Greenwich Concours 2013

GREENWICH CONCOUR 2013
By: Russell Glace
May 2013
Greenwich Connecticut is the location of this important Concur. Outside White Plains New York, about 20 minutes from the airport sits the Village of Greenwich. This superb setting on the water is the Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel, the host concur hotel. What makes this unique and different from most concourse, is this is a two day event that features American cars on Saturday, and European cars and the Bonhams auction on Sunday. Upon arrival, I asked the hotel the schedule of events for the Concur, and the Media Check-in location. My questions seemed to fall on deaf ears. The hotel concierge had no idea what I was talking about, but offered to help. By the time I reached my room, my phone was ringing. The gentlemen that fielded my questions inquired, but had no information to offer. The event that the hotel was promoting was a display of an America Cup yacht, as well as other yachts for sale in their harbor. Across this basin was a park that was all set up with tents for the weekends concur, I decided to research this for myself, and after freshening up a bit, strolled into the park. The first series of tents was the Bonham Auction; my timing was perfect as they had just opened for the preview cocktail party. Their media contact person, Maria, recognized me and welcomed me with open arms. Upon entering I recognized many of my car friends, several that I enlist to help at the events I host in Florida. Since this was my first Greenwich Bonham event, Maria took the time to show me around and explain the logistics of the weekends events. Bonham had a good selection of memorabilia, antiques, classics, European, and American offerings. They featured about 100 cars and loads of automobilia. While at the reception I met old friends, the Taylors that own Vintage Rallies. Rich and Jean had seven items in the auction, all race related. My interest lied in the good selection of British offerings, mostly Astons and Jags
Saturdays Concour was the American Classics presentation, a full day dedicated to all American cars, motorcycles, trucks, and wagons. As diverse as this selection was, I found several one of one cars, and models that are extremely rare. The offerings were broken into 13 different classes, each with about 10 cars. My friend Paul Sable has been the Chief Judge for all of the 17 Concours. He had teams of three judges examine the entries. Saturday was also a preview day for Sundays auction. The temperature was hovering in the high 80s, worse than in Florida. This concur is a laid back affair that accepted top quality entries as well as daily drivers. To my surprise continuation and replica cars were also welcomed, some even took top honors. The awards were plentiful with many repeat model years from all marquees. Several Ford GT cars, the 44 inch tall vagrants, not the original GT 40 versions, took home trophies.
After my story research, I found the time to enjoy a sightseeing tour offered to the media, courtesy of the event chairman Bruce Wennerstrom This tour left the basin to cruise the Greenwich coast. Being from the Palm Beaches, Im somewhat familiar with large estates, what makes these Connecticut estates different is the amount
of land, and privacy they enjoy. Also, these homes are their primary residence; many of these owners enjoy homes in many other states. One estate in particularly stood out and got my attention. Atop rolling hills to the shore, stood an exquisite English tutor home. I counted over 50 windows in the main house that all faced the ocean. That was just the main house, not the solarium or the other guest homes or boat garage. The beauty of this area is also the boat basin where the sail boats are moored in the harbor. This is a picture perfect setting.
Once we docked it was time for the trophy presentation. As I said earlier, the trophies were plentiful, I stopped counting after 50 gifts were awarded, and this the first day. At the conclusion, our host Bruce invited the judges and media to an informal gathering at the host hotel. After the party, I decided to do a walk about the area. The Village of Greenwich is about 15 minutes away; I enjoyed the quaint street of shops that featured names such as Hermes, Versace etc.
Sunday events started early at Bonham, with the automoblia, at noon the cars started to roll out. Its a good thing that I was flying, as Im sure that something would have come home with me. The European cars were as plentiful as the American presentation the day earlier. Many I would call WOW cars, rare and exotic, these I invited to Florida, luckily, many of my invitees enjoy second or a third homes in Florida, and so there is a good chance they will take me up on my offer. There were great displays of Bentleys, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes. My interest was these marquees, all beautiful and interesting sporting and luxury examples. This era 1930 through 1950 seemed to produce some of the best there is to offer in sport luxury. Many of the owners went all out, donning period clothing, accessories and displays. Champaign was flowing at many of the picnic setups, very appropriate for the park setting that the owners enjoyed. My duties took me through lunch, then to the auction. The tents were packed and the bidding brisk. All the seats were taken; even the ones marked MEDIA. The crowd was about ten deep behind the seating. The temperature soared because the ventilation was poor and most of the tent flaps were secured to the ground. I found a spot close to and almost behind the stage where I sprawled out on the synthetic turf. Soon others followed; I met up with my friends the Taylors again, Rich and I were surprised at the lack of consigners that failed to lower their reserve, thus not selling their cars.
The star of the auction was a 1930 Bugatti Type 43 that fetched $875, 000.00. That was followed by Lot # 341, a 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante that sold for $825,000.00. Well sold was a Rolls Royce Phantom I, New market All Weather Phaeton at $187,000.00. Lot # 331 was a 1952 steel XK 120 OTS that sold for $126,500.00. Another Jaguar was a 1967 E type OTS for $101,200.00. A car of interest to me was Lot #382, a 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe at $88,000.00. All in all, Greenwich offered 99 cars lots and 279 memorabilia lots. They had 2 Astons, 7 Jaguars, 5 Bentleys, 9 Cadillacs, 2 Corvettes, and 5 Roll Royces. For the auction results, see www.bonham.com/greenwichresults.