Report by Lee Robie and photos by Al Wolford
The Ault Park Concours d’Elegance was held at Ault Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday, June 13, 2010, featuring “International Designers and Coachbuilders” from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and the United States. The event benefited the Arthritis Foundation and Children with Juvenile Arthritis, with the exclusive “Jay Leno Auto Collection Dream Tour” raffle.
Now in its 33rd year, the Ault Park Concours attracted approximately 200 rare and classic automobiles from around the world, including Packards; Rolls-Royces; Bentleys; Hudsons; Buicks; Alfas; Ferraris and Porsches; a collection of motorcycles; and even a 1938 Datsun firetruck. There were cars from over ten states and Canada, and the crowd looked strong despite a brutally hot day. Best of Show went to the 1935 Duesenberg SJ Roadster bodied by Bohman & Schwartz owned by the Auto Museum, while Best of Featured Marque was awarded to the 1937 Delahaye 135 M of Gene and Sally Perkins.
One of the first show cars I noticed was Chip Hascher’s 1972 De Tomaso Pantera. It’s hard to ignore a bright red Pantera: the car is low and loud and right now. The 351 Cleveland V8 is shoved right up next to your shoulder, trailing such a wide expanse of engine compartment that not only will your wrenches fit in there, but so will your toolbox, beer and flat-screen TV. It’s a brute.
When Chip found this rust-free example in Vegas six years ago, the engine had already been freshened up. He did the body, interior, and mechanical work himself to finish the car, and confirms that it’s very easy to work on. At almost 40 years old, it’s not the most modern of aerodynamic shapes, but Chip says it hugs the road at 135, or.. uh.. so he’s heard. He won a well deserved first-place trophy in the Sports Contemporary class.
While million-dollar Ferrari, Duesenbergs and Delahayes also graced the lawn, there were numerous examples of cars that are within reach – if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. A case in point is Steve Bingham’s immaculate blue 1973 BMW 3.0 CS.
Steve found the car in Sarasota in 2007, and after working out the deal by phone, he and his wife bought plane tickets to Florida. One way. The deal went through as planned, but as they prepared to head north, Steve discovered that the carbs were weeping fuel. An urgent call to Weber got him some rebuild kits overnight, and after some tinkering they were finally on their way home. The car was quickly stripped, and then completely restored over an eighteen month period. I admire their pluck and resourcefulness, and it was great to see the Bingham’s take their place among the winners this year.
The Ault Park Concours d’Elegance just gets better and better: the cars, the setting and the friendly people make it a “can’t miss” event. Event organizers announced the 2011 event will feature Indy cars in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500 centennial. For more information, visit www.ohioconcours.com.
Ault Park Concours d’Elegance 2010 – Photo Gallery (click for larger image and description, including winners)