Report and photos by Dennis Gray
The Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance 2010 was held Sunday, May 16th at the Marin County Fairgrounds in California. The second annual event saw a strong and diverse field of more than 200 American and European sports and race cars, hot rods, commercial vehicles and wooden boats artfully brought together by John Nirenstien and his team.
The Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance awarded Best of Show – Concours d’Elegance to the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster of Aaron Weiss, while Vijay Mallya’s 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder won Best of Show – Concours de Sport. In addition to the 550, the featured marque Porsche was well-represented with a 917, 906 coupe, 911R and 911 RSR, among others.
Bruce Canepa brought two of his Porsches to the show, the 1969 917K that won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1970 with Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen behind the wheel and the 1974 911 RSR that won its class and finished 5th overall at Le Mans in 1975 driven by John Fitzpatrick and Gijs Van Lennep. Both cars are loaded with the wonderful patina of being used and raced in current events. No trailer queens these two.
For those of us that grew up not only reading Sports Car Illustrated and Road & Track, but also Hot Rod, the eight hot rods on display were a real treat. Having only read about the SoCal Special, it was great seeing it in person. Taking one look at the Mercury flathead, with Zora Arkus Duntov’s Ardun heads and the crank shaft-driven 4-71 GMC blower, one can only imagine what it was like sitting behind this piece of art at Bonneville speeds.
Another hot rod was Ak Miller’s 1953 El Caballo de Hierro “The Iron Horse,” built on a 1927 Model T body and a truck frame. Powered by a 1951 340ci Oldsmobile V8 engine, Ak and co-driver Doug Harrison finished eighth in the large bore sports racing class at the 1953 Carrera Panamericana road race. The following year Ak and Doug finished fifth in class and seventh overall, averaging 94.1 mph over 1,921 miles of Mexican highways.
Among European entries, Tom Price brought his 1936 Alta six wheel Grand Prix car, Peter Read arrived in style in his Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, while brother Stephen Read came with his five-speed Maserati 300S. In the same group as the Maserati was David Love’s Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Another race car with real patina, David has owned and raced this car for over forty four years. If you have been to the Monterey Historics, Wine Country Classic or a CSRG or HMSA vintage car racing event, you have probably seen this car and David in action.
Italian car enthusiasts also enjoyed Dick DeLuna’s 1947 Nardi-Danese Corsa Spider. Powered by an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 engine, chassis 948-5 is one of two that competed in the 1948 and 1949 Mille Miglia and Targa Florio races. With three side draft Webers and two period helmets sitting on the seats, the Nardi-Danese was a show of its own.
Now to something captivating – the 1929 26’ Hacker Dolphin Jr. “Steinway” wooden runabout boat. Powered by a 678 cubic inch six-cylinder engine making 220HP, Steinway can hit 45 mph on the open waters. It carries a hull of Honduran Mahogany and a cockpit of green leather.
Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)
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[Source: Dennis Gray]