Atlanta Concours d’Elegance Attracts Rare Autos

Now in its third year, the Atlanta Concours d’Elegance continues to grow in stature and is attracting exceptional, award-winning automobiles from nationally recognized collections, individual owners from across the nation, as well as collectors in Georgia and around the Southeast.

This year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 29-30, 2018, will once again grace the splendid setting that is the Chateau Elan Golf Club, adjacent to the Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Ga.

Co-founders and local Atlanta residents Bill Wallet and Harry Krix created the inaugural 2016 event at Chateau Elan, where they envisioned fulfilling an Atlanta car-culture void. While the Metro Atlanta area has a plethora of car shows catering to the hobbyist cool-car weekend driver crowd, it lacked an event for the automotive history and preservation-minded collector.

Their dream was an event along the lines of the renowned Pebble Beach and Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance annual gatherings where the rarest, meticulously restored and maintained, and historically significant automobiles compete for prestigious Best in Class and Best in Show awards.

“We’re quite proud of the strong foothold we’ve gained in both the community and throughout the industry,” said Bill Wallet, CEO of the Atlanta Concours. “Expanding our relationship with Evergreen Historic Automobiles – the largest historic car collection in the U.S. – is but one example of the strength in quality of cars and the credibility of the Atlanta Concours has achieved.”

Spectacular Automobiles from Nationally Recognized Collections

Famed collector Steve Plaster and Michael Rhodes – McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program graduate and curator of the Evergreen’s 600-plus car collection – will display unique cars from the Lebanon, Mo., Evergreen Collection. This includes a 1909 Washington Model A-1 Tourabout, a four-passenger surrey believed to be the last remaining Washington automobile. Other Evergreen examples include a 1912 Benz 8/20, a 1929 Graham-Paige LeBaron Dual-Cowl Phaeton featuring an aluminum-skinned body, 1935 Pierce-Arrow 1245 Rumble-Seat Convertible Coupe that is one of a handful produced, and a 1937 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet built by one of the French automobile industry’s grandest coachbuilders, Henri Chapron.

Like museums where education goes hand-in-hand with preservation, Wallet and his team also emphasize automotive history and knowledge. Not only have four additional museums confirmed participation with entrant vehicles, including vehicles from the Stahls Automotive Foundation, the Gilmore Car Museum, the Elliott Museum, and the Lane Motor Museum, this year they plan to have several docents offering guided tours of the entire Sunday show field. Each tour provides a taste of these rare vehicles’ historical importance and unique and beautiful features.

Special automobiles are not exclusive to large collections, and the Atlanta Concours will include entrants from local and regional collectors, as well. One such collector is Jeff Chattin, a self-professed lover of the older brass-era (1896 to 1915) automobiles named for the prominent brass components of this time. “I’ve loved them since I can remember,” said Chattin. “I like them because they’re both unusual and simple enough that I can work on them.”

Chattin plans to bring two cars from his collection, which resides in several buildings on his property just north of Atlanta and includes everything from vintage cars, farm equipment and even a sawmill to rare toys, dealership signage, and tools. The first is a 1911 Thomas Flyer 670K Flyabout that Chattin found and purchased after nearly four decades of searching for this rare and formidable automobile. A 1907 version won the 1908 New York to Paris Race, covering 22,000 miles in 169 days. The second car Chattin will display is his 1909 Kissel Kar 660 Semi-Racer that when new sold for $3,000. To put this into context, in 1909 the average worker earned between $200 and $400 annually.

Like many classic car collectors Chattin enjoys talking about his cars and automotive history as much as he likes working on and driving them. “I always see myself a temporary caretaker,” said Chattin. “I’m just like my fellow collectors – We just want these cars to continue on.”

While the main event is Sunday’s Atlanta Concours d’Elegance show field, Saturday offers activities popular with both the history-minded and casual auto fan. The Classics and Coffee at the Chateau features a wide range of automobiles on the show field with an interesting tie to Sunday’s Concours. Seven exceptional cars from Saturday’s show will be selected to return for Sunday’s Concours competition. They will be competing in their own class – The Magnificent Seven.

The weekend also features the automotive artists gallery, merchants’ walkway, the gourmet food pavilion, and test drives from many luxury and exotic automotive brands. Saturday’s event ends with a preview of 50 of Sunday’s Concours entrants as they parade onto the show field, followed by the ‘Start Your Engines’ kickoff reception from 3 to 6 pm.

Porsche, the 2018 Atlanta Concours featured marque, returns to Manufacturers Row along with Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Panoz, and Rolls Royce. Brands new to the Atlanta Concours and exhibiting their latest offerings include Alfa Romeo, Audi, Karma, and Lexus.

Full weekend tickets start at $65, and tickets for veterans and children under 15 years old are just $32.50.

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