37th annual Concours d’Elegance dazzles

Brandy Baker
The Detroit News

A blazing sun and 90 degree temperatures couldn’t compete with the radiated heat from roughly 300 gleaming hot rods, gaslights, scorching speedsters, and other top-shelf automotive classics at the 37th annual Concours d’Elegance of America held at The Inn at St. John’s on Sunday in Plymouth.

“The Concours has on display cars from 1901 to 2015. We have cars that are the everyman car. We have an American Popular Class, which is an astounding collection of cars. We have American Classic cars. European classic cars. ...We have hearses that have never been displayed in a Concours before,” said Brian Joseph, chairman of the Car Selection Committee, as he stood next to a 1919 Indian motorcycle, “Basically, you can see everything that matters in automobile history here.”

Hundreds of car aficionados roamed the green, taking photos of beauties like the 1955 Dodge La Femme in Heather Rose that was built especially for “the American Woman,” or the one-of-a-kind royal blue 1932 Packard with its Lalique crystal hood ornament.

Others chatted with owners and lined the grass in front of a reviewing stand to watch a fashion show that paired vintage looks modeled by the “Sirens of Chrome” with complimentary cars.

Some of the other vehicles on exhibit included: Duesenberg Model Js, Bentleys, 1980s dream cars like the Lamborghini Countach, and modern super cars like the new Porsche 918 and La Ferrari.

“I think it’s really a great show,” “I think it’s on par with Amelia Island and Pebble Beach (shows),” said Tom Johnston, who traveled from North Carolina especially to check out the Concours. “I think it’s on par with Amelia Island and Pebble Beach.”

Funds raised from dazzling display of automotive preservation benefit the show’s partner charities: JDRF-Improving Lives, Curing Type 1 Diabetes; the College for Creative Studies; and Forgotten Harvest.

“If you cannot find a car that you like at this show, then you don’t like cars,” Joseph said.