Art on Wheels

Concours d’elegance to showcase museum-worthy automobiles

Stuart Sobek was a college student in San Diego when he met the love of his life on a convention floor in Los Angeles.
Her name was Lamborghini. Lamborghini Countach.
She was born in 1982, had a distinctive wedge shape, iconic scissor doors that lifted forward and upward, and purred like a kitten.
For a car lover such as Sobek, this was Tom Cruise saying hello to Rene Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire.”
“It just moved me like nothing else,” he said of his heart going pitter-patter at the LA Auto Show and purchasing the Countach after becoming a successful real estate developer.
It also planted the seed for the Oct. 25-28 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance at which more than 100 classic automobiles will be on display and compete for Best of Show at DragonRidge Country Club in Henderson.
“To get to where I could own this car,
I started working in Silicon Valley, where a lot of these car collectors come from,” said Sobek, a transplanted Las Vegan who will serve as chairman. “I would go into a warehouse and there would be a bunch of cars and I said, ‘Wow, this is amazing. This is what I want to do someday.’ ”

Style meets elegance

Concours d’Elegance is a French term meaning “competition of elegance.”
Its origin dates to the 17th century when aristocrats would parade horse-drawn carriages in Paris parks.
“People dress up and stand by their cars,” said the 59-year-old Sobek, a collector of sublime automobiles for more than three decades. “These are some of the wealthiest people in the world. They’re proud of their cars and want to show them off.”
Imagine Jay Gatsby in a camel-hair suit, Daisy Buchanan in a handkerchief skirt, lace gloves and art deco headband, and the yellow and cream Rolls-Royce of author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s decadent Long Island youth during the roaring 1920s. This is roughly the vibe Sobek is hoping to create around the tee boxes and fairways at DragonRidge.
A concours is considered the automotive equivalent of a fine art museum. It’s like going to the Louvre, only the still lives have engines.
“It’s rolling art,” said Sobek, who attended his first concours in 1987. “I like Picasso, I like van Gogh, I like automobiles, I like to collect rocks from the beach. Everybody has something they like to collect or enjoy.”
But these are no ordinary skipping stones.
Fabulous Ferrari
Consider the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale. The first pure Ferrari road car to feature a three-liter V12 engine was voted Best of Show at June’s Concourse d’Elegance at Chateau de Coppet on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Owned by Kentucky real estate baron Kevin Cogan (not to be confused with the former Indianapolis 500 driver of the same name), it will be one of the showpiece vehicles attracting lustful glances here.
Or Bob Jepson’s immaculate 1938 Mercedes 540K, said to be worth an estimated $12 million. Or a 1933 Lincoln limousine that belonged to the gangster Frank Nitti and was built with reinforced armor, for obvious reasons. Or Rob Hilardes’ 1935 Bojangles Duesenberg, designed by J. Herbert Newport and once owned by Bill Robinson, the acclaimed American tap dancer.
Robinson famously said he could run backward faster than most men could run forward. The same went for his car. Although it can be assumed that ragged
shirts and baggy pants are no longer the wardrobe of choice in the splendidly appointed Bojangles Duesenberg.
“There’s so many,” Sobek said of
the quality of cars to be shown.
“Nicola Bulgari — every lady knows that name from his jewelry — is bringing a Marmon V16. Judge Joseph Cassini, a famous collector from New Jersey, is bringing a 1932 Stutz. Clive Cussler, the famous author, is bringing his 1955 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz — he loves cars with fins.
“We’ve got important cars coming from all over the country. People are going to see things here they’re not going to see anywhere else.”
They may also get to see Jay Leno. The former late-night TV talk show host is a prominent collector of more than 150 select vehicles, including a 1906 Stanley Steamer that raced in the Vanderbilt Cup.
Eyes down the road
“He’s made no commitment (to show cars) but he’ll be here on the field, I am almost sure of it,” said Sobek, whose vision is for the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance to evolve into something Pebble Beach, California, would be proud
to call its own.
Pebble Beach was the first U.S. concours in 1950 and remains the standard by which all are measured. It lasts six days and costs $450 for general admission. (Tickets for the Las Vegas
Concours d’Elegance are $100.)
“We’ll do historic races, a drive at Spring Mountain (Motor Resort), we’ll have a big party — we’ll add this, we’ll add that,” Sobek said of making the concours more elegant. “It’ll grow quickly into a seven-, eight- or nine-day event because we have the infrastructure that
nobody else has.
“I love Pebble Beach. But in little Carmel, there’s only so many places you can go.”
There is a scenic 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach, but there is no fabulous Strip upon which to hold a parade of museum-worthy cars.
They’re calling it Sunday Morning Rush Hour. Stuart Sobek says it will be as singular as the hood ornament on a 1928 Isotta Fraschini.

A concours is considered the automotive equivalent of a fine art museum.
It’s like going to the Louvre, only the still lives have engines.

