June 01, 2012

Historic Le Mans racers and other classic cars bring history to life at Dana Point Concours d’Elegance

Historic Le Mans racers and some of the most famous collectible car marques in the world will be featured during the 30th anniversary Dana Point Concours d'Elegance on June 23-24, at the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort in Dana Point, Orange County, California. As part of a field of more than
250 American and European autos, the event will honor 'Legends of Le Mans: Racing in the ‘60s', as well as the 50th anniversary of Shelby American. Enthusiasts will enjoy a rare opportunity to see a special collection of cars owned by Checkered Flag 200 Founder Bruce Meyer, along with a variety of classic cars and motorcycles from across the country.

“We’re bringing together one of the greatest show fields ever in Southern California,” said Jeff Spellens, President of the Dana Point Concours. “The variety and quality is truly breath-taking. A trio of cars that represent the Golden Era of Le Mans will sit near examples from the Nethercutt Museum. Nearby, American hot rodder Carroll Shelby’s legendary cars will be parked close to Ducati’s that raced decades ago. We’ll bring history to life through some of the most important cars ever built.”

As part of the Le Mans celebration Dana Point Concours will display rare competition cars from Ferrari, Shelby, Chevrolet and Jaguar.

From the collection of the 2012 Dana Point Concours d’Elegance Automotive Icon Award recipient Bruce Meyer is a 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB that won its class at Le Mans in 1961. Placing third over-all, this classic won the Manufacturer’s Championship for Ferrari. Meyer will also exhibit the first Corvette to compete in the 24 hour endurance race. Owned and sponsored by Briggs Cunningham in 1960, the team finished eighth over-all and First in Class.  

The Corvette’s mortal enemy will also be present as Meyer’s displays a 1962 Shelby Cobra, which was the first production Cobra ever built. Like all the original Cobra’s, it was originally a street car, then modified by Ford Racing of Europe to FIA specifications, including a 289 c.i.d. engine, rack-and-pinion steering, Weber carbs and flares. Cobras were a mainstay of Le Mans racing in the 1960s.

One of the most famous endurance racers a decade earlier, a 1956 Jaguar Factory Team Longnose D-Type is scheduled to be exhibited at the Concours. One of six long nose D-Types constructed during 1956 as a factory team car, this beautiful racer carries the serial-number of XKD604. It was the only ‘56 D-Type to compete with an independent de Dion rear suspension.

Recipients of the coveted Best of Show award last year, the Nethercutt’s will return with three beautiful vehicles from their private collection. The group includes a front-wheel-drive 1930 Ruxton, which is one of less than 500 built. It features unusual horizontal bands of color to emphasize the long-low silhouette of the body. Body number 23, the Ruxton generates 100 horsepower, which was a stunning achievement at the time.

Another vehicle from the Nethercutt collection is a 1932 Ford 18 hot rod originally built by legendary hot rod builder Tom 'Itchy' Otis. It sports genuine 1932 Ford components on the chassis and body with a 327 c.i.d. Corvette engine and four-speed transmission. A second ‘32 Ford Atterbury roadster hot rod built by Dick 'Magoo' Megugorac will also be displayed from the collection. Commissioned by George & Darcy Atterbury, this award-winning ‘32 'Deuce' roadster features a supercharged 350 c.i.d. Chevy V8.

From Ferrari to Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Shelby and Kurtis Kraft, each of these vehicles come with a unique and impressive history.

To honor 50 years of Shelby American, the Concours will highlight vehicles from the manufacturer, including a Nightmist Blue on black 1967 Shelby GT500. Restored to factory-specifications, this GT500 is fully documented by Shelby American Automobile Club and is one of only four delivered to Spain for the festival of Seville in 1967. The Shelby was then used as a display car at the festival of Barcelona later that year.

A 1953 Kurtis Kraft 500 M will exhibit on the St. Regis golf links. Frank Kurtis, who designed the M model sport car, built only 18 examples and had the bodies manufactured by Robert McCulloch. This 500 M is one of only nine still known to exist and comes with a correct Cadillac V8, 331 c.i.d. engine and original Edelbrock intake with Stromberg carburetors.

Mercedes-Benz will be represented with a pristine 1957 220S Cabriolet. Only 3,429 total 220S Cabriolet’s were produced between 1956 and 1959. This Mercedes-Benz features a Type M180, six-cylinder engine and was hand-built at Sindelfingen to the very highest standards set forth by the European auto manufacturer.


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