On a fine Sunday at the end of February, the finest collector cars and motorcycles from around the country came together on the show field at the famed The Boca Raton. Now in its 16th year, the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance had another amazing event this year, fully benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County. For this concours, the judging process combined a point/percentage system, along with the Modified French Rule evaluation criteria of the cars condition, authenticity/originality, and appeal in the following areas: the vehicle’s exterior, its interior area, the engine area, and the overall presentation, visual impact, and significance of the car.
Yes, there were 200+ fabulous classic vehicles on the field. There were also some special events this year. Dale Earnhardt Jr., a third-generation racer, whose innate ability and intrinsic instincts behind the wheel have propelled him to 50 victories and two championships in NASCAR’s top two national touring series. His common-sense charisma and down-to-earth disposition has catapulted his popularity well beyond the racetrack, resulting in a record 15 consecutive NASCAR Most Popular Driver awards. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s was this year’s recipient of the Racing Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award.
Motorcycle enthusiasts would have been very happy this year! A feature was the 1934 Harley-Davidson VLD motorcycle. It was a bold new design for one of the few motorcycle companies not ruined by the stock market crash of 1929. Harley's traditional Olive Green paint—which had been used with little variation since 1917—was dropped as the standard color after 1932. It was replaced by more vibrant two-tones such as the black and Orlando Orange of the machine featured at this year's event.
Another feature vehicle was directly from land of Hollywood. A 1936 Packard 1407 Twelve was owned by Charlie Chaplin by way of Charlie Chaplin Studios. It was used in The Godfather, in The Betsy, and appeared in Remington Steele featuring Pierce Brosnan. The VIN for this car is 188648, and its history is well documented. There are only two of these automobiles known in the world. This car is a star in the automobile world, as well. With only a few of the 682 Twelves produced in 1936 sent off to coachbuilders, this particular All-Weather Cabriolet was delivered into the legendary hands of LeBaron Incorporated. The 1407s were also a limited, special-order-only model.
On display at this year’s Concours will be the Pre-War Cadillac as our Marque of the Year and Cadillac Eldorado & Arnolt Cars as Feature of the Year.
There was the remarkable 1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS. Chassis No. 1353 was built in Italy in 1928 and was then sent to American coachbuilder LeBaron to produce the gorgeous boattail cabriolet body with a single rumble seat that took everyone’s breath away. It was purchased new by aviation pioneer Harry Williams and his wife Marguerite Clark, a silent movie star whose looks inspired Walt Disney’s Snow White. The car was a multiple "Best of Show" winner and is from the renowned collection of Peter T. Boyle. Wow.
You remember the scene from “Ferris Buller’s Day Off”? We all remember the scene When Cameron's Dad's supposed 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California rolls off the jack stand and plummets to its demise. The actual movie car was here along with some other great movie cars.
Congratulations to best in show winner, a spectacular 1937 57S Bugatti Gangloff, presented at the Concours exactly as originally presented to Dr. Andre Chauvenet in 1937. All the organizers should be commended for another great event!