Does your heart race at the sight of prestigious motorcars? If so, your heart would definitely have been pounding at the 2006 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance.
On June 3-4, 2006, the owners of exceptional vintage motorcars, motorcycles, boats and even an aeroplane gathered at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut for the 11th annual Greenwich Concours d'Elegance. Not even rain deterred the determined fans from attending this exciting event and having the opportunity to see American Classic and Collectible Cars from 1900 - 1990s on June 3, 2006 and European Classic, Sports, Touring, and Competition from 1900 - 1990s on June 4, 2006.
A 1907 Franklin Model D Roadster was the earliest of the motorcar entries and the latest entry was a 2003 Ferrari Enzo. Other car entries included Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Hispano Souza, Ford Model T, Buick, Packard, Franklin, Cadillac, DuPont, Marquette, Pierce-Arrow, Stutz, Cord, Duesenberg, Maserati, Citroen and many more.
Motorcycle entries ranged in age from a 1915 Harley Davidson J Road Model to a 2001 Ducati MH900 Evoluzione Retro Café Racer. Entrants travel from all over to showcase their motorcars, motorcycles, boats and aeroplanes at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance. Jeff Butz traveled from Pennsylvania to bring his 1947 Indian Chief to the show, which was fully outfitted with fringed leather seat.
I not only love looking, okay, quite often literally drooling over some of these incredible toys, but I truly enjoy hearing all the stories that go along with them. What really amazed me this year was a 1933 DH 60GIII Major Moth aeroplane that was built in a second floor New York City apartment! Yes, you read that correctly. Michael and May Ellen Maniatis didn't let a little thing like space get in the way of building an aeroplane, which they built piece by piece in their apartment with Mary Ellen stitching the fabric wings, took the pieces out through their window, and only finally assembled the aeroplane at the airport. This artistic duo, (he's a sculptor and special effects film artist, she's a talented fabric designer), not only won an Award of Excellence, they showed up dressed for the part.
Cars to dream over included a 1928 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer owned by Manny Dragone and a 1924 Amilcar CGS-3 Boattail Roadster owned by his brother, George Dragone. An interesting feature on the 1928 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer is that the body was covered in leather. When I inquired why, George told me that in order for cars in the 1920s to race in LeMans, the cars had to have 4-passenger seats. In order to create a lighter body to race with and still comply with the 4-passenger seat requirement, the car bodies were covered with leather.
An interesting boat at the event was a 1979 N007, Tupolev-designed Russian Rescue/Recovery boat owned by Juergen ‘Jerry' and Monika Schulte that was used for the Russian cosmonauts. Other boats ranged in age from a 1927 Chris-Craft Triple-Cockpit Speedboat to a 1987 America II, 12-meter sloop.
Not only were there vintage motorcars at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, Jaguar, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Audi, Maserati, Bugatti, Chrysler, Infiniti, Lincoln Mercury, Volvo, Aston Martin, Porsche, GM, Mini, Meguiar's, Spyker and Land-Rover, also brought some of their new luxury toys to the show.
A true fantasy car at the show was the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, which was so new that it didn't even have a VIN yet. A maximum of only 300 of these exceptional cars will be made, and with a 16-cylinder engine, 7-speed DSG Gearbox, a Top-speed of 407 km (252 MPH) and a price tag of $1.1 million Euros, no wonder I am smiling in the photograph as I sat in this incredible work of art.
As would be fitting on a cold, rainy day, at least at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, Jaguar invited attendees to their booth for an Afternoon Cream Tea, complete with scones and clotted cream, tea sandwiches and an assortment of cakes, cookies and strawberries. The tea, expertly poured by tuxedoed waiters, provided the perfect shelter from the continual rain on Saturday, and also provided guests with a better look at the new Jaguar cars.
The Greenwich Concours d'Elegance 2006 not only offered attendees with the opportunity to dream, for the second year, Christie's held their Exceptional Motor Cars including the Sergio Franchi Collection Auction on Sunday, June 4, 2006, at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, where guests could make their fantasies a reality by driving home one of these legendary motorcars. Truly a luxury experience, the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance 2006 and the Christie's Exceptional Motor Cars Auction had some remarkable cars at the event this year. Until next year!
Please read other articles on the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in the Arts and Antiques section.
For additional information on the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance please visit their website at www.GreenwichConcours.com or call Bruce and Genia Wennerstrom at +1-203-618-0460. For Christie's information, please visit their website www.Christies.com or call them at +1-212-636-2000.
© July 2006. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com. All rights reserved.