The Ault Park Concours d'Elegance is always a "must attend" event and the 2012 edition reinforced that status with another outstanding display of the finest automobiles, motorcycles, and art.  The selection of machinery this year achieved a new plateau for variety and quality as over 200 vehicles were arranged throughout the grounds of the park, each a potential class winner here and past champion at other shows.


My Concours experience always starts at O Too Dang Early in the morning with the Marge-Unit and I arriving about 6 am to park the show cars on the show field with our friends Susan and Keith Gregory.  The experience of being in the gardens as the sun rises, the dew burns away, the cars and people filter in, turning the park into a thriving showcase of mechanical beauty as well as natural beauty is very ethereal and exciting.

As much discussion is made of when the coffee will be available as what type of car is coming up the hill; the pre-war (World War II) cars have striking similarities whether they be American or European-good badge recognition is an essential skill at this time and is greatly enhanced once the coffee starts flowing.  Steve Reubel is busy parking the Contemporary Sports Cars in the same garden which gives me the opportunity to see some very exotic iron (or alloy) roll past my position.  It is a great way to start a day filled with old friends and the world's most exotic cars and machinery.

People drive the Concours and a hearty band of volunteers steps up every year to make this world class event better than the last year.  The Car Selection committee, lead by Fred Jones, has a web of contacts throughout the car world that manages to deliver the finest quality cars available to any Concours d'Elegance in North America.  The car selection group are walking encyclopedias about the cars they recruit for the display, details about makes models and individual cars are thick in the discussion of which cars will make the cut and be accepted into the show.  At the Ault Park Concours the quality of the vehicle, authenticity in the components and history along with the craftsmanship in the assembly are the paramount factors in being accepted.  The committee members attend shows and events across the continent in search of the finest examples.

A look at the hometowns of participants is dotted with locations such as Montreal Canada, West Orange NJ, Sebring Florida and Montgomery Texas along with West Chester Ohio, Burlington KY, and Milford.  Enticing car owners from halfway across the country to attend a charity car show in Cincy where the reward is a good time and a trophy says a lot about the reputation for quality this local gem has established nationally and internationally.

American Power was the theme this year with a special display of wooden boats and a celebration of Morris Garages MG-the iconic British manufacturer of sports cars.  This may have been the largest display of American Classics anywhere. Included were brass era cars such as Peerless, Lozier, Mercer; spectacular V-12s, V-16s and supercharged cars of the twenties and thirties built by Duesenberg, Packard, Stutz; Post-War Power like the 57 Chevy Bel-Air "Fuelie" and a 63 Dodge Polara 426 Max-Wedge; Muscle Cars-Mustang GT 350, Olds 442, Road Runner and Retro Muscle with Shelby GT 500, Camaro and Challenger SRT8 Hemi.   Seeing this display represented nirvana for serious car enthusiasts, it was fabulous.

The wooden boats set the scene as you first arrived along with European Auto Specialists and Porsche of the Village/Maserati of Cincinnati; Porsches, Maseratis and Wooden Boats-that's a warm welcome to any event!  The art show in the pavilion features imagination and execution by some of the country's leading automotive artists including Dave Snyder of Milford.  Sponsored by Krumbholz Jewelers the art show helps keep the event in touch with its history as a "Concourse of Elegance."

Over twenty motorcycles were in the display sponsored by Beverly Corsmeier of CBWS and included a Flying Squirrel, AJS and Ariel Square Four.  The American Power theme brought in a selection of Indian Motorcycles, both V-Twin and Four Cylinders.  This display adds spice to the show every year.

While the American Power was front and center this year the foreign cars offered many interesting models; Tom Isgrig was seen driving his Mercedes Benz 300 Convertible D to the awards stage.  In future classics Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Bentley, Atom, BMW, Aston Martin and McLaren were the marques on display; a dizzying array of the latest engineering and style.  I picked the McLaren to be the frontrunner until I saw the Audi TT RS Coupe, a rare and specially optioned car secured by Beechmont Audi for local Clothier David Hall; in the end the Aston Martin came through the judging process as the winner.

On the Sports Car Field were some spectacular and rare examples of the finest engineering endeavors by car makers from around the world.  The special display of MGs featured a race winning 1934 MG NA Evans-Wilkinson Special entered by long time supporter Brenda Benzar, a YA Saloon and a Metro R64 Group B Rally Car along with the T-Series cars and envelope bodied late models.  The Best of Class went to Reed & Jan Tarwater and their 1933 J2 Roadster that is absolutely gorgeous and the benchmark for all J2s; Best British Car Award went to Tom Metcalf's 1935 NB Magnette Two Seater while Lee Jacobson's 1938 SA Tickford Foursome took the Best Style Award.  Considering these cars won over the rest of the field is a tremendous accomplishment with cars like Emmanual Lochios' 1935 PA Airline Coupe, Rick Grant's 54 Arnolt MG with Bertone coachwork, two stunning TCs and an MGA Twin Cam Coupe were also on the field.  This was a striking display that would not have graced Ault Park without the efforts of Reed Tarwater, he recruited the bulk of the entrants and persuaded some entrants to abandon other events to attend; another MG will soon roll out of the Tarwater Garage, we hope they will bring it to Ault Park in the near future for our enjoyment.

