Last weekend, the award winning La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery played host to the biggest and most prestigious classic car weekend in Texas, welcoming thousands of visitors through its gates for the inaugural Concours d’Elegance of Texas, a highlight of The Houston Classic Weekend. Concours organizers had promised a spectacular gathering of world class cars at a world class venue, and they definitely delivered, assembling a superb selection of rare and exotic motorcars, historic military machinery, sports and racecars, antique motorcycles, vintage tractors, and even the odd stagecoach, all displayed in a beautiful golf course lakeside setting. The first Texas Tour d’Elegance got the weekend off to a racing start on Friday May 4th, as Concours participants took to the open road on a 50-mile scenic tour of the local area, stopping for a distinctly Texas style lunch at the unique Thomas Ranch, with a Cocktail reception later that evening. Event partners, Worldwide Auctioneers, presented their 11th annual The Houston Classic Auction on Saturday, May 5th, packing the Versailles Ballroom at La Torretta with bidders and enthusiasts from across the country and further afield. 120 hand-selected motorcars went under the hammer, with 85% finding new homes over the course of an action-packed, six-hour sale.
The inaugural Concours d’Elegance of Texas on Sunday, May 6th attracted a stunning array of entrants, with sixteen classes recognizing pre- and post-war classics, through American and European sports cars, American Woodies and performance cars, competition cars and pre- and post-war motorcycles. Long-time collector, judge, writer and exhibitor, Roger C. Willbanks Jr. served as Chief Judge. A spectacular 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Cabriolet A, owned by John Groendyke of Enid, Oklahoma, took Best in Show in the pre-war category, with a 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera Competition Coupe owned by Jeff Moore of Houston, Texas, taking the post-war Best of Show award. J.B. Saunders’ beautiful 1937 Ford Darrin Convertible Cabriolet appropriately won the People’s Choice Award in an event that honored custom-bodied classics. Special displays on Sunday included Beatle George Harrison’s Aston Martin DB5, which made its U.S. debut at the Concours, an awesome trio of hand-built tribute Cobras, and a rarely seen collection of historic military vehicles and antique tractors.
“We were stunned and excited by the quality of entries and we sincerely thank all those who made the time and effort to participate,” said Executive Director, Lolly Bezy. “We also extend a big thank you to the Gullo Family Dealerships and all our sponsors, to our volunteers, to the local community, and the team here at La Torretta who embraced this event right from the start and whose commitment to its success has been overwhelming. We set out to build the foundation for one of the finest Concours in the country and we could not be happier with the success of our first year.”
The 2012 Houston Classic Weekend has in its totality helped contribute nearly $1million to charitable causes. The Concours d’Elegance of Texas is itself a 501(c)(3), with Texas Children’s Hospital and the Collectors Foundation as its official charities. Proceeds from the sale of the Paul J. Meyer Estate Collection of cars and memorabilia, auctioned by Worldwide during The Houston Classic Auction, are being donated by the Meyer family to the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation, supporting more than 30 charities and organizations in the United States and throughout the world. George Harrison’s famous Aston Martin DB5 was on display at the Concours d’Elegance of Texas to help raise funds for its anonymous owner’s chosen charity, Faith Comes by Hearing, an organization that produces the Military Biblestick.
A full list of the 2012 Concours d’Elegance of Texas awards winners is available online at www.concoursoftexas.org, along with a gallery of images from the event.
The 2013 Concours d’Elegance of Texas is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th, with Worldwide Auctioneers 12th annual The Houston Classic Auction on Saturday, May 4th. Interested parties are invited to stay up to date with Concours news and updates by visiting www.concoursoftexas.org and by liking concoursoftexas on Facebook.