Monday, June 25, 2012

F1-Geeks Get Fancy-The Concours de Elegance

This weekend marked the 9th annual gathering of high performance, custom paint, luxury, speed, and some of the best polishing I've ever seen.  Seriously, I've never seen black paint look so...... infinite.   See this? This car is black. No, not the blue Willys Knight.  The one you are using to see the reflection of the Willys. That's how shiny these things were.

See the unreflected Willys after the break.

I'm talking about the Classy Chassis Councours d'Elegance held in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  Benefiting the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the show had two elements to it.  A donate-to-ride area and the show floor.

A charitable donor gets a high-G turn for his generosity
The Ride & Drive section was pretty cool and actually made owning a high-performance sports car a cool thing.  You get to drive your supercar as fast and as hard as you can, and every lap you turn, someone donates $50 to charity.  That sounds like a great deal to me. 

When we walked up we saw a yellow Lamborghini launch, shift to second so quickly it had to be a semi-auto transmission. Having never heard that in person before, it was cool to hear. The Ford GT sounded primitive in comparison. Now, before all you Ford GT fans get all worked up, you need to understand something. Primitive is not derogatory here, it is merely an illustrative point used to convey how damn fast that Lambo shifted.

This year's special attractions were Bonneville race cars and Aston Martin cars.  There were several Astons from a few different eras and it was hard to settle on a favorite.    This 1983 Aston Martin Lagonda was really unexpected.  So unexpected I forgot to take a picture of it.  Luckily, I did take a stadium shot with all the vehicles.   This is the only photo I have of the weird body style of this thing.   It's the black one next to the car that actually looks like an Aston.   With pushbutton controls and a styling that Knight Rider would envy, this thing was really a weird surprise.
1983 Aston Martin Interior

There were other car types there of course, and while they were all cool, you all should know my love of the E-Type Jag. There was a damn fine red one at the show and of course I had to pay my respects.

How can you not like this 1932 "Metal of Honor" Ford roadster. With signatures across the trunk of servicemen who served as far back as the 1940's.

There were cars with rumble seats.  My wife had never heard of one, and I had nearly forgotten what they were. It was cool to see them with the steps built into the fender.

While I'm not a Ferrari fan, I have to respect the amazing styling of these things and the timeless beauty they've produced throughout the years.  The Daytona has always been on the wish list and my wife fell in love with it after an episode of Top Gear.   This yellow one was a big hit.

This 1958 Plymouth Belevedere 2-door hard top was in the same family as the convertible used in the movie Christine.  The Fury used to be a midline car but was promoted and the Belevedere became second tier.  Either version has some classic lines.  I particularly like the way the roof gently arcs back to the trunk.  It's a great looking car and was in great shape.

A 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible.  This thing just oozes "cruise".   

The 1956 Packard 5699 Caribbean convertible.  A cool cream color and an awesome hood badge.   If knights still existed in the 50s, they'd drive one of these around for sure.

Packard emblem

1956 Buick 96C Roadmaster convertible.   I couldn't get enough of the styling elements on this car.  From the gunsights on the fenders to the chopped-exhaust type chrome accents on the side, to the two tone coral/cream paint and the cold-war jet on the hood.  This thing was awesome.


If this doesn't make you long for the cold war....

Having never seen a Lola in person, it was very cool to see it in Transformers-like mode.

This was a great show for a good cause and we are looking forward to next year.

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