Exquisite classic and vintage cars were unveiled at the 2nd annual Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, September 23rd. The 18th fairway at Cobble Beach Resort near Owen Sound, Ontario glistened like eye candy for the 5,000 refined car enthusiasts who had the opportunity to chit-chat with the owners, take selfies with their favourite cars, or test drive Porsche Canada’s new 911 models.
Judging started early on the show field, which overlooks Georgian Bay, where close to 150 rarely seen luxury cars spanning the past century, in 22 classes, from Museum to Muscle were on public display in the exclusive, by-invitation-only auto show. (Elite cars are selected to participate.) The origins of the Concours dates back to 17th century French high society, when the Competition of Elegance began with horse-drawn carriages strolling through the pristine parks of Paris.
Speed forward to the 21st century where the glamourous VIP Porter package provided roundtrip transportation from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport via a chartered flight to Wiarton Keppel International Airport in Wiarton, Ontario. This was followed by a scenic 10-minute drive by coach to the Cobble Beach Resort in the hamlet of Kemble. It was all very comfortable…and fast!
“The cars this year are even better than last year, which I thought was going to be hard to do,” says Robert McLeese, owner of Cobble Beach Golf Resort and founder/chair of the prestigious Concours. “Our American friends have been very supportive, and we have some phenomenal cars, including our Museum class and Micro class. We have some really special vehicles, including a 1963 Mustang. It was a prototype, the #2 Mustang. We have the 1867 Seth Taylor (first car in Canada), which came out of the Canadian Science and Technology Museum, and we have a Delahaye from Colorado, a 135 that is a really beautiful car. Not to mention the Packards, the Cadillacs, and the micro cars, the racecars, and it just keeps going on.”
48 celebrity judges representing 15 states and five provinces selected three winners in each class, based on authenticity and quality workmanship, proper fit and finish of vehicle components, and interpretation of elegance and presence of the vehicle. 13 other awards were handed out, including Margaret Dunning Spirit of Driving and The Willis S. McLeese International Museum Award. Chief Judge John Carlson, National President, CEO, and Chief Judge of the National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada, says “The overall theme for this show is to have fun and enjoy some of the finest cars and scenery North America has to offer.”
Best of Show and People’s Choice went to the bold and sleek 1936 Delahaye Type 135, one of three remaining Figoni short-chassis coupes. Other winners include the 1904 Oldsmobile Model T French Front in the Antique Pre 1916 class, and the 1970 Ferrari 246 GT M Series Dino Coupe in the Sports Cars European to 1973 class.
Proceeds raised by the event go to the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation to fund a rooftop helipad for the Toronto hospital. “Our inaugural year raised over $50,000 for the Sunnybrook Foundation,” says McLeese. “We are committed to giving our very best to support this important cause dear to our hearts and community. The Sunnybrook Helipad will directly affect County of Grey residents by providing trauma cases faster access to medical support, ultimately saving lives.”
Winning raffle tickets included a two-night stay at Cobble Beach with golf or spa, and a grand prize 10kt white gold, blue and white diamond cluster ring from D.C Taylor Jewellers.
The 3rd annual Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance is set for September 12-13, 2015.
(Originally published September 23, 2014)
The 5th annual Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance is September 16 & 17, 2017.