The Arizona Concours d’Elegance returned to the Arizona Biltmore resort for its fourth consecutive year. Our team was on hand to cover the event, which took place on Sunday, January 24th, 2016. We would like to thank the Arizona Concours staff for giving us the opportunity to cover this wonderful show once again.
I have to say that having attended all of the previous events, the fourth annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance was the best yet! What began as a one-day show has now grown into a three-day event featuring panel discussions and special celebrity appearances.
Of course, one must also not forget about the cars! This year’s show featured 99 different vehicles representing all eras of automotive history, from an 1896 Benz Velo to a 1972 Ferrari. There were 16 different classes of vehicles, with a special class featuring the work of Carrozzeria Zagato, the famous Italian coachbuilder and design house founded in 1919.
The star of the show was this 1935 Duesenberg SJ, which features a supercharged straight-8 engine and a custom exhaust that sweeps the full length of the car. Known as the “Mormon Meteor,” this car set the 24-hour record with an average speed of 135.47 mph. It won the Best of Show Award at the 2016 Arizona Concours.
One of my favorite cars at the show was the 1948 Daimler DE36 Drop Head. It is one of just seven convertibles built between 1948 and 1953, and one of three remaining. The car’s proportions are absolutely massive: over 20 feet long, over 80 inches wide, and it weighs in at more than three tons! I love the sweeping body lines and elegant use of chrome.
The Arizona Concours is more than just a competition of fine automobiles – it is also a fundraising event that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. One of this year’s special guests was competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. Mr. Phelps took some time to talk about his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which seeks to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. At the 2015 event, the Concours raised more than $70,000 for the Foundation!
The Arizona Concours d’Elegance also honored the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, with appearances and autograph sessions featuring three former drivers. A special treat was the display of the famous Borg-Warner Trophy, which has been presented to the winning team every year since 1936. The trophy is made of sterling silver and stands 64″ tall, weighs 153 lbs, and is valued at $1.3 million dollars.
With so much to offer, the Arizona Concours is a “must-see” event during Arizona’s Car Week, which takes place every year in January when the various collector car auctions come to town. We look forward to bringing you more coverage of the Arizona Concours and other fine events in the future!