Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Sep 25, 2017

From the judges in their flat-brimmed straw hats to women in fascinators and Kentucky Derby-worthy ensembles, this event has a certain je ne sais quois about it. Something magical, something beyond the ordinary, something that offers a fun indulgence on a Sunday afternoon.



The judges have their work cut out for them year in and year out.

Every year, the 18th fairway at Cobble Beach is taken over by a finely procured selection of distinguished automobiles. In an era of classic car shows, the Concours stands alone. These are not just vehicles chosen for their vintage or rarity, although that’s a factor. These are vehicles that have been painstakingly restored to their original condition, as pristine now as the day they rolled off the assembly line.


2017 marked the fifth anniversary of the Concours d’Elegance. To keep the show fresh and new each year, cars can only return after a four-year hiatus. The only exception is the Best in Show car from the previous year.

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon for Concours this year—it would have been too hot if not for the breeze blowing off the bay. The crowd came out in droves—with an estimated 7500 visitors attending. Those perusing the aisles of rare vehicles, boats and motorcycles are a varied group. From young children who stare wide-eyed at a white Lamborghini to an older generation who remember these cars from their younger days. There are also collectors, tv crews, photographers aplenty and some who’ve come to see what Cobble Beach and the BruceGreySimcoe lifestyle is all about.

AKD_2480.jpgTony Lang's 1932 Packard 900 Light Eight ‘Shovel-Nose’ Roadster

But beyond all this showiness, the Concours is about community. Hanover’s Tony Lang is a farmer first and foremost, but he’s also a collector. He smiles slyly when I ask him how many cars he has, but knowing he’s been to all five Cobble Beach events, I know he’s got a few in the lineup.

Lang receiving his award from the judges

“We do about two Concours a year,” says Lang. And this is always one. We’ve been to Pinehurst, we’ve been to Amelia Island, we’ve been to St John’s in Michigan. We’ve been to several and this is the best, without question. They treat the participants the best and the venue is unreal. The organization is great and it’s run so perfectly,” explains Lang. 
As we chat, several friends stop by to talk to Lang. He’s standing near this year’s entry, a 1932 Packard 900 Light Eight ‘Shovel-Nose’ Roadster. There are just two cars in his division this year and he laughs that he’s hoping for a top 3 result.
“We really like what they do at Cobble Beach here so we ask them what class they need more vehicles in,” explains Lang about this year’s entry. “If we have one that would go in that class, then we bring it up to them. Our cars aren’t always good enough to win first place, or even second place, but they show well and it helps the show. We really appreciate what they do here. We think it’s just a great event.”
Like most of the cars here, Lang’s entry has its own rich history. “The Shovelnose Packards were only built one year,” explains Lang. “During the depression, Packard decided they’d produce a cheaper car, sell it cheaper. They figured the people who were buying the expensive Packards would stay with those and they could support the middle class with this new Packard. But what happened was that the people who were already buying the really expensive cars for twice the money switched and bought the cheap cars. Packard lost money on every one of these cars they built that year. They only did it one year (laughs) that’s what makes this car quite unique and quite rare. I don’t think there are 20 left of them in the world.”
I ask Lang about the idea that this show is all about lifestyles of the rich and famous, but Lang is quick to disagree. For Lang, this show is all about community. “When you take a car to a Concours, there is no money,” explains Lang. “No matter what you win, there is no money. You might win a trophy. You pay your own expenses to get there, you pay your lodging. All the money raised ends up going to a charity. It’s a great event and it’s great for the community.”  This year, the money raised at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance will go to the Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation and the Sunnybrook Foundation. Lang’s Packard finished second in the Classic Packards division while his 1962 Chevrolette Corvette finished third in the Corvette 1953 to 1962 class.


The 1946 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Pinnafarina Cabriolet Speciale that brought home three top honours

 A very unique 1946 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Pinnafarina Cabriolet Speciale was the talk of the show, bringing home Best of Show, People’s Choice and Best of Class in the European Post-War Thoroughbred class—a rare trifecta for the Concours.
To find out more about the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, visit their website. To see the full 2017 results, click here.