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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


by Mauverneen

1952 Aston Martin Lagonda
European Renaissance: European Post-War Best in Class, Barrington Concours
A Concours d'Elegance (competition of elegance) dates back to 17th Century France, when the aristocracy paraded their horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during Summer weekends. As carriages became horseless the gatherings became a competition among automobile owners on the appearance of their cars.

Voisins on display at Barrington

I had the wonderful opportunity last week to go to a Concours d’Elegance, in Barrington, IL. I have always loved old cars and I always enjoy going to the car shows that take place weekly during the summer months but if you want to see something really special, search out the nearest concours. (click the link for a list)
Indy cars

Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, and Hilton Head are some of the more well-known and most prestigious, and Lake Tahoe has a concours for boat owners, but there are a number of others across the country and of course, in Europe. And they truly do contain the cream of the automotive crop.
1936 Stout-Scarab 3 door minivan
The Barrington show also featured some Indy cars, mini-cars, Corvettes, and a nice motorcycle display as well. Vehicles are divided into categories for judging, but I just go to gawk and see beautiful cars – sometimes cars I’ve never heard of before, like the Voisin, a French luxury auto produced during the 1930’s and ‘40’s. 
1935 Avions Voisin Type C25 Aerodyne - Best in Show

Unbelievably, there are a few all original cars that have had no restoration and in such great shape you can only wonder where they have been stored for all these years. Not a dent, not a scratch, not even a dulled patch of paint.

I’ve owned a couple of ‘old’ cars in my time, but nothing that even came close to these beauties. Well, maybe one did come close. A 1952 Buick Roadmaster. I loved that car and was sad to see it go. I know my kids hated to lose it too. I would pick them up from school in that car sometimes. I’m sure they felt like royalty piling into the spacious back seat - I felt like I was driving a tank and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Three wheeler
I’m not sure how often the owners of these prestigious cars take them out. Rarely I’m sure. Some cars in the show are part of collections and museums. I know those only see the light of day when they’re taken out for an event like this. And I’m positively grateful that they bring them – grateful for the opportunity to see these grand classics. Grateful too that someone is preserving their history.

Oh and if you go, feel free to dress the part. It's a great opportunity to wear linen trousers, a breezy skirt, and straw hats for everyone. After all, next to the elegance of these classic machines anything less would feel shabby. And that just wouldn't do.
A great feeling to find one of these on your car!
The Awards
An award winner!

An award winner!
Award winners lining up

As a side note, the Barrington Concours, after seven years, is moving out of Barrington. Next year it will be held on Northerly Island in downtown Chicago. Northerly Island, formerly known as Meigs Field, will provide a stunning backdrop for these wonderful showpieces. And hopefully, an opportunity for even more people to view them. See you there!

My pride and joy in all it's faded glory

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  1. I "Positively" enjoyed the subject and photos! We love checking out old cars and visit a local place, the Nethercutt Museum, from time to time. The cars are amazing!

    1. Thank you Phyllis - one more stop to add to my list! The museum looks incredible.

  2. classics indeed! I could imagine touring along the highway in some of these. That 3 door mini-van is an "interesting" design.
    My daughter-in-laws grandfather has a few classic cars.
    Have a wonderful week, and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

  3. Wow! A blast from the past. This is one reason I love classic cars -- their beauty never fades just like the winner cars. Do you have an entry in this competition, by the way? → Ava @