41st Concours d'Elegance parades through Plymouth

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Plymouth — One of the country's premier vintage auto shows returns to Plymouth this weekend for a three-day auto enthusiast paradise.

The 41st annual Concours d'Elegance of America paraded at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth with special car shows, an automotive art exhibition and seminars.

All leading up to the main event on Sunday showcasing nearly 300 classics and rare cruisers which will be prized for those in best original condition.

Tara Noftz, director of the Concours, said more than 1,000 spectators showed up Saturday with more than 12,000 expected on Sunday.

"We're at record ticket sales and it's a bit crazy out here, but so much fun," Noftz said. "We were lucky enough to host a Historic GM Seminar with Michael Simcoe, vice president of GM Global Design, and Tom Peters, former chief Corvette Designer. That seminar revealed the new 2020 Mid-engine Corvette Chevrolet to a crowded room of over 200 enthusiasts. It was amazing."

Chris Theodore, of Birmingham, showed off his unique 2004 Silver Shelby Cobra with Kris Zoto, of Troy. Theodore delights in the ownership of the vehicle he and his engineering team built with Carroll Shelby for the 2004 North American International Auto Show. The car will also be on display on Sunday.

"People think it's coming out next year and I have to tell them it's a 15-year-old car that never really made it  to production," Theodore said. "It's special because it's one of one and my favorite part is the memories of working with Carroll Shelby and others who built the car. People love seeing it and hearing the stories."

On Saturday, many attended cars and coffee event on Five Mile Road, which included all types of vehicles and the event was open to the public.

Mike Nichols from Center Line said the diversity of cars on the field was exceptional and while many aren't the most high-end cars, they all have something in common, which is interesting stories.

"We usually go to the Sunday event every year, but this was my first time at cars and coffee and it was a great day with a lot of nice people and nice cars," said Nichols, 43. "The variety is what makes it nice and has a mix of people and cars. Some people spend millions. I saw the newer Ford GT and others have a '46 Ford pickup they pulled out of a bar."

The 2019 Concours celebrates Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, and the 100th anniversary of Bentley Motors. 

One collector, John Groendyke, will be bringing 96 cylinders of Cadillac power from his personal collection. Ninety-six cylinders, but only six cars. That’s right, each of the six cars has 16 cylinders.

The art exhibition, History of Alternative Power, will showcase almost all of the powertrain ideas that have been explored prior to today. The circle of cars will showcase engines that run on coal- and wood-fired steam, and turbine and rotary power, as well as diesel and electric, officials said.

One of the more popular features of the show is Sunday's modern collectibles showcase, the greatest cars of the '70s, '80s, '90s and early 2000s.

"In the past, this was an older car-guys show and now it’s women and kids with the whole family," Noftz said. "Obviously, everyone loves the new cars. Kids are looking at the cars like they're the Hot Wheels they play with and it’s really fun because the event is revolving into something new and exciting."

The 41st annual Concours d'Elegance of America continues with its featured event on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with tickets on sale for $45 at the gate. 


Twitter: @SarahRahal_