Stuart Sobek was a college student in San Diego
when he met the love of his life on a convention floor in Los Angeles.
Her name was Lamborghini. Lamborghini Countach.
She was born in 1982, had a distinctive wedge shape, iconic scissor doors that lifted forward and upward, and purred like a kitten.
For a car lover such as Sobek, this was Tom Cruise saying hello to Rene Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire.”
“It just moved me like nothing else,” he said of his heart going pitter-patter at the LA Auto Show and purchasing the Countach after becoming a successful real estate developer.
It also planted the seed for the Oct. 25-28 Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance at which more than 100 classic automobiles will be on display and compete for Best of Show at DragonRidge Country Club in Henderson.
“To get to where I could own this car,
I started working in Silicon Valley, where a lot of these car collectors come from,” said Sobek, a transplanted Las Vegan who will serve as chairman. “I would go into a warehouse and there would be a bunch of cars and I said, ‘Wow, this is amazing. This is what I want to do someday.’ ”

Style meets elegance
Concours d’Elegance is a French term meaning “competition of elegance.”
Its origin dates to the 17th century when aristocrats would parade horse-drawn carriages in Paris parks.
“People dress up and stand by their cars,” said the 59-year-old Sobek, a collector of sublime automobiles for more than three decades. “These are some of the wealthiest people in the world. They’re proud of their cars and want to show them off.”
Imagine Jay Gatsby in a camel-hair suit, Daisy Buchanan in a handkerchief skirt, lace gloves and art deco headband, and the yellow and cream Rolls-Royce of author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s decadent Long Island youth during the roaring 1920s. This is roughly the vibe Sobek is hoping to create around the tee boxes and fairways at DragonRidge.
A concours is considered the automotive equivalent of a fine art museum. It’s like going to the Louvre, only the still lives have engines.
“It’s rolling art,” said Sobek, who attended his first concours in 1987. “I like Picasso, I like van Gogh, I like automobiles, I like to collect rocks from the beach. Everybody has something they like to collect or enjoy.”
But these are no ordinary skipping stones.
Fabulous Ferrari
Consider the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale. The first pure Ferrari road car to feature a three-liter V12 engine was voted Best of Show at June’s Concourse d’Elegance at Chateau de Coppet on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Owned by Kentucky real estate baron Kevin Cogan (not to be confused with the former Indianapolis 500 driver of the same name), it will be one of the showpiece vehicles attracting lustful glances here.
Or Bob Jepson’s immaculate 1938 Mercedes 540K, said to be worth an estimated $12 million. Or a 1933 Lincoln limousine that belonged to the gangster Frank Nitti and was built with reinforced armor, for obvious reasons. Or Rob Hilardes’ 1935 Bojangles Duesenberg, designed by J. Herbert Newport and once owned by Bill Robinson, the acclaimed American tap dancer.
Robinson famously said he could run backward faster than most men could run forward. The same went for his car. Although it can be assumed that ragged
shirts and baggy pants are no longer the wardrobe of choice in the splendidly appointed Bojangles Duesenberg.
“There’s so many,” Sobek said of
the quality of cars to be shown.
“Nicola Bulgari — every lady knows that name from his jewelry — is bringing a Marmon V16. Judge Joseph Cassini, a famous collector from New Jersey, is bringing a 1932 Stutz. Clive Cussler, the famous author, is bringing his 1955 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz — he loves cars with fins.
“We’ve got important cars coming from all over the country. People are going to see things here they’re not going to see anywhere else.”
They may also get to see Jay Leno. The former late-night TV talk show host is a prominent collector of more than 150 select vehicles, including a 1906 Stanley Steamer that raced in the Vanderbilt Cup.
Eyes down the road
“He’s made no commitment (to show cars) but he’ll be here on the field, I am almost sure of it,” said Sobek, whose vision is for the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance to evolve into something Pebble Beach, California, would be proud
to call its own.
Pebble Beach was the first U.S. concours in 1950 and remains the standard by which all are measured. It lasts six days and costs $450 for general admission. (Tickets for the Las Vegas
Concours d’Elegance are $100.)
“We’ll do historic races, a drive at Spring Mountain (Motor Resort), we’ll have a big party — we’ll add this, we’ll add that,” Sobek said of making the concours more elegant. “It’ll grow quickly into a seven-, eight- or nine-day event because we have the infrastructure that
nobody else has.
“I love Pebble Beach. But in little Carmel, there’s only so many places you can go.”
There is a scenic 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach, but there is no fabulous Strip upon which to hold a parade of museum-worthy cars.
They’re calling it Sunday Morning Rush Hour. Stuart Sobek says it will be as singular as the hood ornament on a 1928 Isotta Fraschini.

OTHER NOTABLE AUTOS to SEE
OTHER NOTABLE AUTOS to SEE

1928 Isotta Peter Boyle
1930 Cadillac V-16 Fred Lax
1931 Stutz DV32
Victoria by LeBaron
Joseph Cassini
1933 Marmon 16
Victoria Coupe
by LeBaron
Nicola Bulgari
1936 Mercedes
500K Special
Craig Hopkins
1938 Steyr
220 Roadster
Peter Boyle
1959 Osca Coupe Peter Boyle
1959 Ferrari 250
PF Cabriolet
Kevin Cogan
2018 Ford GT Vaughn Gittin Jr.

 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
SIPS