Iron-Clad Concours

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Interactive activities set apart Ironstone

By Michael Lamm

 Eight of the century-old race cars in which Ironstone concours spectators could play “mechanician.” (Ron Kimball Studios image)

Eight of the century-old race cars in which Ironstone concours spectators could play “mechanician.” (Ron Kimball Studios image)

This year’s Ironstone Concours d’Elegance took place on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Ironstone Winery just outside the gold-rush town of Murphys, Calif. This was the biggest show in the event’s 22-year history. Not only were there 360 antique and classic cars and trucks on display, but special exhibits included 16 vintage motorcycles, 16 elderly house trailers, a handful of newer exotic cars plus nine period farm tractors — an awesome and appealing 401 entries in all.

 The Most Elegant Closed Car award went to this 1931 Packard Dietrich Sport Sedan. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

The Most Elegant Closed Car award went to this 1931 Packard Dietrich Sport Sedan. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

Spectators could also take joyrides on the winery’s lake in one example from a fleet of Amphicars. One Amphicar sprang a leak, but made it to shore before anyone became seriously wet.

Spectators could also participate as “riding mechanicians” in one of nine century-old race cars, including the 1911 National that finished seventh at the Indy 500. The Ironstone racers roared around a dirt track specially built on the property, and 80 lucky “mechanicians” received rides in two sessions. Some even stayed after their rides were over so they could watch the drivers continue to race and drift for 10 more laps. The driver/owners loved these additional laps, because they usually have to run on asphalt, not on dirt and never so freely.

 The spirited race cars with their drivers and “mechanicians” at turn one of the dirt track. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

The spirited race cars with their drivers and “mechanicians” at turn one of the dirt track. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

Showgoers were likewise treated to a Model T TakeApart, a demonstration in which a bevy of technicians in vintage-style white overalls took a Model T speedster totally apart and put it back together in about nine minutes. The morning TakeApart proved so popular that it was repeated in the afternoon.

On the Friday before the concours, 25 cars participated in a gold-rush tour. The tour wended its way through the historic California foothills toward New Melones Lake. Here, the 60 participants boarded two large cruise boats and were served a catered meal on the water. After a leisurely lunch, they returned to the Ironstone Vineyards site where the traditional Friday evening Cars & Stars dinner quickly sold out. The 450 dinner guests pledged more money for Ironstone’s young beneficiaries than ever before. (The Ironstone Concours d’Elegance raises funds for Future Farmers of America, 4-H and California State Fair scholarships.) In the past, the Ironstone Concours Foundation has contributed more than $750,000 to these causes.

 A fleet of Amphicars were on hand to provide rides to Ironstone concours spectators. (Carl Madson image)

A fleet of Amphicars were on hand to provide rides to Ironstone concours spectators. (Carl Madson image)

A crowd estimated at 3,000 people enjoyed Ironstone’s varied displays, demonstrations and activities. The day’s award ceremonies resulted in trophies and ribbons being given to numerous owners and cars. Best of Show went to the 1928 Isotta-Fraschini 8A Castagna-bodied cabriolet owned by the Stephens Family. Most Elegant Open Car was awarded to the 1913 Stevens Duryea C6 touring owned by Whitney & Diane Haist while Most Elegant Closed Car went to the 1931 Packard 845 Dietrich Sport Sedan owned by Bob & Jeannie Hilarides.

 The concours included a class of rare Nash-Healeys. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

The concours included a class of rare Nash-Healeys. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

 Best of Show went to this 1928 Isotta-Fraschini 8A cabriolet. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

Best of Show went to this 1928 Isotta-Fraschini 8A cabriolet. (Ron Kimball Studios image)

Learn more about next year’s event by contacting the Ironstone Concours Foundation.

Ironstone Concours Foundation
5490 Bear Creek Rd.
Lodi, CA 95240
www.ironstoneconcours.org
209-931-0782

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