WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — (May 8, 2023): The 2023 Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance Best of Show trophy, created on property at America’s Resort by the glass artists at Lamp Light Glass Art at The Greenbrier, went to Richard Harding and his incredible 1928 Auburn 8-115 Speedster, wrapping up a fantastic weekend and the sixth year of what has become one of the most anticipated automotive events of the year.
One of the iconic automobiles of the 1920s, the bright green Speedster was built by the Auburn Automotive Company in Auburn, Indiana. Designed by Alan Leamy to draw customers into the showroom, the cars featured a raked windshield, doors and hood louvres, all to give the impression of speed, along with the famous “boat tail” rear end. This Auburn was found by Harding’s father resting in a field of weeds in New Paris, Ohio, in 1992. He spent many years working on it and searching for parts. After his father’s death, Harding began a frame-off restoration, completing all the work himself, with the exception of paint and upholstery.
“First, I thought of my dad,” said Harding of his reaction to hearing his named called for the day’s top award. “He would be surprised. We had never had an opportunity to show a car here before for one reason or another, but the facility is just fantastic. I had never been to a resort like this. It’s just unbelievable. I would encourage anybody to come here for a visit. It was an honor just to be here.”
Harding’s eye-catching Auburn wasn’t the only big winner on Sunday. Class champions were named in each of the 11 classes that were showcased on the picturesque show field, surrounding the iconic front entrance at The Greenbrier.
“We had some incredible cars and there was such a wide variety that our judges had to consider,” said Phil Neff, Chief Judge, The Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance. “Their jobs are never easy, because of the quality of the cars in the field, but I’m proud of the job they did. We have an amazing team.”
Class winners, who received Best in Class awards hand blown at The Greenbrier by the craftsman at Lamp Light Glass Art, included:
Personal Luxury: 1965 ISO Rivolta GT (John Gailey; Malvern, Pennsylvania)
Foreign Sports Cars (Closed): 1963 Porsche Carrera 2 Coupe (Thomas Zarella; Gloucester, Massachusetts)
Foreign Sports Cars (Open): 1970 Porsche 911E Targa (Brad Shisler; Columbus, Ohio)
Race Cars: 1957 Ferrari 250 FT LWB (Frederick Fischer; Wildwood, Missouri)
Pre-War Cars: 1912 Cadillac Torpedo (Jim Elliot; Yorktown, Virginia)
Motorcycles: 1971 Honda SL350 (James Gannon; Hico, West Virginia)
Post-War Convertibles: 1967 Pontiac 2+2 Convertible (Richard Larabee; Farmington Hills, Michigan)
Muscle Cars: 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible (Steven Race; Cumming, Georgia)
Classics: 1929 Dusenberg Model J Roadster by Murphy (Dwight Schaubach; Carrollton, Virginia)
Packards (Open): 1923 Packard 126 Single Six Runabout (Dwight Schaubach; Carrollton, Virginia)
Packards (Closed): 1938 Packard 1608 Twelve Town Car by Rollston (Bob Tiffin; Red Bay, Alabama)
In addition to the class awards, 12 special awards were presented at the trophy ceremony, and the winners received hand-crafted trophies made by the carpenters at The Greenbrier. The awards featured the iconic Springhouse, which has been a symbol of America’s Resort for centuries. The winners included:
People’s Choice: 1959 BMW 600 (David Lowen; Roanoke, Virginia)
Chief Judge’s Award (Selected by Phil Neff): 1958 BMW 507 (Thomas Pesikey; Wilmington, Delaware)
Duke of Windsor Award (Most Elegant Closed Car): 1938 Packard 1604 Super Eight Coupe by Mayfair (Ralph Marano; Garwood, New Jersey)
Princess Grace Award (Most Elegant Open Car): 1940 Packard 180 Custom Super Eight Darrin (Greg Ornazian; Rochester Hills, Michigan)
Dorothy Draper Award (Most Stylish Interior): 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille (Jared Aiello; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Sam Snead Award (Best Country Club Car): 1956 Continental Mark II (John Keesee; York, Pennsylvania)
Eisenhower Award (Best Cold War Era Car): 1946 Packard Custom Super Clipper LWB Sedan by Henney (Don Wood; Johnson City, Tennessee)
Artist’s Award: 1948 Jaguar Mark IV 3.5-Litre Drophead Coupe (Roger Crawford; Tallahassee, Florida)
Most Historically Significant Road Car: 1973 Jaguar XKE Convertible (Ralph McGee; Concord, North Carolina)
Most Historically Significant Sports or Race Car: 1979 Spirit/AMX (Michael Weaver; Joppa, Maryland)
AACA “Spirit of the Hobby” Award: Entire Motorcycle Class (James Gannon; Hico, West Virginia)
Bill Davis Memorial Award (Best Car from West Virginia): 1951 DeSoto Custom Convertible (Timothy Holbert; Bridgeport, West Virginia)
Sunday’s Concours was the culmination of a weekend filled with events for car owners and enthusiasts from across the country.
On Friday, The Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance, presented by Ferrari of Washington, started its engine with The Summit Drive, which took car enthusiasts to the Members Lodge at The Greenbrier Sporting Club for breakfast. Following the mouthwatering meal, the cars of all eras and varieties embarked on a drive through mountain roads to Sandstone Falls and then through Monroe County, West Virginia with a stop at the popular Cheese N’ More Store. The drivers enjoyed amazing food, fantastic mountain roads, unmatched views and plenty of sunshine and fellowship during the spirited drive.
That evening’s Welcome Reception, sponsored by Bentley Washington, D.C., at the outdoor pool gave sponsors, owners, judges and concours organizers a chance to come together and learn more about each other and the weekend. Entertainment was provided by The Greenbrier Springhouse Entertainers, courtesy of Berglund Automotive.
Saturday began with Cars & Cocktails, presented by Ole Smoky Distillery, which featured cars of all ages and types displayed in front of the iconic golf clubhouse at The Greenbrier and around the Springhouse. Spectators enjoyed the show, as well as the ride and drive events presented by Ferrari of Washington. A large gathering from Malaise Motors helped add to the festive feel and the impressive number of participants.
Saturday afternoon included an automotive seminar on the history and tradition of the featured class for 2023, Packard, and the evening concluded with a Charitable Dinner, which raised funds to support three charitable partners — West Virginia Autism Training Center, AACA Library and Research Center and First Responders Children’s Foundation.
All those events served as appetizers for the main course on Sunday, as the finest collector cars in the world were judged by Neff and his qualified team of concours judges. The featured Packard class was so popular that it was divided into two classes, open and closed.
“We had a little rain in the afternoon, but it did little to dampen the spirits of the car owners and enthusiasts who came out to see the show,” said Cam Huffman, a member of The Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance Steering Committee. “It was an amazing weekend from start to finish, and we’re so proud of the experience that we’ve created for everyone involved over the last six years. Now, the focus turns to making next year even better.”
Plans have already begun for The 2024 Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance. The featured class, “Transportation Workhorses: Light Trucks and Utility Vehicles That Moved the World,” will be just one of the major attractions for next year’s event, which will be held May 3-5. Registration is already open for the Sunday Concours at GreenbrierConcours.com.
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