July 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Concours d'Elegance visitors glimpse automotive greatness

Plymouth— Thousands of car enthusiasts got their fix Sunday at the Concours d’Elegance of America show.

Organizers said the event, held this year at the Inn at St. John’s, showcases 250 of the world’s most spectacular vintage cars. The annual show was held for 32 years at Meadow Brook Hall, until 2010.

Most spectators were like Gene Gilboe. The 71-year-old Plymouth resident said the exhibit offered something for all kinds of auto enthusiasts.

“There’s something here for everybody ... (especially to see) people who restore their own cars,” said Gilboe, who was attending for the third time. “I enjoy seeing these beautiful cars that have been restored. The time and effort and not to mention the expense.”

One-of-a-kind automobiles were featured, including some of the most famous European and American race cars in history: the 1919 Paige-6-66 Daytona Speedster prototype and the first Nash-Healey roadster, regarded by many as the first true American sports car.

Also shown were designs by Virgil Exner, who was responsible for Chrysler’s “forward look” cars of the 1950s and ’60s.

Emerald Epelman, 16, of Canton came out to dream. She hopes to own a Lamborghini some day.

“I love cars. I like how (the Lamborghini) looks,” Epelman said. “They’re beautiful cars. They are fast. I love fast cars.”

Kyle Soffin, 25, of Chesterfield Township liked the Corvette Z06 and a Ferrari.

“They are all very expensive, well-kept cars here,” Soffin said. “People aren’t just bringing junk stuff that’s in their garage. It’s all put together really nicely. It’s a great and really cool atmosphere. It’s nice to be around that.”

Christian Pearson, 15, of Canton was so impressed as a first-time visitor that he might take his dad next time.

“I haven’t been to a car show in a while,” said Pearson, who enjoyed looking at both old and new Ford Mustangs. “It’s really nice. I haven’t seen this many cars in one spot before.”

Proceeds benefit Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, known for its world automotive design curriculum; Hospice of Michigan; Leader Dogs for the Blind; and Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids.

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Cindy Grines of Bloomfield Hills, and Jay Dankovich of Leland look at a 1954 Alfa Romeo at Concours d'Elegance. / Photos by Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News
The 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz is for sale at auction with an ... (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)