WHAT: Concours d’Elegance Preview Party
WHEN: 6:30 – 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17
WHERE: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton
TICKETS: $85 per person, $75 for Dayton History Members; reservations required: daytonconcours.com or 937-293-2841.
Fast, sexy, beautiful and incredibly tough. Dynamic, reliable and smartly engineered …
Those words come to mind to describe the special features at the 10th Annual Dayton Concours d'Elegance.
A rare treat for Daytonians, a dozen Bugatti, Citroen and Peugeot will be on display as part of The Cars of France.
“French cars are not terribly popular or well known in the United States,” said Skip Peterson, event chair. “We far exceeded what we were expecting. We had hoped to get four or five French cars.”
Another special group comprise 100 Years of BMW. “Here we celebrate some of the classic BMWs,” he said. “It’s a pretty nice class of BMWs.”
The annual show is vetted to ensure only the highest quality of classic and vintage cars and motorcycles make it in. “I’m very proud of the event,” Peterson said. “We have one of the best regional concours in the country.”
The concours takes place at Carillon Historical Park. In addition to admiring the vehicles on display, guests will have an opportunity to walk through the grounds. “You’re going to hard-pressed to find a better venue,” Peterson said.
Daytonians may be surprised to learn about the Gem City’s own automotive history. “There’s a lot of automotive history in this town,” Peterson said. “At one time there were 22 auto manufacturers in the city of Dayton. Most of them were out of business by 1920.”
This year’s show will feature 235 vehicles — 195 cars and 40 motorcycles. The must-sees include a locally owned 1911 Cadillac and a 1928 Bugatti Grand Prix. For the first time, Esther Price Candies will display its 1936 Pierce Arrow Coupe.
The Sunday show starts at 10:30 a.m. and wraps up at 4 p.m., but automotive enthusiasts can also enjoy Saturday evening’s Concours d’Elegance Preview Party. “Guests can expect a terrific selection of heavy hors d’oeuvres,” Peterson said. “They can expect a bourbon bar. We’ll have artisan spirits, fine wine and craft beer. Probably 40 to 50 unique automobiles will be on display.
“There’s a silent auction with some really neat items, including limited artwork and gift bags. The Cincinnati Reds donated a limited collection of prints and many other things, worth about $900,” Peterson said.
The Preview Party’s theme is black and white, but any casual cocktail party attire will do.
Proceeds support Dayton History. “The Concours weekend benefits Dayton History as not only our largest fundraiser, but as one of our largest opportunities to introduce new patrons to Carillon Historical Park,” said Brady Kress, president and CEO of Dayton History. “Many guests who have never visited or haven’t in many years always seem delighted in finding hundreds of historic treasures tucked among the trees at Carillon.”
Last year 5,000 guests attended the concours, which has been growing every year. “Ten years to Carillon means thanks for a successful partnership,” Kress said. “I can’t say enough about the decade long service and leadership provided by the Concours Committee and our financial sponsors. These dedicated volunteers provide the energy and expertise to make this weekend a brilliant winner for the entire community.”
“The success of the event is largely based on the committee,” Peterson also noted. “We’re able to grow it and pay attention to details. We don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”