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2023 Cobble Beach Concours: A 1929 Cord Takes Home Best of Show

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A winner is crowned.


As the leaves begin to change color in Ontario, classic car aficionados descended upon the picturesque Cobble Beach resort community for the ninth annual Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Held on September 17, the event boasted more than a century of automotive history spread across the lush 18th fairway.

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For the 2023 event, the Cobble Beach Concours celebrated multiple significant milestones in the automotive world: 120 years of Buick, 75 years of Porsche, 70 years of Corvettes, and 60 years of Lamborghini. These historical touchpoints were represented by some of the finest collector vehicles North America has to offer.

One notable highlight was the presence of the 1951 Buick LeSabre concept car designed by Harley Earl and provided by the General Motors Heritage Center. This iconic prototype went on to win the "Prototype and Concept Vehicles Pre-1980" class. Hot on its heels was Steve Plunkett's custom-built 1956 Buick Century X show car, crafted for the then-General Motors design chief Bill Mitchell. A unique Canadian-built Ferguson Super Sport, crafted by Chris Atkins, claimed third place in the category.

Among the historical tributes was the Canadian McLaughlin-Buicks, which originated when Sam McLaughlin struck a deal with Buick in Flint, Michigan, more than a century ago. One striking example was a 1908 McLaughlin-Buick Model F, sourced from the Canadian Automotive Museum. This antique vehicle was originally sold to a farmer just a half-hour's drive away from its Cobble Beach display.

However, the crowning moment was when a stunning 1929 Cord L-29 convertible, owned by Greg Ornazian of Rochester Hills, Michigan, took home the Best in Show Award. This classic front-wheel-drive vehicle stole the limelight, epitomizing the union of style, luxury, and engineering—a timeless testament to the glory days of American automaking.

But let's not forget the Newfoundland collector Vernon Smith, whose 1958 Buick Limited Convertible—one of only 839 ever built—won the ribbon for Outstanding Post-War Classic. This win was hot on the heels of his last year's accolade for his 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Last but certainly not least, a rare 1935 British-built SS Airline Coupe, restored in Festus, Missouri for owners Jim and Lisa Hendrix, won Outstanding Pre-War Classic. This particular gem is one of just 16 models known to still exist.

As the day drew to a close, it was evident that the 2023 Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance had once again showcased the pinnacle of automobile craftsmanship and history, all against the backdrop of Cobble Beach's breathtaking scenery.

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