For the 23rd year the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance gathered an eclectic collection of cars and motorcycles on the idyllic grounds of the Hunt Club. CGC‘s Maureen & Mike Matune present highlights.
Ranging in age from Gerd Opderbeck’s 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen replica to Daniel Piazza’s 2004 Porsche Carrera GT, they circled the globe in their country of origin. Each displayed some unique styling or engineering features to make them stand apart at the CONCOURS: 100 MOTOR CARS OF RADNOR HUNT!
What’s hairier than a 427 Cobra? Well, consider a Motion Performance built and dyno tuned real 427 Cobra purchased at Larsen Ford, White Plains, NY and brought to Motion when brand new. Its original owner, Clem Hoppe, wanted nothing more than an NHRA national record, and that’s exactly what Motion’s Joel Rosen gave him. After modifications, Rosen dyno tuned the King Cobra, left, drove it to ATCO Dragway for an NHRA Record Meet, changed tires and plugs, set the AA/SP record at 133 mph in 10.30 seconds, changed to street plugs, put the slicks in the shop’s support vehicle and drove back to Long Island, NY! More than a decade ago, the King Cobra was discovered in a barn after many years of storage. It was restored to its original, including Motion livery. Today the car is lovingly cared for in the Irwin Kroiz collection of rare Corvettes, Musclecars and drag cars. Joel Rosen dyno tuning the King Cobra prior to setting the NHRA record photo from CGC Editor Marty Schorr’s Motion archives.
Proudly taking home the (automotive) People’s Choice award was Chris & Doug Dressler’s ‘56 Dodge Custom Royal D-500. Finished in an eye-popping combination of Black over Garnet Metallic over Oriental Coral, it captured the spectators’ fancy. Under hood is a 260 horsepower Hemi.
The Carrera RS/RSR styling has been cloned, copied and adapted so many times, it is difficult to remember exactly where it all started. C. Mather’s ‘73 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring reminds us of that model’s origins as a lightweight Porsche. Originally designed for the race track, it was domesticated with a more upscale interior resulting in the Touring version.
You can bet Jerry Parnes was experiencing the jitters as the judges inspected his ‘56 Packard Caribbean convertible. The most deluxe Packard produced that year, the Caribbean offered the well heeled both power and grace. The judges must have liked what they saw as the Caribbean left with the Debutante Radnor Award.
Radnor Hunt has become a very important motorcycle concours. Those on display range from early-mechanized bicycles all the way up to the latest Superbikes. This year saw the inclusion of three Crocker motorcycles. These were the fastest motorcycles of their time. Built in Los Angeles, they were produced in limited quantities. Today less than half of those built still exist. David Markel showed this ‘37 Crocker “Small Tank” and left with Best of Show among the motorcycles entered.
Franklins were built in Syracuse, NY. Their claim to fame was its air-cooled engines, making them lightweight yet dependable and sturdy. Debbie & Bob Cornman’s ‘31 Model 153 Sportsman Coupe was bodied by Derham.
The Simeone Foundation Museum displayed their ‘70 Porsche 917 LH (4.9). That year Porsche achieved its first overall victory at Le Mans. This car was sponsored by Martini International, was driven by Larrousee/Kauhsen and finished second. The Simeone is a great place to visit. Its location is off I95 in the vicinity of the Philadelphia (PA) airport. For more information check out https://www.simeonemuseum.org/
With a simple check of a box on the order form, a Corvette can become everything from a sedate boulevard cruiser to a fire-breathing Supercar. Diane & Don Meluzio’s ‘67 Sting Ray is on the fire breathing side of the scale thanks to its tri-power 427/435 big-block. Optional side pipes and bolt-on aluminum wheels, plus a Stinger hood help reinforce the image of serious performance. It took home a Hagerty Junior Judges’ Award, proving that high performance may just have a future!
Who built the first minivan is open to conjecture, but Fiat is certainly in the running for that honor with its 600 Multipla. It carried the chassis and mechanicals of Fiat’s 600, but with revised bodywork capable of seating six. Built from 1956 to 1969, they were ubiquitous throughout Italy as both commercial vehicles and family haulers. Matt Ligotti owns this 1963 example that made its show debut at Radnor Hunt.
The Simeone Foundation Museum’s ‘33 Alfa 8C2300 Monza won this year’s Best Of Show Sport award. The car’s history is remarkable having achieved a second place finish in the 1933 Mille Miglia. This honor was attained despite the fact the car suffered significant fire damage the night before the race. It took legions of workers to make it ready for the start the next day.
Taking home Best Of Show was Joannie & Michael Rich’s ‘27 Mercedes Model K Fleetwood Roadster. Built on a shortened chassis and powered by a 165 horsepower straight six, it features bodywork by American coachbuilder Fleetwood. The green and polished aluminum is even more impressive in person. The Richs restored the car to its original configuration after their acquisition about a year ago.
CONCOURS: 100 MOTOR CARS OF RADNOR HUNT! Words & Photos: Maureen & Mike Matune.
Our thanks to Mike Tillson, Andrew Goodman, Tobey Ross and Mike Whelan for the many courtesies showed us during the Concours. The 2020 Show is scheduled for September 13, preceded by two days of automotive events in the area. Make plans to attend; you won’t be disappointed.
For more information about CONCOURS: 100 MOTOR CARS OF RADNOR HUNT! please visit https://radnorconcours.org/event-details/