Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kirkland Concours d'Elegance

by Derik Price

It was a great pleasure to attend the Kirkland concourse this previous Sunday.  Willy, his wife Wilma, Charlie and I attended with the 1932 Cadillac V-16 Limo and the 1910 Whiting Roadster.  The weather was simply gorgeous and not a cloud in the sky.  Although the temperature did get up to near 90 F both days, we soaked it up ahead of our inevitable Fairbanks winter.

Willy, Charlie and Wilma performed no less than 'reality show' level of vehicle preparation  to meet the entry deadline and deliver the vehicles Saturday night.   I missed out on all the fun, so I was told.  Actually,  I was having my own 'fun' saturday afternoon as my rental car suffered a serious malfunction just minutes onto the freeway out of Sea-Tac.  For no apparent reason the front right wheel nearly locked up and a two lane dance ensued before I could safely reach the shoulder.  Never a dull moment...

But onto the show.  First off, I'll note with much lament that neither Fountainhead vehicle received an award this year.  The 1930's vehicles in attendance were all terrific.  First and second place went to a Packard and Lincoln, both restored by Murray Motor Car.  It was a big day for them and they deserved it.  I stood by our Cadillac for the most part and received no end of accolades and comments about the vehicle, its cavernous back seat, and its mighty V-16 engine.  But in the end, it just wasn't the Cadillac's day. 

The little Whiting was simply spot on.  It was beautiful and near perfect in every respect.  It's deep, deep red color, white tires and brass just popped under the summer blue sky and tree lined backdrop.   Honors for its class went to a huge Simplex that was truly a grand vehicle in every sense of the word.  But the perfect little Whiting, well, just wasn't grand enough I guess.   At least we'll get to enjoy it everyday once it arrives in Fairbanks in a few weeks. I can already picture it on the floor, shining like a little jewel.

On a side note.  One of the racing class awards went to a 1957 Aston Martin that i thought was deserving in every respect.  I consider it a privilege just to be next to the beast when it was fired up to drive around the winners circle.  The true measure of any real racing car I would sum up as this - when the engine is fired up in a public setting - animals flee, children start crying and men spontaneously erupt into cheers.  It achieved all three in mere seconds.

So we all had a good time and after the show and dinner Sunday night our little group of Alaskans were treated to one of the rarest sights of all - a warm AND dark night.  

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