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Lots of classic cars and one class act

Maybe it's because it's been going on for so long. Or maybe it's that the organizers have got the preparations down to a science. Whatever the reason, it seems that, increasingly, the Concours d'Elegance sneaks up on us.

The classic car show will be held this weekend in Forest Grove for the 34th consecutive year. It's amazing that a city the size of Forest Grove, with no historic ties to the auto industry, can host one of the most prestigious car exhibits in the country each year, drawing crowds of 6,000 to 7,000 people.

What's even more remarkable is that unlike Pebble Beach, site of the country's premier car show, there's no full-time staff and few members of the high-rolling country-club set to bankroll the event. Rather, here in Oregon, our Concours is pulled off by a group of volunteers from the Forest Grove Rotary Club who roll up their sleeves, fire up their email accounts and spend countless hours planning the event each year so that they can collect a bunch of money and give it away to students.

As a result, the Concours should be celebrated even by those who aren't car-fanciers. This year organizers are offering a sneak preview of some of the cars on Saturday morning (see story on page 3A). If you've never been to a Concours, check it out. You may want to come back on Sunday and see all the gleaming classics.

And, if you happen to see a local Rotarian looking a little haggard in the next week or so, give 'em a break. Better yet, give 'em a pat on the back.