31st annual Concours d’Elegance expands to three-days with autos and events for everyone

Concours d’Elegance 2011. Photo by Ren Wicks
Concours d’Elegance 2011. Photo by Ren Wicks

By Andrea Papagianis

Celebrating American and European automotive legacies for more than three decades, the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance returns to town Sunday, presenting vintage cars for automotive enthusiasts and art connoisseurs alike.

Ushered in by the Orange County Collector Car and Motorcycle Week, the car show and contest, in its 31st year, has developed into a three-day event, highlighting classic rides from vintage Duesenbergs to retro muscle cars, showcasing a wider variety of vehicles for the experienced aficionado and younger generation of attendees, said spokeswoman Beth Ridenour.

For the first time this year, guests will have the opportunity to browse classic customs, hot rods, muscle cars and historic military vehicles at Sea Terrace Community Park, located off Pacific Coast Highway and Niguel Road. The event is free and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

1936 Duesenberg from the Nethercutt Collection. Courtesy Photo
1936 Duesenberg from the Nethercutt Collection. Courtesy Photo

Highlighting classic modes of transportation, the show keeps more than Southern California’s car history alive as proceeds from the weekend’s events will benefit the U.S. Marine Corps through various area charities, including the Semper Fi Fund, MARSOC Foundation and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Ridenour said. On Friday, a collection of classic cars embarked on a day-long journey from Dana Point to Camp Pendleton. Led by a mine resistant Marine vehicle, attendees had the chance to view live military training operations and ate lunch with Marines at mess hall located on base.

Culminating with the marquee event on Sunday, the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance will be situated directly on the rolling greens of the Monarch Beach Golf Links at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and feature a collection of classic automobiles and motorcycles.

This year’s show pays homage to several anniversaries including the centennials of both Duesenberg and Aston Martin, the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 and celebrates the 25 years the BMW M3 has been available in American markets. Honoring the luxury manufacture’s centenary, an award winning 1936 Duesenberg, or Deusy, will be the event’s marquee automobile. The silver vehicle was once painted yellow for the 1949 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Vintage motorcycles will also be on display, as Harley Davidson celebrates its 110th anniversary.

For the second year, event organizers will present an automotive icon award to an individual who has made significant contributions to the art of collecting. Car collector and host of the television show “Car Crazy,” which airs on Discovery’s Velocity channel, Barry Meguiar, is this year’s recipient. Ridenour said, Meguiar will shot an episode of the show during this weekend’s showcases.


Event Info

Saturday, June 22

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Hot Rods and Customs in the Park at Sea Terrace Community Park—free

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.—Concours Reception at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort—$75

Sunday, June 23

9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.—Dana Point Concours d’Elegance—$30 for general admission, Free for children 12 and under, active duty members of the military and Department of Defense employees, $15 for military and DOD personnel family members

Entries are still being accepted for the Hot Rods and Customs in the Park on Saturday. Event day registration will be located at the Salt Creek Beach parking lot on Ritz-Carlton Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, and will be open from 7 a.m. until the show opens at 9 a.m. To learn more about the event, to register or to purchase tickets, visit www.danapointconcours.org.

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