- By Leo DeLuca Dayton History
Amongst sprawling sycamores, 19th century buildings and artifacts that changed the world, Dayton Concours d’Elegance speeds back into Carillon Historical Park.
Not only is the park a unique backdrop for Concours, but given Dayton’s groundbreaking contributions to the automobile industry, it is a relevant setting as well.
The Gem City gave rise to ethyl gasoline, numerous automobile manufacturers, a giant GM presence, and of course, the starter motor, which single-handedly revolutionized the auto industry.
Well over 6,000 visitors attended last year’s Concours, marveling at this one-of-a-kind display of “art on wheels.” Over the last 11 years, the event has become the Midwest’s premier antique and classic automobile and motorcycle show. Here are seven things to expect at this year’s event:
1. Meet the man who designed the Mustang
Gale Halderman, the Tipp City native who designed the Ford Mustang, will serve as Dayton Concours d’Elegance grand marshal. In 1962, Halderman submitted his Mustang sketch after a long day working on the Ford Galaxie. While various renderings met the chopping block, Halderman’s sketch was the last standing. The iconic Mustang was born. While at Ford, Gale Halderman spent the last 27 years of his impressive 40-year career serving as director of design.
2. Jags and Cadillacs take center stage
The graceful Jaguar E-type and the Cars of Cadillac are this year’s featured marques. When the E-type Jaguar was introduced in March 1961, Enzo Ferrari described it as “the most beautiful car ever made.” That’s quite the compliment from the head of a competing manufacturer.
3. Eight? Not so great
“Eight is not Enough,” a special class featuring cars with engines in excess of eight cylinders, will highlight vehicles like the extremely rare Lexus LFA (only 500 were ever produced).
4. 1950s teens unite
For the third year, the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild will hold a reunion, displaying futuristic model cars built by teenagers in the 1950s. A number of hand-built model cars will be displayed in the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center.
5. Eat, drink, explore, and ride trains
Museum buildings and exhibits will be open, food and beverages will be available in a special food court, and the Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society will offer miniature train rides.
6. The parade’s in town
Dayton Concours concludes with the Parade of Class Winners at 3 p.m. Judges determine the top of each class, and winners receive their awards outside the Sun Oil Co. building.
7. Welcome to the jungle
Dayton Concours weekend officially kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, with the Welcome to the Jungle preview party at Carillon Historical Park. While mingling amongst a sampling of Concours cars, other special cars, and motorcycles, guests enjoy the unique food of Brock Masterson’s Catering, various artisan spirits, craft beers, and wine. Entertainment will be provided, the Art Pavilion will be open, and everyone is invited to bid on some very unique items in the silent auction.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Dayton Concours d’Elegance at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton
WHEN: Sept. 16 from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
ADMISSION: $20 at the door, $15 in advance and free for Dayton History members
MORE: The Concours D’Elegance Preview Party will be held Sept. 15 at Carillon Historical Park from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Admission: $85 per person, $75 for Dayton History members
For tickets and more information: Website | (937) 293-2841