P4-2017-09: Recap: Concours d’Elegance of America, Story and photos by Michael Cohen

A spectacular burgundy and cream 1929 Dusenberg SJ

 

We Michiganders are very fortunate to have one of the premier concours right at our door step every summer. The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth is a world class venue for this fabulous show and this year’s concours, the 39th, held on July 30, surely must rank as one of the best.

Over three hundred immaculate, rare vehicles were on display beneath a glorious cloudless blue sky. As usual, cars were grouped by category. The two groupings that I found most interesting were The Collectors of the Year and the Can Am Challenge Cup. Well known collectors, Arturo and Deborah Keller from Petaluma, California were chosen as Collectors of the Year and they brought a unique display of five aerodynamic, tear drop shaped coupes from the 1930’s –a 1938 Mercedes 540K, a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C2300, a 1938 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre, a very unique canvass and leather bodied 1937 Duesenberg Model J and a 1937 Talbot Lago T150C. It was the first time these five radical fastbacks have ever been displayed together. The star of the Can Am Cup grouping was the Porsche 917/30 which Mark Donohue piloted to the 1973 Can Am championship. It is considered to be the most powerful sports racer ever built and was so dominant that the Can Am series was discontinued in part due to this car’s superiority over all other competitors. Other noteworthy Can Am cars displayed included the Denny Hulme McLaren M8C and the only existing Shelby King Cobra.

Best in Show American was a Stutz DV-32 Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini III; Best in Show European was Jim Patterson’s 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8a. FCA’s Head of Design, Ralph Gilles was chosen Enthusiast of the Year.

Several SEM/PCA members displayed their vehicles, including Ken Lingenfelter who brought his 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari and 2017 Acura NSX, Eitel Dahm, Porsche 918 and 2017 Porsche 991, Michael and Suzanne Gilson, 1989 Porsche Speedster, Bob and Marilyn Amano, 1982 DeLorean, Leon and Ileana Lewis, 2016 Porsche 991 Turbo S and 2016 Lamborghini Huracan and Gani Bardha, 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL

Words can’t begin to describe all the wonderful vehicles on display. So, take a few minutes and check out the photos that follow.

 

The 1200 hp Mark Donohue Can Am championship 917/30 Canvas and leather bodies 1937 Duesenberg Model J
from Arturo Keller collection