The Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance… 2023 edition

Mustard’s “a day in the life” at Concours!…

Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance: Canada’s premiere automotive event.

Every year Mustard Report makes the 2.5 hour pilgrimage north to see, enjoy and cover this show, and every year, Mustard Report walks away thinking, “how will Rob McLeese, his family, staff, and team of volunteers ever top themselves”… and so far, they’ve done it every single year!, and this year was no exception – also, as an added bonus (and very pleasant surprise), Mustard Report was proudly upgraded from Media to VIP, very thankful and thrilled for this status advancement.

From the moment you walk past the Cobble Beach Club House, over the stone bridge, onto the greens and see that very first car… you know its going to be a great day on the links. It’s at this point that you start to formulate a plan of attack for the Day. The “go-to” plan is always hustle down to the end of the fairway and work your way back to try and get as many nice, clean shots as possible before the crowds come and swarm all the show cars. In theory, it’s a great plan, in reality, it’s simply impossible to “hustle past” any of the cars on the show field – every year it’s the same plan, and every year this very same plan fails miserably!…

1927 Bugatti Type 39/35B

The first car to greet you this year was a ridiculously rare 1927 Bugatti Type 39/35B out of Aurora ON… just how do you “hustle past” that?, impossible, so this car was the first unplanned stop and was the perfect opportunity for the first shots of the day, sans crowds.

(seen here “during” the event, you can see the struggles of getting a clean shot)

Thinking the original plan-of-attack could still be salvaged, it was time to move on, but, with a quick glance to the left, there was this pristine tuxedo black with orange accents, 1929 ‘Cord L29’ out of Troy MI., aching to also be photographed before the crowds made their way on to the Cobble Beach fairway – that’s when the universe knew that there would be no formulated plan or structure for the day (once again).

(again, seen here “during” the event, oh the struggles of getting a clean shot)

Concours Tips & Tricks

Here’s the thing with the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance (if you have to find fault), it just might be that it’s too overwhelming, it can cause high anxiety as you try to take it all in, so the greatest tip when visiting is, you simply have to let the show take you on the journey, because you will not be able to tame this magnificent beast.

your People’s Choice…

1938 Peugeot 402 Darl’mat Pourtout Sport Roadster

Continuing down the fairway (original plan officially out the window), appears this insane, metallic “mint” green 1938 Peugeot 402 Darl’mat Pourtout Sport Roadster (now there’s a mouthful), what a beauty.

Had a long chat with the handler of this car, it’s a car out of the “Stahls Automotive Collection” in Chesterfield Michigan. One [of the many] cool features of this thing was it’s trunk mounted gas cap, and how it was engineered to effortlessly open and close with the smooth slide of a small lever. I was encouraged to to give it a whirl, and he was right, a super simple mechanical lever operation opened & closed the fuel cap with ease and perfect precision.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this car was going to be a popular one, and sure enough, at the end of the day, it crossed the podium taking (amongst other awards) the coveted People’s Choice AWARD”, …and rightly so!

1938 Peugeot 402 cockpit

The Flood Gates Open…

At this point the Event is in full swing, the crowds are on the fairway and the judges are pouring over the cars one by one, taking notes, and humbling the normally confident owners with their intense scrutiny of every aspect of their vehicles.

As a spectator, it’s a crazy thing to watch the judging. The collective knowledge among each of the Judging Teams that flood the grounds, means that the owners don’t stand a chance at trying to hide any imperfections or flaws in what would appear to be a flawless vehicle. Its ruthless, but this is Concours… “and there’s no crying at Concours”.

Mr. Dean Renwick – Guest Judge
(when it’s all said ‘n done, this is the guy you want to be seeing through your windscreen)

Finding “your” Class Favourite…

Advancing down the Cobble Beach fairway, we find Mustard Report’s personal favourite Class; “Class 18 – Prototype and Concept Vehicles (if this was the only category that Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance offered, Mustard Report would still go home elated). The task of picking just one car as “your Show favourite” (for the People’s Choice Award) is incredibly frustrating, but with multiple return visits to gawk at the below 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer, a realization was made that this car would be getting the Mustard Report vote for “Peoples Choice”…

1956 Pontiac Club de Mer [Concept] recreation

The Club de Mer’s display sign said that this car was a “re-creation” and was out of North York ON?, Mustard Report is based out of North York ON, and never has this beauty been seen on any of the streets around here, it was absolute eye candy, and Mustard Report will be keeping a keen eye out for it (something says it’s tucked away deep inside a private collection in some mysterious location – similar to the Bat Cave).

