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Superb automobiles readied for The Arizona Concours

January 21, 2024

Superb automobiles readied for The Arizona Concours

A classic Auburn, a hand-built Boyd Coddington custom and a famous British racer among the entries

1963 Aston Martin DP215 prototype race car

The automotive roster for the acclaimed Arizona Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for January 21, 2024, is filling up quickly with rare, historic and rarely seen dream cars, dating back to the dawn of motoring, through the Art Deco era, and up to the coveted super sports cars of more-recent years.

“The Art of Automotive Design” is the theme for the sixth edition of the Arizona Concours, to be held at the newly renovated Scottsdale Civic Center, where an array of 100 superb automobiles will be displayed on the grass in the luxury atmosphere of a stylish garden party.

The Arizona Concours, a signature event during January in Arizona, is partnered with Scottsdale Arts to present this exceptional show and competition, with vehicles carefully curated to impress and excite not only car lovers but anyone who appreciates the beauty of expressive design.

Here are three examples of great cars– a full classic, an iconic hand-built custom and a one-of-a-kind British racer– that will compete in the Concours for class awards and the coveted Best of Show:

1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Speedster

One of the most sublime yet sporting automobiles of the 1930s, this beautifully restored Auburn “Boattail” Speedster boasts its original body, frame, engine, and even the original serial-number tag on the firewall, earning it Category One Original Car certification by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club.

The Auburn is owned by John D. Groendyke of Enid, Oklahoma, who describes it as “the Art Deco performance automobile of the Classic Era.” A multiple top-award winner, the black beauty is entered in Class 5: Designs of the Art Deco Age – 1930’s American Coachwork.

The curvaceous styling was created by the legendary industrial designer Gordon Buehrig, who was responsible for much of the iconic streamlined look of the 1930s. Just 150 Auburn Speedsters were produced, with only a few powered by the potent supercharged 8-cylinder engine.

1938 Lincoln "Lead Zephyr" by Boyd Coddington

One of the most-renowned custom-car designers of the modern age, Boyd Coddington marked his second-act reboot with this artfully reimagined Lincoln that he dubbed, with his usual flare, the Lead Zephyr in recognition of the smoothed “lead sleds” of the hot rod past.

The unique custom was unveiled in 2001, and it became one of the best-known creations produced by the late Coddington, a celebrated personality who even hosted his own TV show, “The American Hot Rod.” In glowing condition, the car is now owned by Dan Withers of Phoenix and entered in Class 14: Personal Styling/Design Interpretations.

The sleek Zephyr is a completely hand-fabricated one-off original produced under Coddington’s direction from a sketch and bare sheet metal by Marcel DeLay and Sons. The result is a magically realized streamlined fastback coupe, with a teardrop shape and slammed to the pavement via airbag independent suspension.

The custom paint scheme of Dupont Char-Cool Gray and Boyd Mellow Yellow accentuates the smooth curves, and the dashboard evokes the style of 1930s Lincolns. But under the hood lies a 600 horsepower, 514-cubic-inch Ford V8 with Boyd’s signature custom engine cover.

1963 Aston Martin DP215 prototype race car

A most-remarkable example of British racing history, just one of these powerful, lightweight Astons was built to win at Le Mans. DP215 was the culmination of the works racing department’s efforts to build a supremely formidable challenger, as well as being the final gasp for Aston’s racing program during the David Brown era.

Now owned by Touring Auto Collection of Decatur, Illinois, the Aston Martin has been entered in Class 10: Modern Development and Design – European Sports/Racing Cars (1948-1975).

Both triumph and failure are embodied in this one machine. Raced in the 1963 24-hour French classic by Phil Hill and Lucien Bianchi, DP215 recorded the fastest speed on the Mulsanne Straight at 198.6 miles per hour – a standing record for a front-engine car – but its race ended during the second hour due to the failure of the gearbox, which was ultimately deemed inadequate for the high torque of the upgraded 6-cylinder engine.

DP215 ended up having a brief racing record, mainly due to mechanical trouble. Ironically, it was wrecked in 1966 in a traffic accident on a public highway when it tangled with a mundane passenger car. After that, Aston Martin pulled the plug on its racing program.

Several years later, the damaged and now incomplete race car was refitted by a subsequent owner with a spare DP215 body from Aston Martin to the original chassis, and the car eventually was reunited with its original engine. It also was outfitted with the stronger transmission that should have been there in the first place; how different the story might have been!

With gorgeous aerodynamic styling, including a large Kamm tail to control rear lift, the Aston looks splendid after a comprehensive restoration with the invaluable assistance of the original designer, Tim Cutting. DP215 is now a well-sorted coupe that gets plenty of use in vintage racing and pleasure driving.

General Admission tickets for the Arizona Concours are now available online at ArizonaConcours.org with a financial incentive to purchase them in advance. Single admission currently costs $85, then increases to $100 on January 1, 2024.

There are also Concours Plus tickets that include additional features: admission to a collector car lecture series to be held on Saturday, January 20 (subjects and special guests to be announced), and early “Dawn Patrol” admission to the Concours starting at 7 am.

Concours Plus tickets currently are priced at $110, increasing to $125 on January 1, 2024.

Proceeds from the Arizona Concours through its partnership with Scottsdale Arts, one of Arizona’s largest arts nonprofits, benefit local artists and art programs. Tickets for the Concours also are available at ScottsdaleArts.org and the box office in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Previously held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, the 2024 Concours will mark its second year at The Scottsdale Civic Center, a vibrant landscaped space that recently was extensively renovated.

Owners and caretakers of special vehicles are invited to submit their cars for entry on the ArizonaConcours.org website. Fifteen classes have been chosen for the 2024 Concours, and are listed on the website, with awards presented in each class, along with special awards and Best of Show.

Arizona Concours sponsorship opportunities also are explained on ArizonaConcours.org, showing the range of possibilities for becoming a supporting member of this popular and well-publicized event.

To access high-resolution photos, visit our photo archive.

To see previous Arizona Concours emails, click this Facebook link.

Media contact: Bob Golfen at [email protected]

About the Arizona Concours d’Elegance

A curated and judged exhibition of the world’s finest collector cars, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance is a celebration of automotive design held every January. A point of pride for the region’s car community, the non-profit event supports the arts and local artists.

About Scottsdale Arts

Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually.


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