Concours d’Elegance returns with rare Jaguar

Rev up your engines for this year’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance which will take place June 1 and 2 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

The event will feature an Italian car known for its “smooth lines, lustrous red paint and Carrozzeria Ghia.” Selected as the poster car for the 2013 Greenwich Concours, it is a 1955 Jaguar XK140MC, with a custom aluminum body by Ghia of Turin, Italy. The MC suffix signifies that the engine was upgraded to produce 20 more horsepower (hp), for a total of 220 hp.

The vehicle was built for Marge and Gower Champion, the Hollywood musical stars, who later sold it to fellow actor (and  noted enemy of Captain Kirk) Ricardo Montalban. It is currently owned by Greenwich-collector Michael Schudroff. Thanks to its hand-made aluminum body, the coupe is substantially lighter than a stock XK140. Its greenhouse has slender roof pillars and greater glass area for a bright and airy interior. According to event organizers, the greatest owner satisfaction though, comes from the exclusivity and the stir it creates wherever it appears at a gathering of car enthusiasts.

Also making an appearance at the Greenwich Concours this year is Andy Rooney’s 1966 Sunbeam Tiger.

The legendarily outspoken 60 Minutes television commentator was a passionate “car guy.” The vehicle was a class of car known at the time as a “hybrid.” Not the politically correct electric/gasoline hybrids of today — Mr. Rooney’s Sunbeam was British-built but was powered by a hot 289-hp American Ford V8. Such cars were called hybrids because they combined European coach work with American power trains, an amalgam of Yankee horsepower and sleek European curves.

America II and Lionheart, the Greenwich-based ex-America’s Cup yachts will again be berthed by the Greenwich Concours and will offer two days of match racing. The association of classic cars and America’s Cup yachts is appropriate, for the yachts are truly classic, in the same sense that the cars are, being the finest craft that yacht designers, builders and sail makers could create, and conceived for the sole purpose of defending the America’s Cup during a series of challenges from sailors of other nations over a period of decades.

Since its founding in 1996 it has comprised two separate concours, back-to-back. Saturday’s Greenwich Concours Americana features American cars from the 1900’s to the present, while Sunday’s Greenwich Concours International is exclusively for imported sports, competition and touring cars, again from the 1900’s to the present.

Additionally, Bonhams auction company will hold an auction of rare and important collector cars and automobilia on June 2. The cars offered will be on display for the day prior to the sale and open to prospective bidders and the public.

In addition to classic Duesenbergs, Pierce-Arrows, Packards, Auburn Speedsters, 16-cylinder Cadillacs, Mercedes 300SL gullwings, and the popular post-war American muscle cars, spectators can also check out the very latest offerings from the Concours’ sponsor companies in a relaxed no-pressure setting. The new-car offerings of BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Hyundai, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati and other sponsor companies will be on display for viewing by show attendees.

The Greenwich Concours Americana and the Concours International are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The admission is $30 per day, or $45 for a two-day pass, and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is free, and food service is available on site. The event takes place rain or shine.

Visit the Concours web site at greenwichconcours.com for more information including a map, driving directions and contact information.

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