Car Owners Revved Up for Special Show
Les Holden got hooked on cars as a child when his father would, from time to time, buy a Model T, fix it up and sell it.
“I just loved the sound, and I can remember saying that when I grew up I was going to own one of those cars.”
Now, Holden, who lives in Southern Pines, has six classic or “brass cars” that date back to the early 1900s. He admits his “garage exceeds the size of my home.”
Holden is among many car enthusiasts revved up about the first Concours d’ Elegance, which will be held at Pinehurst Resort in May. A Concours d’Elegance is a gathering of prestigious cars, and is French for “competition of elegance.”
On Tuesday, Holden and 19 others participated in the Iron Mike Rally Pre-Run from Pinehurst to Fort Bragg. Tuesday’s event was designed to work out the logistics of the much bigger event in May that will feature more than 120 vehicles and be part of the four-day Concours d’Elegance.
For Pinehurst resident, car collector and restorer of classic automobiles Bjorn Nordemo, the next seven months can’t go by fast enough.
“It’s about time,” said Nordemo, who owns Sports Leicht Restorations (SLR). “This really has an opportunity to succeed.”
Nordemo also participated in the rally pre-run, which covered approximately 40 miles.
“It is great to have something like this in our backyard,” Holden said. “I think this event is really going to open some people’s eyes.”
Once at Fort Bragg, participants paused for several photo opportunities, including one at the Iron Mike statue, which serves as an iconic tribute to the airborne soldier.
Participants also had lunch with military dignitaries and soldiers before going on the range to watch training exercises.
“Today is an opportunity to preview what will take place next May,” said Dean Kessel, a 20-year motor sports industry marketing veteran who has spent two years cultivating the initiative.
Kessel said bringing such a celebration of the automobile to the area is a no-brainer because North Carolina is a motor sports-crazy area, Pinehurst Resort is an “iconic” resort with a “global brand,” and there is an easy tie into the military with the proximity to Fort Bragg.
‘We are going to show them a ton of Southern hospitality,” Kessel said.
A Concours d’Elegance refers to a gathering of prestigious cars that dates back to the 17th Century when the French Aristocracy used to parade horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during summer weekends and holidays. Over time, carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among automobile owners.
Traditionally, vehicle judging at a Concours d’Elegance is much more demanding than that of a general automobile show. Trained judges examine each vehicle thoroughly and rate each component. Only those vehicles that are judged perfect — or very nearly so — in every way are considered eligible for trophy class.
The event is scheduled to kick off May 2 with an Aerodrome Party at Moore County Airport. There will be a road rally on May 3 from the resort to Fort Bragg. A collector car auction will be held May 4, and the 150-car Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance will take place May 5.
Nordemo said he thinks that it won’t take long for Pinehurst to place itself among the notable Concours d’ Elegance events around the U.S., including the one in Pebble Beach, which has been held for more than 60 years.
“To see something like this in my neighborhood is great,” Nordemo said. “Pebble Beach can eat its heart out.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
More like this story
- Hot Wheels: Tickets On Sale for Prestigious Car Event
- Elite Car Gathering Headed for Pinehurst
- Lee Holman, Holman & Moody to be Honored at 2013 Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance
- Rare Roadster Takes Top Award in Inaugural Pinehurst Car Show
- Chair of Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance Named, Tickets Go on Sale Next Week