The 2007 Concours
Sunday September 23, 2007: the fifth annual Concours d'Elegance on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City. Again at the same splendid location and the same week as last year. The weather was great again, clear skies and temperature in the high-seventies. As usual, it was one of the finest car shows in this part of the country. Access was much improved as the public parking lot just across the street from the entrance to the grounds was open.
I heard that the show was limited to 150 cars this year. I really find that hard to understand as it looks to me that the site could handle twice that many without much strain. This year, like last, there were even more cars that were notably missing. The CCCA Classics were particularly AWOL with probably no more than half the number entered last year. None of the "Big Black" cars were present. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren that was entered last year but delivered too late to make the show was finally here this time. The Judging Classes this year were:
- Brass Era 1886-1915
- Classics (CCCA)
- Antique (non-classic) Pre-1950
- Original Pre-1970
- American Production 1951-1969
- American Sports
- European Sports
- American Muscle
- Race Cars
- Street Rods
I don't think there was a featured class or Marque this year but there was a rather large contingent of Jaguars. I'm not sure what the cause was but the local Jag club was asked to try for 10 additional older cars about two weeks before the show. Anyway, I have separated them for my photo pages although they were not judged separately.
The "back lawn" of the Governor's Mansion is an ideal location for a concours. I know I said that last year but it deserves repeating. It really is a spectacular venue, nearly all grass with a small paved pavillion and a few paved walkways. The fenced grounds are surrounded by trees and are meticulously kept. Of course, the security is exemplary. It could easily handle an additional hundred cars without crowding so I do hope they don't restrain it to a smaller number. As an added benefit to the beautiful location, I had the good fortune of meeting and shaking hands with Oklahoma's First Lady while standing in the shade of some trees and reviewing the European Sports class.
The spectator crowd definately appeared smaller this year. It is a charity event and hopes to eventually earn more than it costs. Efforts to do so may have cost in attendance this year. Unlike previous years, there was very limited advance advertising. You almost had to be looking for the event to find it. Also, I believe they raised the general admission price which may have reduced general public interest. I suspect it might be more productive to court corporate sponsorship, including in-kind donations such as advertising, more and keep the public interest up. The gate take should probably be a small part of income for such an event. It is a great oportunity for the public to see some history that they rarely get to experience. Well, that's my opinion for what it's worth.
Like previous years, this is just a small sampling of what was there but still only so much time can be devoted to a hobby web page. Sorry if I didn't show what you were interested in but I took pictures mostly of what interested me. This year, I judged the American Sports class instead of the European Sports. While judging, there was no time for photography. After, I guess I forgot to go back and get a few photos of some really nicely restored cars. I did catch a few of the '55 Thunderbird that we judged Best In Class but I'm afraid nothing else. I'll try to do better next year. These are the groups I photographed. Each group has a separate page. Click any link to open the corresponding page.