Mooresville, Race City USA, played host to and supplied a theme for a young concours held at Trump National Charlotte Golf Club. In the days leading up to the event judges who came from as far away as Belgium, England, the Netherlands, India and Canada were treated to private tours of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Rick Hendrick complex, home to its namesake’s dioramas and private collection of over 200 cars and to the shops which prepare the cars for seven time “Cup” Champ Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman. Others including chief judges from dozens of concours events, the heads of North America’s two largest collector car organizations, a few racers, and three TV journalists famed for their work in Formula One and NASCAR would join the jury. Car owners who arrived early were allowed access to the innards of Penske Racing.
Show day was a challenge. Drenching rains precluded use of a well prepared, lakefront 18th fairway and had sent staff looking for terra firma for the show as well as a fleet of haulers. The latter group would line the middle of a three-lane approach to the country club and had the unintended benefit of heightening anticipation for those coming to the event.
High and dry ground would be found as a sunny fall day dawned. Honored collector Bob Jepson’s cars would line the brick and cobblestone streets approaching the club “village”. Two classes of vintage Italian sports cars would encircle a practice putting green and others were placed on elevated driving range. Vintage NASCAR road racers lined its front with another border dominated by a display only class of “gassers”, vintage stock bodied dragsters, curated by show emcee Ralph Sheheen.
An array of multicolored Shelbys, post war open convertibles, classics, modern supercars and muscle cars filled out the heavily curated field. Despite the race emphasis, classics and Italian builds took home the major awards.
Only class winners could be considered for Best in Show and Peter Boyle’s LeBaron built 1928 Isotta Fraschini 8ASS Boat Tail was voted the best of these. It was a star at the 1928 New York Auto Show and was once the property of Marguerite Clark whose image inspired Walt Disney’s Snow White.
Al and Barb Mason’s 1928 Auburn Speedster was runner up to the Best in Show and received the trophy for Outstanding Pre-War Car. Their Auburn is a multi-award winner and is identical to the Speedster once driven on the beach at Daytona to a production car record of 104.347 mph.
Dick Birdsall’s father commissioned the Cadillac Elegante employing the chassis of 1953 Series 62 which had been damaged in a dealership fire. Albrecht von Goertz, famed for the iconic lines of the BMW 507, provided design input. The Elegante, which might be the first retractable hardtop convertible, took home the prize for Outstanding Post-War Car.
Kim and Stephen Bruno had a brace of vintage Ferraris on the field but it was their 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS with a Ghia-Aigle body that stole the attention and the prize for Outstanding Sports Car.
The biggest winner was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A charity dinner, a Datsun 240Z donated by selection committee member Mike Rogers, and contributions by the organizers, entrants, judges and attendees raised $155,000 for the club’s favored charity.
Disclosure: The author of this article served as chief judge for this event.
Timeless Classic: Dr. Francis Spinale, 1929 Lincoln Locke Seven Passenger Sport Touring
Spirit of Preservation: Todd & Holly-Faye Jenkins 1957 Mercedes 300 SL
Design and Engineering Award: Dr. Randall Williams 2011 Audi R8 Spyder
Unless otherwise specified, all photos were by Rachel Schuler http://mountaintreestudios.com/MTSDrive/index.html
Mark Moskowitz MD is a retired surgeon, racer, and car collector. He is director and curator of The Museum of Automobile History (pvt), manages the estate of renowned automotive artist, Carlo Demand, serves on the Board of Directors of Carolina Motorsports Park and is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He is a frequent contributor to multiple motoring publications. Dr. Moskowitz is a member of International Chief Judge Advisory Group and has been privileged to judge concours events at Boca Raton, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Arizona, Greenwich, Hershey (the Elegance), Radnor Hunt, Cobble Beach, Hilton Head, Dusseldorf, Knokke-Heist, Monticello Raceway and Delhi, India.
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