Sep 04, 2014 12:45PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Photography by Becca Newell
Rare is the day when you see a 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Coupe conspicuously speeding along Route 50 toward Cambridge, Maryland…or any pre-WWII vehicle for that matter. But on September 28th, the opportunity to lay eyes on this gorgeous automobile and 60-plus prestigious cars like it presents itself at the Eighth Annual Concours d’Elegance, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge. Think “grand waterfront resort hosts world-class automobiles” and the viewing public is invited.
This year’s Concours will feature pre-war grand classics with European coachwork (1900–1942) and significant post-war sports cars (1947–1964). The concept of presenting par-excellence in the automobile industry at a “Concours d’Elegance” pre-dates the Golden Age of Automobiles. The first notable events took place in the 1920s and ’30s in Paris when automobile coach builders would display their latest designs. Often, these events would coincide with fashion industry events, when the latest coutures were introduced. They were lavish, stylish events— feasts for the eyes and lots of fun. No wonder, this exquisite experience has been repeated for generations.
The St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance was founded in 2007 and continues this tradition of paring grand classic automobiles with fashion. Mimi’s Closet of Easton and Chestertown will provide the fashion show at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Some of the rare automobiles on display will include: the aforementioned 1936 Bugatti; a 1934 Pierce-Arrow convertible sedan with coachwork by LeBaron, the only one made; a 1932 Packard Model 904 convertible Victoria with coachwork by Dietrich, one of four built; and a 1929 Rolls Royce P1 convertible sedan with coachwork by Hibbard & Darrin of Paris, originally owned by the Rothschild family.
For sports car enthusiasts, the entrants include a 1949 Jaguar XK120 Roadster with alloy body, one of only 25 made; a 1954 Siata 200CS, body by Balbo; and a 1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide, body by Bertone.
“In total, we expect more than 60 concours-quality automobiles,” says George M. Walish, Jr., Chairman and Founder of the event. “We plan to have an exceptional showfield for 2014. We have cars coming from Vermont, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, in addition to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. We will also have an exhibition of classic wooden speed boats and fashion for an afternoon of casual but elegant enjoyment.”
And while the roots of the event date back to Paris, its current legacy is philanthropic. All proceeds benefit the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of Mid-Shore residents. MSCF supports needy and deserving individuals through grants from over 200 donor-advised and discretionary funds to charities serving the five counties making up the Mid-Shore: Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot.
To help paint this “gotta see it to believe it” picture, our own Becca Newell captured last year’s event on camera to give our readership a snapshot of what they can expect to see in just a few short weeks.
Eighth Annual Concours d’EleganceThe Concours will open at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 28th. General admission tickets are $35.00. There is also a VIP ticket, which includes lunch at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and a program. The VIP ticket is $100.00.
For more information visit SMCDE.org
or call at 410-822-8366.