Geneva, IL, September 4, 2008 -– A 1938 Type 57 3-Position Drophead Coupe Bugatti owned by Jim Foght of Barrington Hills, Illinois, was named “People’s Choice” at the 2008 Geneva Concours d’Elegance held on Sunday August 24th along the historic streets of downtown Geneva.
The weekend event’s sold out gala dinner and silent auction proceeds helped contribute to charity for the fourth consecutive year. This growing Midwest annual event attracted more than 8,000 spectators.
Competitors brought their prized automotive possessions to historic downtown Geneva for judging in 12 categories. Overall, more than 200 classic vehicles, ranging from the event’s oldest competitor – a 1906 Model N Ford – to a rare collection of three Pierce-Arrows from 1929 -1926. Chris Diekman, Director of the Pierce-Arrow Society is not new to car collector shows. “I have rarely seen one choreographed and executed so well,” said Diekman. “Most shows are lucky to have one Pierce Arrow on display, getting as many as you had in Geneva almost requires a national meet!” Diekman continued, “It was lovely to see such a diverse collection of high quality cars, and of course, it was an honor for us to be invited and to have the Featured Marque on display.”
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Great Auto Race from New York to Paris, the Concours invited Jeff Mahl, great grandson of George N. Schuster winning driver of the Thomas Flyer at this year’s event to present a unique perspective of his “Great Gramp’s” story at the Geneva History Center for two consecutive days.
Concours Director and Registrar, John Barrett, has owned and raced vintage cars and has been involved with the Concours for years. “This event is good for the area and really showcases the top level of automobiles that have been restored to their original glory,” he said. Cars received scores by a qualified panel of judges. “The craftsmanship on these cars is incredible and the individuals or teams that work on them are proud to show the cars off to those who stop by,” he added.
Many of the judges on the panel have officiated at national and international events. The Geneva Concours presents the Carl F. Benz Award to each winner. “The Benz” award is a unique custom-designed metal sculpture in the likeness of Carl F. Benz. He was chosen for the award because he is considered to the Father of the Automobile. Guy Bellavar, a well-known local St. Charles, Illinois artist, was chosen to design and create the unique award.
Bob Joynt, Automotive Historian and Collector concluded the Geneva Concours’ as the Drive-By-Awards commentator. Bob is a long time automotive historian and Classic® car owner. He is a national director of the Classic Car Club of America, a trustee of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum and the Classic Car Club of Museum
The Geneva Concours is held every year on the third Sunday in August. “Each year, the Concours Gala benefits a local charity,” stated Mary Agnes-Zellmer, Board President of the Geneva Concours. “The Geneva Concours is pleased to have worked to change the lives of children living with diabetes,” said Zellmer. The 2009 Geneva Concours is slated for Sunday, August 23, 2009.