Cara accompanied me down the red carpet and back in time to experience 20th century motoring opulence at Kirkland’s Concours d’ Elegance, our local branch of the prestigious show series. Carillon Point was filled with classic beauties – Packards and Cords from the late 30’s, post-war Alfa Romeo’s and Austin Healey’s, 50’s Cadillacs – as well as more modern gems – Ferrari Testarossa’s, Porsche GT3’s, Ford GT’s. Most surprising for me were the technical innovations in some of these luxury cars which seemed so far ahead of their time; for example, a light sensor on the dash of a Cadillac that detected oncoming headlights and dimmed its own, built entirely out of relays in an age before integrated circuits. It was also a thrill to shoot such perfectly-restored, meticulously-polished cars, and ones so artfully designed and beautifully ornamental as these. There’s also quite a few shots where your intrepid photographer is reflected in the chrome; so many mirror-finish surfaces in such close quarters made a few of those unavoidable, and I left more of them in the gallery than I normally would because I just enjoyed the subject matter.
I spent the weekend in British Columbia, and an amazing sunny day in Waterfront Park in Vancouver BC with a lot of really pristine Nissans and sweet vintage Datsuns, and somehow out of all of them, I was awarded Best of Show (!!). That means I bested some truly rare Japanese imported models, some immaculately-restored classic Z cars, and even Skylines and a new 370Z.
I’m especially flattered by this award as the Best of Show judge is a guy named Art that’s been involved in car shows for 30+ years and has been to over 175 of them. He’s a Concours-certified car show judge and evaluated my Z on Concours rules, meaning he placed a lot of value in preservation and restoration work in addition to aftermarket mods. Receiving this award means my car displayed the best balance of restoration to its original glory against tasteful modern upgrades that don’t degrade the look or purpose of the car, and also that my presentation of the car – things like cleanliness, my efforts to showcase points of interest by propping things open, the full-color modlist packet I printed up for display – was thorough, appropriate and impressive. Being recognized for my effort (and expense) has only motivated me to push even harder next season, to maintain and improve the state and presentation of my car. While not every show will be judged by Concours rules and I certainly won’t be Best of Show every time, making that jump from “clean, well-modded Z” to “award-winning Z” this year has given me a new respect and appreciation for my car and a new enthusiasm for this aspect of my hobby. 🙂
Gallery slideshow here.