'The variety of cars is absurd!'
The 2018 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance will celebrate Alfa Romeos on Sunday to mark the 110th anniversary of the founding of the famed Italian auto maker.
Now in its 46th year, the 2018 show will feature more than 300 classic, sport and custom cars, drawing thousands of visitors to the campus of Pacific University, just west of Portland.
The all-volunteer show, produced by the Rotary Club of Forest Grove, is the largest and longest-running Concours d-Elegance in the Pacific Northwest. And with vehicles competing in 50 judged classes, it's considered one of the premier classic car shows on the West Coast.
"It's overwhelming. The variety of cars is absurd!" says Elliot Hansen, a car buff who has attended the Concours for years. "It's so cool to see pre-war stuff, '40s, '50s, American, European, street cars, race cars. It's overwhelming."
Several of those vehicles will make their way from Lake Oswego to the show, John Adams will display his 1955 Cadillac Couple De Ville, while Bill Andrews will show his 1969 Jaguar XKE. David Charvet's 1937 Chrysler C17 Airflow Sedan will be there; so will David and Julie Detzler's 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk.
Also scheduled to be at the show: a 1960 Aston Martin DB4 owned by Mike Eshaia, a 1934 Cadillac 355D owned by Miles Eshaia, a 1991 Porsche Carrera 2 owned by Bryan Gergen and a 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint owned by Doug Klein.
Mark Mangionos is bringing his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro from Lake Oswego. Judi Noakes is bringing her 1956 Mercedez-Benz SL190 Roadster. And Norman and Scott Noakes will show their 1956 Mercedez-Benz two-door convertible. Steven Smith has two vehicles entered: a 1970 Honda Z50K2 Minitrail and a 1965 Vespa V9a 90. Harry Torgeson's 1964 Chrysler K Convertible will also be there.
This year's primary theme is "The Passion of Alfa Romeo." The company, which recently returned to the American market, is famous for its historic race and sophisticated street cars.
Many at the annual event at Pacific University will likely remember the volunteer work of the late Bob McGill, a tireless organizer of the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon, when they admire his 1958 light-blue Giulietta Spider Abnormale. Now owned by Alfa Romeo enthusiast Bill Eastman, Old Blue is very familiar to those who knew McGill, who passed away in 2011.
The Spyder has had only minor modifications since McGill drove it off the lot at Rambo Motors in Northeast Portland in 1958. He and his wife, Margaret, brought it to the annual event for several years, parking it on the tree-shaded campus.
"Aside from the paint and upholstery on the driver's seat, it all came from Italy," says Eastman, who remembers that under McGill's leadership, club membership quickly jumped from half a dozen to about 200 "He had business cards made up, and would stick one under the windshield of every Alfa he saw."
In addition to McGill's former car, more than 40 Spyders will be on display, including at least 25 brought by members of Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon. Among them will be:
• a meticulously restored 1929 6c 1750 Super Sport Zagato owned by Bob Ames of Portland;
• a red 1931 8c 2300 Monza, which was driven to victory in the 1933 Mille Miglia by celebrated driver Tazio Nuvloari;
• a 1959 Giulietta Sprint Veloce owned by David Salvador of Portland, which recently won People's Choice at the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon 50th Anniversary Tour;
• a 1973 Spider Veloce convertible owned by Jeff and Jeannie Gretz of Hillsboro, who are active members of the local Alfa Romeo Club; and
• a 1978 Spider Veloce owned by Glenn Dolphin of East Aurora, N.Y., who got the car from his father and spent the past 18 months fully restoring it with a "slight custom look."
In addition, this year's Concours will also highlight 100 years of Chevrolet trucks, including work vehicles. Among those to be displayed:
• a 1927 Series LM one-ton truck owned by John Hardy of Battleground, Wash, which was originally purchased by a great uncle for hauling grain in North Dakota;
• a restored red 1931 Chevrolet Hose Wagon owned by David Koetje of Happy Valley, which was in limited fire suppression duty at a California lumber mill until 1990; and
• a 1931 Chevy half-ton tow truck owned by Stephen Kassis of Lebanon, complete with a working tow boom.
As in recent years, organizers of the event will be assisted by the local hot-rod community, which is sending some of its most stunning modified cars to Forest Grove. Expected big-draw vehicles include "Black Ice," a custom 1934 Ford 3-window coupe owned by Jim Stewart of Portland, which took first-place honors at the 2018 Portland Roadster Show; and a 1955 candy-blue Ford F100 pickup, owned by John Rydzewski of Oregon City, which also snagged a first-place award at the 2018 Portland show and a second-place trophy at the World of Wheels custom car show in Chicago.
This year's senior judge will be Nigel Matthews of Vancouver, B.C., who has served as a class judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and chief judge at the La Jolla Concours d'Elegance and Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance. BMW Portland is the 2018 presenting sponsor.
The all-volunteer show, produced by the Rotary Club of Forest Grove since 1973, is the largest and longest-running Concours d'Elegance in the Pacific Northwest. It is the service organization's largest annual fundraiser, with net proceeds divided equally among the club's scholarship program and community service projects.
Thanks to the Concours d'Elegance, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove has returned more than $1 million to the community.
IF YOU GO
What: The 2018 Forest Grove Concours d' Elegance
When: Sunday, July 15
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Where: Pacific University, 2043 College Way in Forest Grove.
Parking: Street parking and free public lots. Follow the signs.
Cost: Advance tickets$6-$18.50; gate tickets $7-$20. (12 and under are free)
Details: 503-357-2300 or www.forestgroveconcours.org