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Winter Park Concours d’Elegance

Winter Park, Florida, 1-2 November 2008

The 7th annual Winter Park Concours d’Elegance was held in Winter Park, a select suburb of Orlando in Florida, over the weekend of 1-2 November 2008. This year the event honoured three British marques, Aston Martin, Austin Healey and Jaguar, and started with the traditional Tour d’Elegance on the Saturday morning. Here participants met for a hash and sausage breakfast in Hannibal Square, Winter Park, renewing friendships and making acquaintances, before heading out of town to enjoy a route through scenic byways to the luncheon stop. In the evening the group reconvened at Orlando Sanford Airport’s South East Ramp for the duPont Registry/Live Aeroport Reception, which benefits the Dr P. Philips Orlando Performing Art Center, described as “an evening where the Arts meet the Art of the Automobile”. Apart from a fine selection of food and beverages to enjoy, there was also a display of some fine cars, private modern and historic aircraft, boats and incredible executive motor coaches to cast your eyes over.

Come Sunday morning, unfortunately a rather grey one, and the concours cars gathered on Park Avenue and its cross streets for the main event. The entry ran to over 150 cars, including classes for the honoured marques, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, American Classics, Classic Corvettes, Hot Rods and Rolls Royce, along with a host of others. Manufacturer/dealer displays included Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW-Mini Cooper, Cadillac, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Rolls Royce with an impressive trio of Phantom variants. Fortunately for the judges and the entrants the weather held until lunchtime, allowing the judging to be completed before a brief but heavy rainstorm swept through, although the sun soon reappeared to dry things out before the presentation ceremony in the adjacent Central Park in the afternoon. Here the imminent threat of more of the same prompted a speeding up of the process in the latter stages.

The Best of Show award, a magnificent Lalique crystal statuette, was sponsored by the Mount Dora Jewelry Company, and went to a 1930 Rolls Royce Springfield Phantom I with Brewster Dover body, belonging to Tom Coundit of Sarasota, Florida.

David O’Neill

 Winter Park Concours d'Elegance
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