, QC
2nd Place 1939 Chrysler Royals D22, Kenneth Eeles, Brampton, ON
3rd Place 1936 Chrysler Sport Coupe, William Kirk Given, Fenelon Falls, ON

Class 3 American Full-Classic
1st Place 1917 Locomobile 48 TYPE M SERIES 7, John and Mary McAlpin, Naples, NY
2nd Place 1930 Packard 745 Roadster, Gallery 260 Limited, Toronto, ON
3rd Place 1934 Packard 1107/741 Dual-Cowl Phaeton, Elaine and Tony Lang, Hanover, ON

Class 4 European Full-Classic
1st Place 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet, Robert S. Jepson, Jr., Savannah, GA
2nd Place 1936 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Binder Sedanca de Ville, Andrew Davidson, London, ON
3rd Place 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato, Michael Bigioni, Uxbridge, ON

Class 5 European Touring
1st Place 1950 Jaguar Mark V DHC, Julien Brosseau, Burlington, ON
2nd Place 1937 Morgan Super Sport, Stephen Beer, Caledon East, ON
3rd Place 1936 Railton Fairmile II Drop Head Coupe, Nicola Bulgari, Allentown, PA

Class 6 British Sports
1st Place 1965 Jaguar E-Type Series 1, Wicker Francis, Malvern, PA
2nd Place 1953 Allard K3, Brad Marsland, Waterloo, ON
3rd Place 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE, Stephane Mondou, Rosemère, QC

Class 7 European Sports
1st Place 1954 Siata 200CS, Walter Eisenstark, Bluffton, SC
2nd Place 1964 Pininfarina Fiat 1500 Cabriolet, Miki Velemirovich, Toronto, ON

Class 8 Classic Porsche
1st Place 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa, David Hargraves, Victoria, BC
2nd Place 1954 Porsche Pre A Coupe, Mike Dejonge, Guelph, ON
3rd Place 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2, Legendary Motorcar Collection, Halton Hills, ON

Class 10 Corvette
1st Place 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, Leonard Slipacoff, Sarnia, ON
2nd Place 1956 Chevrolet Corvette, Scott Sinclair, Caledon, ON
3rd Place 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, Ronald K. Froman, Brantford, ON

Class 11 American Muscle Car
1st Place 1965 Shelby GT350, Larry Titchner, Toronto, ON
2nd Place 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS COPO, Tim Schell, Queensville, ON
3rd Place 1969 Ford Boss 429, Frank Micoli, Woodbridge, ON

Class 12 Exotic
1st Place 2006 Ford GT, Andrew Schuller, Granton, ON
2nd Place 1999 Shelby Series 1, William Halkiw, Toronto, ON
3rd Place 1971 De Tomaso Pantera, Mark Charlton, Manotick, ON

Class 13 American Production Post-War
1st Place 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, Charles-Andre Roy, St-Romuald, QC
2nd Place 1947 Mercury 79M Station Wagon, Rob Douglas, Toronto, ON
3rd Place 1957 Chevrolet Belair, Ervin Steinly, Mohrsville, PA

Class 14 Baby Birds
1st Place 1957 Ford Thunderbird, Janice Schmidt, Walkerton, ON
2nd Place 1956 Ford Thunderbird Two-Seat Convertible, Leo Ceolin, Thornhill, ON
3rd Place 1955 Ford Thunderbird, Ron Passer, Tottenham, ON

Class 15 Custom
1st Place 1942 Packard Clipper, John Frey, Nestleton, ON
2nd Place 1957 Cadillac Series 62, Fred Bottcher, Oshawa, ON
3rd Place 1953 Kaiser Henry J, Al Webster, Gormley, ON

Class 16 Microcar
1st Place 1957 Messerschmitt KR201, Roadster, Jim Garbo, Franksville, WI
2nd Place 1957 Messerschmitt KR200, Ralph Hough, Coldwater, ON
3rd Place 1959 Vespa 400, Norman Broski, Wheeling, WV

Class 17 Vintage Motorcycle – Japanese (pre-1974)
1st Place 1970 Honda CB750 K0, John DeMaria, Bethany, ON
2nd Place 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z1, Clancy Goodfellow, Stouffville, ON
3rd Place 1968 Suzuki MK I T500 Cobra, Ian Sandy, Lucan, ON

2019 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Special Award Winners:

National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada Rolling Sculpture Award
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta, Brent Erickson

Chairman’s Award
1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, Sedanca De Ville, by H.J. Mulliner, Roger Hadfield

Chief Judge’s Choice
1951 Mercury Coupe, Steve Rounds

HVA National Automotive Heritage Award
1912 Roll-Royce Silver Ghost, Canadian Automotive Museum

Margaret Dunning Spirit of Driving Award
1948 Packard Super 8 Convertible, Tom and Janet Huehn

Bruce Grey Simcoe Award
11D-1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 Stage 1, Carl Rychlik

Most Elegant Pre-war
1934 Packard Eleventh Series 2/4 Passenger Coupe, James Bullock

Most Elegant Post-war
1965 Jaguar E-Type Series 1, Wicker Francis

McLaughlin Legacy Award
1947 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, Toby Hull

Tom Thomson Art Gallery Timeless Design
1903 Columbus Electric, Peter Fawcett Oshawa, ON

Ingenuity Award
1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT, GM Heritage Collection

Poetry in Motion
1957 Chevrolet Corvette, Don Hart

People’s Choice
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet, Robert S. Jepson, Jr.

Outstanding Pre-war
1917 Locomobile 48 TYPE M SERIES 7, John and Mary McAlpin

Outstanding Post-war
1954 Siata 200CS, Walter Eisenstark

Best of Show
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet, Robert S. Jepson, Jr.