Every June since 1996 when Bruce and Genia Wennerstrom founded the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, collectors and enthusiasts have gathered in Greenwich, Connecticut for an extravaganza of exceptional antique, vintage, classic, competition, and special interest vehicles, and motorcycles, shown over a 2-day period featuring American models on Saturday, and European models on Sunday.
On June 4, 2011, Roger Sherman Baldwin Park was transformed into a fantasy land, its immaculate lawn dotted with an impressive collection of American automobiles and motorcycles, and as usual, there were many show highlights.
Frank & Pat Wismer, Bruce Winnerstrom, Gwen & Parker Ackley
Besides the impressive collection of automobiles on display, it is the spirit of the owners that sets apart the Greenwich Concours Americana, as many of the owners not only take great pride in showing their automobiles, but also dress for the occasion to enhance the experience for themselves as well as the many guests in attendance.
One of the highlights was s a 1903 Ford A Rear Entrance Tonneau, the earliest entry at the show, which has a top speed of 28 mph, owned by Carl and Anne Pate, who dressed in period long duster coats and hats, and looked ready to go for a "Sunday drive."
Carl & Anne Pate
1903 Ford A Rear Entrance Tonneau
The Stanley automobile was well represented with a red 4-passenger 1903 Stanley Steam Car Model C Runabout owned by Donald A. Eckel, a 1908 Stanley K owned by Robert Mead, and a hunter green and yellow 1911 Stanley 63 Touring owned by Chris and Will Greaves.
1903 Stamley Steam Car Model C Runabout
1911 Stanley 63 Touring
Gwen Ackley and her friend Lynne Pritchard dressed in flapper dresses and whimsical headpieces and danced the Charleston in front of the Ackley's 1915 Dodge Brothers Five-Passenger Touring automobile, while Gwen's husband, Parker Ackley, played records on a hand-cranked Victrola. Gwen explained that she and Lynne were dressed in flapper attire in memory of Genia Wennerstrom who passed away on May 11, 2011. Gwen and Genia had discussed how much fun it would be to dance the Charleston during the parade of cars, something that had not been done before, and Gwen honored Genia's memory by dancing away.
Gwen & Parker Ackley, and Lynne Pritchard
1915 Dodge Brothers Five-Passenger Touring Automobile
Also getting in on the fun was Frank and Pat Wismer who dressed the part to match their 1921 Brewster Double Enclosed Drive Sedan, which has the illustrious pedigree of once being the chauffeur-driven automobile of Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss (Janet Lee Bouvier), the mother of Jacqueline Onassis, who kept the it at Hammersmith, in Newport, Rhode Island. Although of the period, the bagpiper hood ornament, also called a mascot, is not original to the automobile, but reflects the current owner, Frank Wismer's passion for piping.
Pat & Frank Wismer
1921 Brewster Double Enclosed Drive Sedan
Another proud owner was George Scott who looked dapper in his Panama hat and seersucker suit who brought his cherry-red 1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Brougham Sedan to the show. George explained that this car was popular with gangsters like Al Capone as it had running boards to shoot from and with a top speed of around 80 mph, it could outrace the cops.
George Scott - 1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Brougham Sedan
Tere Laurens dressed in a red poodle skirt and flame wing sunglasses to match her 1957 Ford Thunderbird E Code Convertible, which she owns with her husband, Bob. The 1957 E Code was one of the rarest Thunderbirds in production, as they only made 1499, and has dual 4-barrel carburetors and 270 hp.
Truly spectacular, was a navy and yellow 1932 Auburn 12-160A owned by Sonny and Joan Abagnale; and a cream 1937 Graham 116 Supercharger Coupe owned by Tom Tkacz and Frankie Cavanaugh with its sleek lines, 5 side vents, and trumpet horns.
1932 Auburn 12-160A
1937 Graham 116 Supercharger Coupe
A blue 1948 Pontiac Woody Wagon Deluxe Silver Streak owned by James Bruno conjured up images of California and was ready for action with its surfboard on the roof.
1948 Pontiac Woody Wagon Deluxe Silver Streak
This year's there were Mid-Century Hybrids, which founder Bruce Wennerstrom describes as the combination of "reliable and easily serviced American engines with hand-crafted bodies of Italian, French, and British coach makers. The hybrids of the ‘50's and ‘60's were exquisitely beautiful automobiles, part of the mid-twentieth century renaissance of architecture, furniture, and automobile design." Two highlights of the Mid-Century Hybrids at the show included a navy 1951 Allard K2 Roadster owned by Seagrave Racing, and a 1958 Dual Ghia Convertible owned by Helen Schwartz Collection.
1951 Allard K2 Roadster
1958 Dual Ghia COnvertible
Motorcycles were well-represented in the category with David Fusiak's Harley-Davidson collection featuring a 1914 Harley-Davidson Model K A-Engine Board Track, a 1914 Harley-Davidson Model K CF-Engine Board Track, a 1915 Harley-Davidson Model J, and a 1916 Harley-Davidson R-8 Valve Racing. An interesting note about Harley-Davidson is that the first police motorcycle was delivered to the Detroit Police Department in 1908, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles were also used by the military beginning in 1916.
Early Vintage Harley-Davidson
Roland Houde, dressed in a black motorcycle jacket and cap, displayed his 1941 Indian 441 Motorcycle, which was the last full year of production for the Indian Series 441, complete with tan leather fringed and studded seat, and skirted fender. The motorcycle has an inline 4-cylinder inlet over exhaust valves, three-speed, hand-shift, 40 hp, and has a top speed of 95 mph.
Owner H.C. Morris displayed his complete collection of the Triumph Bonneville TT Special "the world's fastest motorcycle" with his motorcycles ranging from each of the production years of 1963 - 1967. Something of a rarity, there are only 2 complete collections in the world.
Of course, there were entries from Packard, Cadillac, Chrysler, Buick, Ford, Nash, Dodge, Pontiac, DeSoto, Oldsmobile, Mercury, and more. In total, there were over 200 automobiles and 20 motorcycle entries for the 2-day Concours d'Elegance, in addition to the Bonhams Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia Auction on June 5, 2011 for those who wanted to do more than just admire the motorcars.
Celebrating its 16th anniversary in 2011, like an exceptional wine, the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance gets better with each passing year.
Read about the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance 2011 European Collection in the Antiques section.
Read about the Bonhams - Greenwich Concours d'Elegance: Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia Auction, in the Antiques section.
For information on attending the next Greenwich Concours d'Elegance taking place June 2-3, 2012, Please contact Bruce Wennerstrom or visit the website: www.GreenwichConcours.com.
Greenwich Concours d'Elegance
30 Sumner Road
Greenwich, Connecticut 06831
Contact: Bruce Wennerstrom
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