Keith’s Blog: The SCM Week — Big Alfas, a Tour and a Concours

A 1939 Alfa built by Ferrari captured Best of Show at the 46th Annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.

The concours is held on the tree-shaded lawn of the campus of Pacific University, 20 miles from Portland in Forest Grove. SCM Editor-at-Large Donald Osborne and I shared emcee duties for the sixth year.

With our current schedules, this is the only event Donald and I get to work together, and I thoroughly enjoy our camaraderie.

SCM and ACC have been supporters of this concours for more than a decade. It has grown to become the largest and most significant concours in the Pacific Northwest.

The Forest Grove Concours, was founded by Allen Stephens and is a benefit for the Forest Grove Rotary, and has raised over $1 million. The Executive Committee of the Rotary puts on the event.  Stephens’ children, Allen and Alisa, continue to be a driving force behind its on-going success.

A total of 371 cars were entered, in classes ranging from custom-built rods to grand classics.

The concours marked the end of a busy week for SCM. On Sunday July 15, the street in front of the Portland Art Museum was closed and the cars participating in SCM’s 30th Anniversary tour were on display.

The “Shape of Speed” exhibit, curated by SCM and ACC contributor Ken Gross, had just opened.

An estimated 5,000 people saw the SCM Tour cars, which included three Alfa SZ-1s, an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato (one of 19 built) and a Ferrari 275 GTB/C.

The next four days saw the participants wind their way through 1,000 miles of the scenic Oregon landscape, with stops at Timberline Lodge, Bend, Klamath Falls, Crater Lake and McKenzie Pass.

Participants didn’t have time to clean the bugs off the front of their cars before embarking on the Forest Grove Concours Tour d’Elegance last Saturday. The drive ended at Durant Vineyards, where SCMer David Word received the “Car Hoarder” award, given to the person on the tour with the most running collector cars. He said he lost count after 30.

The “Car We Would Like on the Cover of SCM” went to a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Competition Tipo 215 owned by David Smith. This car also won Best of Show at the Concours the next day.

Essentially a race car built by Enzo Ferrari, and then re-bodied by Touring for more civilized road use, it represented perfection in styling and restoration.

Alfa Romeo was the featured marque at the concours.  It was also a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon car club. More than two dozen Alfas were on display, ranging from a 1950s 1900 two-door coupe owned by Joe Angel to a 2015 “Launch Edition” 4C.

In addition to the 6C 2500, there were three other landmark Alfas were on display. Bob Ames brought his 1929 6C 1750 supercharged Zagato roadster.

The 1931 Alfa 8C 2300 Monza that Tazio Nuvolari drove to victory in the 1933 Mille Miglia was showcased, along with the 1934 Alfa P3 that won the 1935 German Grand Prix. In this race, Nuvolari defeated the more powerful factory race cars from Auto Union and Mercedes.

SCM was honored to have a display that showcased the six SCM Alfas that had just completed the 1000-mile tour.

I asked Senior Judge Nigel Matthews how he would describe the concours.

“It was a community event,” Matthews said. “It was welcoming and family friendly and offered something for everyone with the variety of cars on display. And the setting is fantastic.”

For this one day, the most important display of Alfa Romeos in the world took place on the tree-shaded college campus of Pacific University.

 

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.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin

1 comments

  1. Keith – It was an excellent show! I’m trying to learn more of the other pre-war Alfa, a “1933” owned by Douglas Nelson. Do you know what it is exactly, or who/how to ask??

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