The Chicago Region SCCA at the 2023 Geneva Concours d’Elegance
The month of August was HOT, but the weather gods shined down on us on the fourth weekend of August 2023 which was a busy weekend for the Chicago Region and the weather was great! Saturday and Sunday saw the running of the Kettle Moraine Divisional Road Race at Road America. Also on Sunday the Region conducted its fourth “Concours for Sports Cars” as a featured group in the 2023 Geneva Concours d’Elegance. If you haven’t attended the Concours you need to place it on your calendar. If you made it to the event this year you weren’t disappointed. The weather was beautiful, sunshine all day, and the spectators were engaged and enjoying the cars.
The premise of the show is to celebrate the “Art of the Automobile” while strolling through the historic district of Geneva Illinois on the banks of the Fox River. The Geneva Concours’ mission is to “produce the best classic, exotic and race automobile event that showcases the heritage, artistic and engineering significance of the automobile in the surroundings of historic Geneva Illinois”. That goal was met again this year with well over 200 cars on display from the Springfield Rolls Royce to Tuner Cars.
This year the Chicago Region’s display had 32 cars entered, which included 4 race cars 4 autocross cars and two fantastic JCW Mini Cooper GP3 Track Day cars. The race car group included Tom Stephani’s 1965 Genie MK10 CanAm car. Every once in a while with some fan encouragement Tom would fire up the Genie’s engine to applause from the crowd. There is nothing like the sound from a CanAm car. The Genie received the Geneva Concours Carl Benz Award, an award of distinction, presented to the car that best fits the judging criteria of the Geneva Concours. (The Benz Trophy is provided to us by the Geneva Concours, John Barrett.)
Next our Chicago Region SCCA Diamond Award which recognizes a car that was historically significant to the history of the club or the sport went to Jeff Powell for his 1948 MG TC. This car as experienced a full life, beginning in England, built in August of that year. From the factory this car was shipped to Sydney Australia passing through the hands of P&R Williams PTY, LTD the MG distributor and dealer in New South Wales. In 1966 Everett Smith from Brookfield IL., a writer and automotive magazine scribe purchased the car while on a six month sabbatical in Australia. Smith documented his travels around the country in the TC and published an article of the trip. Everett had the car shipped back to the Chicago area and enjoyed the car for 5 more years. The current owner Jeff Powell purchased the TC in the 1980’s and completed an entire mechanical restoration of the car. With the restoration completed the car went to the race track with the Vintage Sports Car Driver Association (VSCDA) and began a thirty year vintage racing life.
Burt Levy joined the Chicago Region on Campbell Street again this year selling books, clothing, and other items straight out of Finzio’s Sinclair back room. As Burt travels the concours shows around the country he presents his Buddy Palumbo Trophy recognizing vehicles which are maintained and driven by its owner. At our “Concours for Sports Cars” as part of the Geneva Concours d’Elegance Burt presents the Buddy Palumbo Award to one of our cars. Burt presented this year’s award to Vic Descher for his 1978 Camaro, Burt also gave Vic a copy of his latest book “The 200 mph Steamroller, Book III, Out of the Mist”.
Burt was very kind and offered a book as a door prize gift to our concours participants, the winner was Richard Larson. If you haven’t already read Burt’s books you really should give them a try. Check out Burt’s website www.lastopenroad.com or give him a call and place your order at 708-383-7203 or email him at Thinkfast@mindspring.com .
Additionally, The Region’s Excellence Award –Presented to vehicles that are outstanding, significant, and or aesthetically beautiful, went to six other cars, the list of winners are;
Danial Samyn for his Black 1960 Austin Healy 3000, just what comes to mind when you think of Sports Car
Rich Walke for his 2010 Superformance Cobra MKlll replica, a beautiful car
Mike Sizemore for his 1967 Moretti Sportiva, one of only 200 built
Rex Landem for his 1972 BMW 2002
Richard Larson for his 1970 Datsun 2000
Heidi (Breitenbach) Olszewski for her 1969 Datsun 2000 DP Autocross race car
So, if you missed this great event, there are still some Solo Events, Track Day events and Road Races you can attend. But for a truly enjoyable day you need to push this event up to the top of your must do list. Mark your calendars for the forth Sunday in August 2024 so you don’t miss out again. Come join us in Geneva IL, on Third Street in the heart of Geneva’s historical downtown shopping district lined with shops, restaurants, parks and historical buildings. This event is open to the public at no cost making this a wonderful family event with something for everyone to enjoy and marvel. If looking at cool cars isn’t enough for you and you would rather be talking to people about the cars in our display and our sport come join us. Enter your sports car, or race car when entry forms come out this coming winter.
The Chicago Region SCCA is looking forward to this very significant automobile event for next year, and truly hope you can join us as well. The Geneva Concours has taken place for eighteen years and regularly draws well over 200 classics, exotics and racecars. The Concours organization is a Not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization promoting the “Art of the Automobile” to benefit the LIVINGWELL Cancer Resource Center, in Geneva, Illinois. The Chicago Region’s participation in this event also supports this benefactor.
Come join us, won’t you?