Keith’s Blog: The Kirkland Concours, Held at America’s Car Museum, Comes of Age


I’m in one of the conference rooms at LeMay — America’s Car Museum, waiting for a meeting of the marketing committee of the Board of Trustees, of which I am a member.

I’ve been involved with the museum in a variety of ways since its first public meetings over a decade ago. It has been immensely satisfying to watch the LeMay team, led by David Madeira, take fantasy to reality — a $50m journey in difficult economic times.

Yesterday, I, along with noted collector, Emmy Award-winner and Pebble Beach emcee Ed Herrmann, was the emcee for the 10th consecutive year of the Kirkland Concours d’Elegance, sponsored by U.S Bank and held at LeMay — America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. Now in its 11th year (yes, somehow I missed the first year), the concours was originally held at Carillon Point in Kirkland, and just last year moved to the LeMay location in Tacoma, taking advantage of the spacious facilities the museum has to offer. The event began with a gala the previous night, which Wendie and I attended.

Last year was a good show, but clearly the event was in transition. This year it was obvious that all of the lessons of last year have been learned. In short, it was a well-organized show, with a well-thought-out display of cars. Crowds were larger, and the awards ceremony at the end was very well attended.

In my morning duties, I got to do my favorite thing – talk with car collectors about their cars. I also had a chance to speak with Honorary Judge Ed Gilbertson, former chief judge at Pebble Beach, and he provided insights into the subjective process that is choosing a car for Best of Show.

The display honoring 50 years of the 911 was mouthwatering, along with the lineup of classic heavy-hitters, including Paul Emple’s Bugatti bodied by Paul Née, Jon Shirley’s Alfa 8C 2900 and the Best of Show-winning Figoni-bodied Alfa 6C 1750, owned by long-time SCMers David and Adele Cohen of Vancouver, British Columbia.

I’ve attached a gallery of photos from the day, but suffice it to say that the U.S. Bank Kirkland Concours d’Elegance (May I suggest a name change to Concours of the Pacific Northwest) is finding its voice and learning how to maximize its new location. It will continue to attract first-rate cars and an enthusiastic crowd.

I suggest putting next year’s concours it on your calendar. The 2014 event takes place Sunday, September 7.

View the complete concours judging results here. View the special award results here.

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Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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