CASTLE HILL CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE PRESNTED BY BMW IPSWICH, MASS. SEPT. 24, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2000
"Best-of-Show" at Castle Hill a '29 Rolls-Royce built in New England
IPSWICH, MASS. -- "Why did it win? That's easym its body lines are the prettiest ever on a Rolls-Royce," said John DeCampi of Durham, N.H., as he stood beside his immaculate red 1929 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I, "and even the Rolls-Royce officials say that." The Castle Hill judges also liked what they saw and awarded him top prize "Best of Show" -- in the 6th Annual Castle Hill Concours de'Elegance presented by BMW at the historic Crane Estate on Sunday. "I first drove a Rolls in 1957 while in college, and bought one in 1964," continued DeCampi. Today he owns four classic Rolls-Royce cars and three Bentleys, and is the author of Rolls-Royce in America. The Rolls-Royce plant in which his car was built operated in Springfield, Mass., from 1921-35. "The trophy will probably be displayed at one of the shops involved in the restoration," DeCampi concluded, "but the Brietling watch I won has found a new home right here."
Nearly 100 vintage cars powered by steam, electricity and gasoline, vied for honors under overcast skies. The feature section of the Concours -- "Cars Made in New England" attracted some 20 vehicles built or bodied by area firms during the early days of the auto industry in America. A special display of BMW historics featured their classic 507 alongside the new Z8, which was patterned from its exotic lines. Hundreds of other antiques driven to the Concours by vintage car enthusiasts and their families were displayed on the same landscaped grounds.
"Spirited participation by members of the premier classic car community, plus the steady support of area enthusiasts who bring their own wonderful vehicles to Castle Hill, provide increasing confidence our Concours will grow," added JoAnn Beck, Events Director at Castle Hill. "That growth," she said, "will enhance the Trustees' ability to preserve sites of historical and environmental significance throughout the State."
"BMW merits special recognition," she continued, "for its continuing sponsorship and we sincerely welcome Breitling Watch, the Museum of Transportation, Road & Track magazine and Grundy Insurance, who joined our team this year and donated special awards,"
The Concours judges scanned entrants for beauty and detail, while spectators perused the field and cast ballots for their favorite in the "People's Choice" competition. Award recipients in the various judging categories follow:
* Pre-1912 First -- 1911 Packard Model 30 Imperial Limousine owned by John Jones of Prospect, Conn. Second 1911 White Triple Phaeton Mountain Wagon owned by Rick Hayford of Cape Neddick, Me. This car once transported tourists in Yosemite Park, and is the only one known to exist.
* 1912-1924 First --1913 Cadillac Model 30 Five-Passenger Touring car entered by its second owner, Alfred Acres of Beamsville, Ontario, Can. Before restoration, this car had been altered and served as a fruit delivery truck until 1950. Second -- a one-cylinder 1912 AC Sociable owned by John Moir, Jr. of Chocorua, N.H.
* Classics 1925-30 First -- 1938 Bentley 4.5-Litre L-Type owned by William Bennie of Rye, N.H. This car won gold in the Beijing to Paris Rally in 1997, and completed circumnavigation of the globe this year by driving to Pebble Beach and racing at Laguna Seca. Second --1930 Packard 740 Cabriolet of Mark Hurwitz of Barre, Mass.
* Classics 1931-36 First -- 1934 Packard 1101 Convertible Coupe owned by Robert Woolfitt of Norfolk, Va. Second -- 1931 Packard 840 Convertible Sedan Dietrich owned by Robert Katz of Brighton, Mass. This car, built for the 1931 Chicago Auto Show, was originally owned and driven by King Gustav of Sweden.
* Classics 1937-42 First 1940 Packard 1806 Darrin 180 convertible Victoria owned by John Beebe of Madison, Conn., and believed to have been owned by bandleader Gene Krupa. Second 1940 Cadillac 62 Convertible Coupe owned by James E. Murphy, Jr. of Walpole, N.H.
* Significant Pre WWII First 1937 Chrysler Imperial Convertible Coupe owned by Ted Langmeyer of Framingham, Mass. Second 1941 Packard 110 Hercules Station Wagon owned by Stephen Matlaga of Burlington, N.J.
* Vintage Sports & Racing Pre-War First -- 1923 Bentley 3-Litre Supercharged Special Racer owned by Roberts Reed of North Kingston, R.I. This car was honored as the Most Historically Significant Pre-War car. Second 1937 Kurtis Speedster owned by Daniel LeCroix of North Dighton, Mass. This was also selected by Road & Track magazine as "The Car We'd Most Like To Drive." Raced in California in the late '30s, it reached a top speed of 148 MPH.
* Vintage Sports & Racing Post-War First 1951 Cunningham C2R owned by Peter Hosmer of Rye, N.H. This was Briggs Cunningham's personal racer, and was named Best Original Post War car. Second 1955 MGA EX owned by Gerald J. Goguen of Walpole, N.H. This sole remaining MGA prototype was named Most Historically Significant Post-War car. Both winners in this category were raced at Le Mans.
* Significant Car Pre-1960 First 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental 2-door Sports Saloon owned by Ed Sutherland of Melvin, N.H. When introduced, the R-Type was the fastest 4-seat production car at 118 MPH. Second 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 SC Roadster owned by Stuart Roffman of Concord, Mass.
* Most Original Pre-WWII -- 1936 Packard model 1402 Limousine owned by Michael Vaughn of Gray, Me. This limousine has only 60,000 miles, and continues in regular service as a "wedding car."
* Manufactured or Bodied in New England First 1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout owned by J. F. Duryea of Canton, Mass., grandson of the founder of the first automobile company in America. Second 1912 ALCO 7-passenger Touring Body by Fleetwood owned by Manny Souza of Rehoboth, Mass., who has driven the car for 30 years and never before entered it in competition. The manufacturer, American Locomotive Company of Providence, R.I., boasted it took 19 months to build an ALCO.
* The "People's Choice" award went to a 1934 Packard 1106 Sports Coupe LeBaron owned by Dale Fowler of Pittsfield Mass. The car was custom built for the 1934 New York Auto Show, and is thought to be the first car built with a sunroof.
The Concours is sponsored by BMW of North America and coordinated by the Vintage Sports Car Club of America. The beneficiary of the Concours is The Trustees of Reservations, which offers the spectacular Crane Estate at Castle Hill as the venue for this annual event.