Also in Class 18 was the 1951 Buick LeSabre concept, this car was (and always is) a total show stopper whenever it’s trotted out for display, and it’s always difficult to get a good photo of, due to the amount of people that continually crowd around it every single time, all day long.

1951 Buick Le Sabre concept

The LeSabre concept is an atomic-age, MCM masterpiece, designed by the late great Harley Earl and was used as his own personal daily driver at one point in it’s lifetime – can you imagine the statement you’d be making by driving this beast of a car around the streets of Detroit today… let alone back in the early 50’s?! Mad respect to this man, his vision and what he did for the automotive industry.

Moving on…

As you stroll deeper down the fairway, its hard to predict what you’ll see next, we’ve seen everything from horseless carriages, to revolutionary concepts, and a few fun surprises in between, then all of the sudden you’re hit in the face with a display of pristine, early, motorcycles…

This year’s collection of motor-bikes were as rare as they come. It was fascinating to see this mighty collection and get a gist of the early beginnings of “motorized” two wheel transport, and how these marvels of early design and engineering are responsible for what we see racing around the tracks and out on streets today.

Full of Surprises…

Just when you think you’ve got the “Concours vibe” down… along comes a high school ‘blast-from-the-past’, a shiny black 1985 Dodge GLH Turbo. This car looked to be factory mint, which, if you really think about it, how crazy is that? It would seem ridiculous to have a 1985, Dodge, grocery-get’r at a Concours, yet somehow it fit right in. This car (in 1985, with these options) came with a price tag of around $8,000., a GLH in this condition, today, (in this condition) can still fetch approximately $7,000. – but the average retail price for a 1985 GLH (that is still on the road) is between $800. and $2,000., just try and find one that hasn’t rotted into a pile of rusty dust, especially here on the east coast. Cool surprise – and it was judged with the same scrutiny as all the others.

1985 Dodge GLH Turbo – another one out of Troy, MI

…and if you’re wondering what GLH stood for?, “Goes Like Hell” is the answer… go ahead, look it up.

Concours Celebrates 120 years of BUICK…

The 2023 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance celebrated Buick’s prominence in automotive history (which even included a crazy old farm tractor!). The Buicks on display this year allowed you to follow the Brand’s evolution from its very early beginnings, through decades of innovation and style, right on up to it’s most modern and stunning EV’s …maybe the best looking EV’s designed to date?

Concours Enthusiasm…

The enthusiasm at Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance among the Vehicle Owners, Spectators, Judges and Show Exec’s, when it comes to attire, is unmatched in the world of Auto Shows. It adds flare and style to the overall atmosphere of theEvent and gives the day that little something extra – once again making Concours such a unique experience overall…

Speaking of Overall…

To come away with a memorable experience here, you don’t have to be an exclusive “car nut”, the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, has a little something in it for just about everyone… from History Buff’s to Car Restorers, Collectors and Hobbyists (of any discipline, from toys to the real thing), Mechanical Engineers to Fashionista’s, Hot Rod Enthusiasts, Graphic Designers, Custom and Muscle Car Fans, vintage Racing Fans, to those who appreciate Fine Art & Design, it’s all here… so for or anyone looking to get out and experience something a little bit different, this is the Show for you.

From exquisite cars and motorbikes, to ruthless judging and a deserving awards ceremony, a day at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is a day you won’t soon forget… not to mention it’s a Photographer’s dream day out… #CobbleBeachConcours | #CobbleBeachConcoursdElegance

Not everyone can enjoy the Show from a helicopter, but for those who can… this Bud’s for you!

The Grand Finale…

By the end of the day, there’s nothing left but the Ceremony to reward the vehicle owners with their various Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance Awards & Trophy’s… that were all well earned throughout the day’s rigorous judging process – which in the end, always results in nothing but smiles for miles on the faces of everyone rolling across the Winner’s Podium.

In Conclusion…

To write about every single car and everything that happens in a day at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance would be quite frankly ‘near impossible’, Mustard Report urges you to simply come out and see this grande spectacle for yourself, it will not disappoint. Check their website for the different events, their times and other show details – and plan your visit accordingly.

Thank you once again Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance for affording Mustard Report the opportunity to be a part of your Great Event, looking forward to seeing you again 09/15/24 (if not before!).