Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Forest Grove Follow-up

The 2012 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance has come and gone, and what a ride it was! From an early morning drizzle that perhaps gave some fears of a repeat of last year's wet weather, yet quickly dissipated into a cool and comfortable "day in the park" for attendees, we could not have envisioned better weather or turnout.

Viewing a field rich with the iconic silver stars of Mercedes-Benz coupes, cabriolets and roadsters, paired like fine cheeses and wine with other storied marques, we were happy to see familiar faces while making some new friends as well. Parceled among several classes were an impressive turnout from The Gullwing Group, including the #21 LeMans winning 300SL owned by Bruce McCaw, and a litany of W111 and W112 coupes that are sister cars to our beloved Ivory Zeppelin project car, to more modern iterations such as the SLS by AMG, the show field was a Benz addicts dream come true. 

Some of our friends from MBI Motors were casually walking the field, no doubt enjoying seeing these cars with their hoods down for a change, as did Roy Spencer from who drove up a lovely white W111 coupe fitted with a novel (relatively)modern manual floor shifter which Roy stated as being "a real pleasure to drive" up from his Burlingame, California base of operations. Annegret Reichmann and Uli Kammholz of Classic Cars & Racing shared information and resources for their perfectly restored and quite lovely dark blue 300se, tho they also had a '55 Studebaker President State Coupe and a '57 Nash Rambler at the event. Coincidentally, both the white and blue Benz coupes are for sale so please inquire here and I will be happy to put you in direct contact with either party.

Presenters for the day included Keith Martin of Sports Car Market Magazine as well as his longtime cohort and co-host, Donald Osborne of Automotive Valuation Services who impressed the crowd with his capable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  The pair's banter with award winners kept the pace of the show lively and entertaining.

The Rotary Club worked to make sure there were plenty of staff on hand for all purposes, available medical personnel, good food, clean and plentiful bathroom facilities, and anything else you could hope for a well-run show that ran as smoothly as Ron Rezek's elegant 1937 Lagonda Rapide that was on display (and coincidentally won it's class).

Besides the Lagonda, we enjoyed a modest and unrestored 1932 "barn find" Packard that had just the right mixture of being well-loved and well-used that appeals to us so much.  We probably wouldn't kick any of the plentiful 190sl's or 300sl's out of bed either.

Selfishly, we managed to pick up some needed parts to cure a bit of road rash our project car suffered recently, but thankfully the damage was confined to trim pieces and we look forward to getting her back on the road in short order, hopefully while the Portland summer still has some sunshine left in her.

Good fun, good people, and great cars. What more can you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?

Click "Read More" below to see 37 more Concours photos!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance is This Sunday July 15th

The 1952 LeMans winning Mercedes-Benz 300SL is the featured vehicle this year.
This Sunday's Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance, sponsored by the Rotary Club, is counted among our favorite Oregon rites of summer and one of the most enjoyable family-friendly events on the West Coast. Enlivening the picturesque campus of Pacific University, gear heads and their families happily make a day of the annual event ambling amongst evergreens studded with shimmering examples of automotive treasure. Significant others who may tire of the seemingly endless parade of hand-formed sheet metal can occupy themselves among the grounds by enjoying conversation over well-crafted meals and drinks, or wander the nearby streets of friendly Forest Grove exploring it's antique stores, charming shops and historic neighborhoods.

Car clubs use this as an opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones and encourage membership. The lawn is filled with tasteful vendor kiosks offering wares such as fine automobile art, photography and event memorabilia.

The used car corral offers everyone the opportunity to bring home a dream ride of their very own, even if it may not be that Bugatti or Aston Martin they ogled on the show field.

Event spokesman, Jim Crisp, notes there is little concern about weather for the upcoming Concours, "Although there was considerable rainfall at last year's event, people who attended still enjoyed the 260 cars that showed up in spite of the rain."  Crisp explains that rain is quite rare at the event due to some clever planning on the part of the early event organizers, "Forty years ago, the third Sunday on July was selected by the Concours committee because records showed that, historically, it is the driest day of the year in our area. It turned out to be a good choice because during the last forty years, last year was the first and only year that we closed the show early because of rain. So, based of that historical data, I am going to forecast that we are going to have good weather the day of our show for the next forty years."

For specific details on this year's event, be sure to check out our previous article with all the what-when & where of it all: Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz

With over 300 individual vehicles on display, in 50+ classes, there's sure to be something parked on the lawn this Sunday that sparks your plug.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Portland Historic Races Happening Now Through Sunday

The Historic Races at Portland International Raceway is an annual gathering of car crazy Oregonians and their collective passion for all things old, fast and loud. Starting today, Friday July 6, and continuing for three days until Sunday's closing events, the Historics offer a slice of west coast road course revelry close to home. MGB is honored this time for their 50-year history. Besides hours upon hours of exciting, tire screeching displays of skill and mayhem, there will also be a collector car corral in the infield and a parade of assembled vehicles on the open tarmac in full view of the appreciative public.

Tickets are available at the gate, prices vary with the day, or buy combined tickets for the full weekend.
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