The Contemporary Sports Car group featured a stunning Bizzarini 5300 Spyder S.I., luscious Italian style with American V-8 power is a tough combination to beat.  A 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5 owned by Fred Stadler of Columbus Indiana garnered the Ron Halbauer Award.  The new Best of Show award for the sports cars, the Espirit d'Sport was captured by Tim & Peg Mathile's 1969 Lamborghini Muira S, a car I appreciate more each time I see it.  Corvette, Jaguar, Aston-Martin, Triumph, Sunbeam Tiger and an original 289 Cobra in honor of Carroll Shelby made the display in Sports Contemporary a memorable one.

The racing class had a car for every taste-Sprints, Stock Cars, Drag Racers, Formula Junior, Prototype Sports Cars, Grand Touring cars, and an Indy Ferrari.  The Chairman's award went to a 1966 Abarth 1300 OT Periscopio coupe-one of the fascinating designs of the era.  The Bill Rudd Corvette Award went to the 1957 "Airbox" Corvette of Bill Connell and Joel Lauman, this car is a fascinating story of factory attempts to improve the car through racing. The application of the massive engineering capabilities of Corvette Racing and General Motors come to the forefront in this very car with a local history.  Bill Connell has restored this car to its original specifications determined through exhaustive research including interviews with Zora-Arkus-Duntov and Corvette engineers that worked on the "Airbox" project.  Check out the details of the car here 

Two Alfa Romeo GTAs stood out in the field of race cars, brought by Dr. Bernardo Martinez; I saw both these cars race their way to Championships in the early seventies with Horst Kwech winning in the Trans-Am and Dick Davenport winning an SCCA National Championship-Magnifico!  Tom and Connie Jones, the driving force behind the Keeneland Concours, brought their 1957 Elva MkIII sports racer, a most interesting car with DeDion rear suspension and a sweet little Coventry Climax engine.  The racecars always excite me, even more so when Alfas and Elvas are involved!

The holy grail for me are the Classic Sports Cars, Porsche, Austin Healey, Alfa Romeo,
Corvette, Jaguar, Aston Martin and similar nimble and sporty machines.  Four Porsche 356 models ranging from 1953 to 1964 model years showed the development of the model through the years; Jerry Pantis' 1960 Carrera Coupe, restored at the Porsche factory to original build specs took the Howard Rapp best Porsche Award-Thanks to Mr. Stegman for arranging to have this car in the show. Dr. Andy Manganaro's Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Veloce took the William Niemeyer Best Alfa Romeo Award; a stunning black with red interior this is the car that secured Alfa's financial success in the fifties and has carried the company to this day-Bellisimo!  John Knight's 1958 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKIII took the best in class.  One of the most popular cars at the show was a 1951 Crosley Hot Shot, built by the Crosley brothers that also owned the Cincinnati Reds, Crosley Field, WLW and a host of other enterprises.  David Anspach, President of the Crosley Owner's Club, spent the day talking about the car and its Cincy connections; every time I went by he was surrounded by half a dozen people-a great addition to this year's Concours.

Best of Show award went to the 1929 Stutz Model M Lancefield Supercharged Coupe of Richard T. Mitchell of Montgomery Texas.  This is a stunning automobile with performance to match its exotic style, congratulations to Mr. Mitchell and thanks for bringing the car to Ault Park for us to enjoy. 

The 2013 Ault Park Concours d'Elegance will feature Porsche along with the usual groups of Classic and Vintage cars that make up the Premier Car Show in the Cincy area.  Mark your calendars for the second Sunday in June to be at Ault Park for the 36th Annual Concours d'Elegance.

A week after the Ault Park event the Keeneland Concours d'Elegance held their kick-off event, The Maserati Mingle presented by Maserati of Cincinnati.  A casual evening of fine cars, food and drink showcases some of the cars that will be enhancing the already spectacular scenery of the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington Kentucky July 21.  Packard is the Featured Marque at Keeneland in 2012 which will draw the most opulent cars of bygone eras.  Get the details and your tickets at or 859.422.3329.  See you there.

After the successful introduction of the new 911 at Porsche of the Village in February the folks on Plainville Road are gave us the opportunity to get the first look at the freshly redesigned Boxster on Sunday June 24 at noon.  Schedule a test drive with Amanda at 513 271 3200 or through  The Ohio Valley Region conducted a judged show featuring Porsches on Plainville Road in front of the dealership, the eye candy was thick, fast and fabulous with proceeds benefitting One Way Farm in Fairfield.  Eighty Eight Porsches entered the contest with the top cars receiving awards determined by the votes of the other car owners.  Vintage Porsche 356 models came out in droves, the local Drei Staaten Gruppe (for people that like old Porsches) made a very strong showing.  A super job by Mac MacGregor and the group of enthusiasts from the Ohio Valley Region Porsche Club of America to organize this event-bravo!  Another opportunity to see Porsches in Mariemont will be October 7 at the "Rallye Porsches to Mariemont" on the square, mark your calendar for a casual Porsche Party.  Read the details in the July issue of Cincy "” on newsstands now.