2014 Geneva Concours d'Elegance
Geneva's Ritzy Car Show
The 10th Geneva Concours d'Elegance was held on a hot and sunny Sunday in late August in the heart of downtown Geneva, Illinois. A by-invitation only event for owners, think of a judged show like Pebble Beach on Carmel Bay; but instead, only a few gear shifts from the banks of the Fox River.
The featured cars this year were those pre-1948 American cars with V12 or V16 engines (e.g., Packardís, Cadillacís, Lincolns - and with one or two Auburns & Pierce-Arrows thrown in for good measure), and those Italian made (e.g., FIAT, Maserati, Lambo, Ferrari, Alfa) or designed. In this latter category, Triumph was one of the British marques represented, as some models were designed by Giovanni Michelotti. The show also included a contingent of supremo Mustangs, in honor of this model's 50th anniversary. Several other British cars - including two MGs (a TD & an A) - were among the other beauties, U.S. and foreign, on display. In total nearly 150 cars (the oldest from 1911) were entered - with the vast majority pre-1980. These pristine vehicles were parked on several streets with narrative plaques in front. Spectators wishing to escape the sun could stroll on the sidewalks for rear-end views (of the cars), which also allowed easy access to the open (and air-conditioned) stores.
Several area car clubs (Porsche, Packard, Alfa Romeo, Triumph, and Corvette) assembled in nearby parking lots. The Midwest Porsche 356 Club had a nice historical timeline display of this model, with the cars arranged in a quad from years 1948-1965. The actual judging, conducted by 40 judges for 17 categories, took place at 9:00 a.m. before the 10:00 opening for viewing by the great unwashed. Programs, costing just $5, were available and included information on every car, a layout of the show "field", photos of the showcased cars, and interesting articles about the histories of the featured marques (incl. a couple on Maserati - one about its 100 years, the other about a locally owned former race car).
About the only commotion that interrupted the otherwise sedate occasion was when the owner of a 1960's Formula 5000 race car gave in to pleas to start it - which then caused the local constabulary (Geneva's version of Barney Fife) to rush over to quell the decibel-shattering ruckus.
At 3:00 in the afternoon, the award winners were presented with a Carl Benz trophy as they drove their cars parade style through the Award Ceremony Arch. (The Concours' web site has a video of this procession, with each owner behind the wheel.)
Planning is already underway for next year's event, again in late August. It's sure to include more beautiful cars - with different featured marques. With no admission charge for spectators...what a deal for those in the CMGC and/or the VMGCC!