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Language of (Italian) car love spoken at Concours

'Fast but civilized' autos coming to Forest Grove


by: COURTESY PHOTO - This 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, Italy, is owned by John Shirley of Medina, Wash. It will be at the Forest Grove Concours dElegance show this Sunday, July 20.This year’s Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance celebrates Italian motoring and the artistry in the design of automobiles manufactured by Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia.

Italian designers and coachbuilders Pininfarina, Zagato, Touring and Frua will be represented among the classic cars on display at Pacific University Sunday, July 20.

With a rich history in architecture, art and fashion, Italy has always been a country where beauty, elegance and creativity are valued. The designers and carrozzerias — or coachbuilders — of Italy are the artists responsible for the beautiful automotive shapes that are truly works of rolling art.

Here are examples of some of the best to be displayed on campus lawns:

n The blue 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 was built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, Italy. “It was built to be a grand touring car in the true sense of the word,” said owner John Shirley of Medina, Wash. “Fast, but very civilized.”

Built with race-proven engineering and a style of unsurpassed elegance, these fastback Alfas are among the most coveted automobiles in the world. The 8C 2900B was Alfa Romeo’s most prestigious grand touring car of the 1930s. Only 33 examples were ever completed for road use, and most of their bodies were built by Touring.

The example on display in Forest Grove won the first Watkins Glen Gran Prix race held in 1948 on the town’s streets and surrounding roads. In 2006, Shirley drove this 8C in the Mille Miglia retrospective and completed the 1,000-mile Italian road race. After a complete restoration, Shirley’s 8C was entered in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2008, where it won Best of Show and the Elegance in Motion Trophy.

n The unique 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS coming to Forest Grove has led a dual life as a glamorous Concours queen and Le Mans race car. It is owned by David Cohen of Vancouver, B.C.

In 1933, the Alfa chassis was sent to French coachbuilder Figoni, known for some of the most elegant automobile shapes seen from the 1930s to the 1950s.

This Alfa took home wins at the 1934 Monte Carlo and Nice Concours d’Elegance events. Shortly afterward, it was rebodied with an open racing body and campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1935, where it finished sixth overall. Later, it was reunited with its original Figoni body and eventually went to South Africa. There it was admired by a 14-year-old David Cohen, who eventually purchased the 6C and commissioned a full restoration.

n The Ferrari 250 GT/L, or the “Lusso” as it has become known over time, is considered one of the most beautifully proportioned Ferraris ever designed by Pininfarina.

Following the Lusso’s premiere at the Paris Motor Show in October 1962, it was widely acclaimed as yet another triumph for both its designers at Pininfarina and coachbuilders at Scaglietti.

The 1964 250 GT/L coming to Pacific is owned by longtime Forest Grove Concours entrant Robert Ames of Portland. After acquiring the car, Ames supervised a full restoration in the early 2000s. In Ferrari-speak, the deep metallic gray color is called Grigio. It’s a special color in Ferrari history, as Enzo Ferrari himself was known to drive a Ferrari painted in Grigio.

At previous Forest Grove Concours events, Ames’ Ferrari has been honored with Best in Class and Post-War Best in Show trophies.

n The Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato is a limited-production two-seat coupe with aerodynamic bodywork by Zagato of Milan. Zagato was established in 1919, and built a reputation for creating aerodynamic, lightweight, competitive sporty automobiles.

The 1972 Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato 1600 is one of only 402 made from 1972 to 1975. This car was originally sold in Italy in December 1972 and exported by its first owner to Great Britain two months later. It was first brought to the U.S. in 2007, and in 2013 it was acquired by its current owner, Portland-based Alfa Romeo enthusiast Reid Trummel.

n In 1967, AC Cars in England built 80 chassis units for the 427 AC Cobra. While the U.S. was the target market for the Cobra, these units did not meet the new U.S. Department of Transportation specifications.

Visitors to the Forest Grove show will find a coupe and a convertible AC 428 on display, both owned by award-winning AC restoration expert Jim Feldman from Portland. Feldman has participated in every Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance since the event was founded in 1973.



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