I attended my first Art of the Car Concours June 22 and 23 this year. The weekend started with a mini exhibit on the Country Club Plaza on a blocked off street with 25 concours entrants.
The afternoon had an appearance of Sir Stirling Moss, Denise McCluggage and Kansas City local Riddel Gregory, older brother of Masten Gregory. The appearance was scheduled for 1 1/2 hours but ran over 2 hours with the guest speakers discussing their legendary racing careers as well as fielding questions from the over 400 in attendance.
This appearance was the highlight of the weekend for me as Stirling Moss captured my attention in the 1960 formula one season withoutstanding driving displays in winning the Monte Carlo and German Grand Prix's in a underpowered privateer entry competing against the factoty teams.
Denise McCluggage was one of the first pro female racers if not the first. She was also a sports editor for the New York Times, a huge achievement for a woman at the time, and one of the founders of Competition Press which later became Autoweek.
Riddel Gregory was Masten Gregory's older brother as well as an accomplished racer on his own, but never achieved a pro career. Their discussion of American sports car racing in the 1950's and 1960's was well received by all in attendance.
The Concours was held on Sunday on the campus of the Kansas City Art Institute in a great settng in a valley surrounded by the georgous buildings on the grass of a small valley with large trees supplying shade and a marvelois setting for the over 200 entries.
One of the stars of the show was the 1965 LeMans winning Ferrari that was driven by hometown favorite Masten Gregory along with co-driver Jochen Rindt. This was the actual car that won the last time that Ferrari won overall at Lemans. Definitely not a garage queen, the car still had windshield scrapes and pits ias well as the bodywork showed the result of 24 hours of racing.
This example of racing history was on loan from the Indianapolis Speedway Museum, also sent from the same museum was a lovely Typo 60 Birdcage Maserati that Stirling Moss raced at the Sebring 12 hour race.
Entrants were not limited to historic racing cars. The Concours winner was an Auburn Boat-tail Speedster, a beatiful Meredes Benz 300 SL Gull Wing Coupe, a 1939 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, 3 other Ferrari's, and a well rounded supply of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles. This concours did not have a judging committee, but the attendees received a ballot to vote for their favorite car and motorcycle to select the winners.
The Art of the Car Concours is an annual fund raiser for the Kansas City Art Institute and will drfinitely be on my schedule in the future.