CASTLE HILL CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE
August 20, 1999
The 5th Annual Castle Hill Concours d'Elegance A Scene from a Hollywood Extravaganza
Ipswich, Massachusetts: Time Machine: In a scene seemed lifted from a Hollywood Extravaganza, Bugattis, Duesenbergs, Packards, Pierce Arrows, Mercedes Benz's and other great classics gathered on the Estate's lawn. Men in Panama hats and women in period dresses strolled among the hundreds of vehicles, as a Jazz Band played. Blankets behind the cars were spread with packed picnic hampers and chilling champagne. The time machine that enabled us to visit this elegant roaring-20s style party was last year's Castle Hill Concours d' Elegance. This year's trip to the past is scheduled for Sunday, September 19 at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If a Concours' location is important, and it is, the Castle Hill Concours d'Elegance has a world-class setting. The Great House sits on top of Castle Hill and the Grand Allee, a half-mile swath of tree lined lawn, sweeps from it to the ocean below. The property offers many fantastic views. The Concours is held on the upper portion of the Grand Allee. Here you can see the creme-de-la-creme of the Classic car world and hobnob with their owners. David Letterman has entered cars in the past, as has Luigi Chinetti, Jr. The opportunity to mingle with rare automotive gems would seem enough excitement for the day. However, Castle Hill encompasses three car meets in one. In the Estate's courtyard, the BMW Club holds its own car show. Here you find representative examples from BMW's historic past. Everything from motorcycles and "bubble-cars" to BMW powered racing machines. The backdrop of The Great House, the cars, and the stone covered courtyard makes a photogenic combination. On the lower Allee is a bring-what-you-drive special interest car show. This ecliptic assemblage of several hundred cars offers many surprises. One can find a Lotus 7 parked next to winged Dodger HEMI Super Bird or a long-tail racing Porsche sitting along side a Model T Ford. Because of the ebb and flow of this section it would be nearly impossible to view every vehicle, although, the hard-core enthusiasts make a valiant effort to do so. The Concours' spotlight this year will be focused on the year 1949. The Trustees of Reservations will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bequest of Castle Hill to The Trustees. It is a National Historic Landmark and national treasure, which is only improving with age. To further the celebration, the Concours is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Post-war Renaissance in American Automobile Design (1949). The immediate post-war offerings were mostly mildly revamped pre-war designs. However, by 1949 Americana's Post-WWII exuberance was influencing American automotive designs. A comparative exhibit of 1948 and 1949 automobiles will be on display. Also, because one of the major sponsors of the event is the Vintage Sports Car Club of America, there will be racing cars on exhibit including a heavily campaigned Ford GT 40 racing car. Even it you do not know the difference between a Bugatti and a Buick you should have a pleasant outing. As mentioned, the views and cars are a photographer's delight and tours of The Crane Estate will be held throughout the day. Also, there are picnic areas and you will find a variety of food vendors in the Estate's restored Italian Garden. The 1999 Castle Hill Concours d'Elegance will be held on Sunday, September 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The price for this pass to the past is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Tickets will be available the day of the event or by calling The Trustees of Reservations at 978-356-4351. This event has sold out in previous years. BMW, Road and Track Magazine sponsor the Concours. The event is organized by the Vintage Sports Car Club of America and The Trustees of Reservations, a member-supported nonprofit Massachusetts conservation organization. Proceeds are to benefit The Trustees of Reservations. Given the increased popularity of this event, off-site parking and free shuttle service will be provided to improve traffic flow and expedite the arrival and departure of visitors. Please visit The Trustees' and Castle Hill Concours' website at www.thetrustees.org/concours.