Senior Citizens Concours
August 25 at Thanksgiving Point
It's been six years since this premier concours event has been held al fresco as it was for countless years on the University of Utah campus. That venue became unavailable due to retirement of Randy Turpin, VP of Facilities -- who is a car buff himself -- plus calendar change to semesters with an earlier academic year start date, and of course, perpetual construction at our flagship state university.
For several years the organizers tried a multi-day inside event at South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, but this proved to be expensive and unpopular with car owners. So, in this the 36th edition, the organizers decided to take the small risk on weather and hold it at the Electric Park Fairgrounds at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.
By all measures it was a big success, with over 350 cars on show, including over 90 Corvettes! In fact, the local Corvette owner's club created a spectacular display called Corvette Evolution , which featured a car from every model year in which Corvettes were sold, from 1953 to 2008. Note the qualification on the above statement, since it turns out that no Corvettes were sold in 1983, due to design and production problems. Most impressively, every car in the evolution display was from Utah!
As usual, there was a fine turn out of true classics -- Auburns, Cords, Packards, and even a Hupmobile and a Kissel runabout owned by BMCUer DeWayne Ashmead, which took a first place.
British cars were well represented, with MGs, Jaguars, Loti (plural of Lotus?), Austin Healeys, a DeLorean, and even a Daimler. Strangely enough no Triumphs were spotted -- a fact offered as a challenge to owners of that marque for next year. The local Ferrari club graced the event with a stop on one of their outings -- no doubt a champagne and caviar run -- but did not compete in the concours.
A special feature this year was a display of military vehicles -- some from the National Guard, and some from private collectors. Especially impressive was Sid Horman's Daimler Fernet, which is a small armored assault vehicle carrying one or two brave soldiers. On its display sheet was the annotation "Special Features: Shoots Guns".
Another crowd pleaser was a 1954 GMC TDM-4515 bus, beautifully restored in Salt Lake Coach Lines livery. BMCUers in attendance doffed their hats for the ambition of the owner to undertake a project of that magnitude (and quixoticy -- if that's a word?).
The venue brought memories of Scottish Game shows in past years -- but mercifully sans bagpipes (spoken by a recovering former pipe band member). The weather was sunny and hot, but with a nice breeze to keep down the heat. Those who brought chairs, umbrellas and sunscreen were grateful they did.
Due to the broad draw for this event, the relevant classes for BMCU members lumped entries into Foreign 1954 And Earlier , and Foreign 1955 and Later . First place winner in the earlier class was Art Pasker with his spectacular 1950 Jaguar Mark V Drop Head Coupe, while the later class was won by Jack Elder's flawless XK150 Open Two Seater.
Many BMCU members volunteered for the event, especially in the thankless role of judge.
There is a trophy awarded to the car club with the best representation at the event, which BMCU should consider trying for next year (the Corvette club clearly deserved it this year!). Despite the event's name, there are actually two charitable beneficiaries -- the Salt Lake County Senior Citizens Centers, and the Thanksgiving Point Children's Museum. Committee and BMCU member Ron Gunderson explained the change: rather than charging customary fees for use of Electric Park, Thanksgiving Point partnered 50-50 with the event organizers, which greatly reduced costs and risks, e.g., in the case of inclement weather.
Seen in the crowd were John Progess, J. and Kay Jennings, Clayton Merchant, Art Pasker, Mike Cady, Duane Allred, Jim Revel, Mike Lundquist, Keith Gardner, Ron Gunderson, Larry and Mary Bishop, Rob Green, Bob Green, Jack Elder, and your obedient scribe.
Click here to see photos from the event