color bar

Goodguys Concours d´Elegance
June 4-5, 2011

SGT logo
Logo for the Goodguys Summer Get Together

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association generally represents auto enthusiasts of a different bent than those with which Lynn typically associates. In spite of the apparent differences, there are threads of common interest that run through both variations of the hobby. There are many techniques and skills that cross over, common interest in legislative actions that impact both, some components and suppliers that serve multiple purposes. Owners of custom cars are often quick to appreciate original, unmodified autos. Owners of unmodified cars are not pure and often make changes to their autos for improved safety and performance even though they may be subtle and hidden. Instead of being polar opposites, they are points on a continuum. Both variations on the theme are richer through a better understanding of the activities of the other.

For a second year, Goodguys is making a special effort to reach out to the larger collector car community and should be commended for their actions. They are soliciting exhibition of unmodified and classic cars in a Concours d' Elegance at their 18th Summer Get-Together, June 4-5, 2011.

In addition to the Bay Area Horseless Carriage Club (BAHCC, with which Lynn participates with Annie) and the Northern California Region of the Classic Car Club of America (NorCal CCCA, with which Lynn participates with Bugsby), several other area car clubs such as the Packard Club and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club will be participating. This special concours is not judged and limited to 50 cars.

For those of you who have never attended a Goodguys show, you would not fail to be impressed by the large and youthful crowds that they draw. Many of us can point to a particular past event, often as a young person, that planted the seed that grew and blossomed to our current interest in old cars. Lynn believes that this special concours can be one of a rare opportunity to help plant that seed in a new generation of collectors. Lynn considers his participation as an act of enlightened self interest and an investment in the future of the hobby, so he coordinates the participation of both the BAHCC (eight cars) and NorCal CCCA (six cars).

stands in preparation placards and horseless carriages
PVC pipe is used to create stands (in preparation at left) to support acrylic sign holders with placards at a level suitable for reading by spectators (shown in front of a line of horseless carriages at right).

To enhance the educational opportunity, Lynn decides to build a 8.5"x11" placard for each car. The poster for each car would be different, but all will display the year/make/model, owner and a picture related to the car. A couple of paragraphs of text will briefly review some information about the car, the owner, the marque or some bit of related automotive history. It's been Lynn's experience that many spectators are more likely to stop and read this kind of information than to initiate a conversation with the owner. After the written "introduction" to the car and some common points of reference, it is easier to "break the ice" with follow-up questions that can lead to a meaningful conversation.

To hold the placards, small acrylic sign holders are purchased and stands are fabricated from PVC pipe. Lynn receives some financial support from both the BAHCC and NorCal CCCA, but also spends personal funds to realize his vision.

1906 REO 1908 REO 1909 Ford 1910 Mitchell
1910 Pratt-Elkhart 1912 Ford 1913 Apperson 1914 KisselKar
Placards for the horseless carriages

The cars and owners that sign up for the show from the BAHCC are:

  • 1906 REO Model B—Don & Joyce Azevedo
  • 1908 REO Gentlemans Roadster—Joe & Esther Sernach
  • 1909 Ford Model T Touring—Bill Austern
  • 1910 Mitchell—Charles Ebers
  • 1910 Pratt-Elkhart Touring—John & Carol O'Neill
  • 1912 Ford Model T Delivery Car—Bill & Kaaren Brommer
  • 1913 Apperson Touring—John & Carol O'Neill
  • 1914 KisselKar Touring—Lynn & Jeanne Kissel
1924 Kissel 1931 Cadillac 1935 Packard 1936 Cord 1946 Lincoln 1947 Cadillac
Placards for the classic cars

The cars and owners that sign up for the show from NorCal CCCA are:

  • 1924 Kissel Speedster—Lynn & Jeanne Kissel
  • 1931 Cadillac V12 Roadster—Steve & Janet Witort
  • 1935 Packard Phaeton—Bob & Mary McKee
  • 1936 Cord Westchester—Bob & Lorraine Pease
  • 1946 Lincoln Continental Coupe—Peter & Robin Frazier
  • 1947 Cadillac Club Coupe—Ed Gunther
rain swap meet rain
Rain drastically dampens attendance at the show. The swap meet parking lot (center), normally completely filled with vendors, is mostly empty space.

On one level, this two-day weekend show is a disaster. High chances for rain is forecast for the entire weekend and a steady rain falls for most of Saturday. As a result, the crowds were a small fraction (1/6th? 1/10th?) of what one normally finds at this show. Only about 1/4 or less of the vendors show up for the swap meet.

Sunday is better but not good. The sun is occasionally seen between clouds and the rain holds off in the morning and more people are seen at the show. But many of the vendors have not come and the crowds are thin.

Don Azevedo Carol O'Niell Kaaren & Bill Brommer Steve Witort
Car owners eagerly engage visitors: Don Azevedo (left); Carol O'Niell (left-center); Kaaren & Bill Brommer (center-right); Steve Witort (right).

Still the weekend is filled with bright moments. The concours is held inside a building and our show floor is high and dry. As a result, many of the people that do attend are channeled into the buildings increasing our contact with them.

As Lynn hopes, many people stop to read his placards and ask questions. The concours car owners are great spokespersons, engaging with the crowd in animated discussions. Tables are setup for each club distributing literature and information.

Annie award Bugsby awards
All participants at the Goodguys Concours receive an award of excellence such as this one for Annie (left). Some cars receive additional recognition such as this "class act" award that Bugsby receives (right).

During the week after the show, Lynn receives a letter from the Goodguys, thanking him for his participation. They stated that "our 2nd Concours d'Elegance (was) the best display of cars that Goodguys has ever promoted." Although the weather didn't cooperate, the concours "was the hit of the event."

Indeed, it was a memorable weekend and Lynn will long remember his involvement at the Goodguys Concours d'Elegance. Did the event succeed in planting any seeds in future collectors of horseless carriages or classic cars? Lynn may never know.

color bar
Contact with your comments or questions
Copyright © 2018 Lynn Kissel
Last updated: June 12, 2011