autoweek – Meadow Brook concours celebrates `Best of Detroit`

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autoweek – Meadow Brook concours celebrates `Best of Detroit`
Meadow Brook concours celebrates ‘Best of Detroit'
By GREG MIGLIORE
For years, the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance has been one of Detroit's best-kept
secrets. And this weekend, the show will turn the tables a bit as it celebrates its 30th
anniversary by honoring the “Best of Detroit” with a large presence of cars that
symbolize the wide-ranging influence of the three automakers whose roots are in Detroit.
The annual festival of historic chrome and sheetmetal culminates Aug. 2 with the
concours, capping off several days of car/lifestyle events and an RM auction. The usual
Duesenbergs, Packards, Mercedes-Benzes and other classics--always in pristine
condition--will again make up a field that's expected to number about 240. But with
roughly one-third of those from Detroit, the theme this year will take a decidedly
hometown slant, while still attracting some of the rarest cars from around the globe.
Speaking with a glint in his eye, concours board member Larry Moss said the show is
more important than ever to highlight the contributions of General Motors, Ford and
Chrysler to the car industry--especially as GM and Chrysler are just weeks removed from
bankruptcy.
“We wanted to show the country that Detroit isn't dead--we haven't turned out the lights
yet,” said Moss, who also chairs the car-selection committee.
Illustrating his point, concours organizers rolled out three of the more iconic examples of
Detroit metal at a preview event Tuesday: a 1940 Chrysler Newport concept car, a 1953
Cadillac Eldorado and a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427. The Shelby rumbled, and the other two
made more stately appearances, as they moved into place in front of Meadow Brook Hall,
a 1920s castlelike structure. In a double dose of history, the hall is the former residence of
Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto pioneer John Dodge.
Those three cars are among the headliners, but the concours also will feature an early
showing of the Ferrari California in North America, which will be joined by the usual
stable of famous cars from the Prancing Horse, including an ultra rare 1967 P3/4.
In addition to the “Best of Detroit” theme, there will be a collection of 12 early drag cars
from the 1960s, a special showing of 1959 convertibles drenched in fins and chrome and
a group of long-gone luxury runners, including Cords and Isottas. The show also will
include a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 making its first appearance outside the United
Kingdom, a 1911 Hupmobile, British motorcycles, a 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic and a
McLaren display. In a fitting way to start things off, a group of 30 supercars will greet
visitors in the courtyard.
The show drew 10,000 people in 2008, and organizers are aiming for a similar turnout
this year. Tickets are $25, and children 12 years of age and younger get in free.
The RM auction is Aug. 1 and will have 102 cars, including a 1933 Chrysler Imperial
Eight CL Sport Phaeton and a 1936 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria.