Anniversaries are an important part of the construction and presentation of any concours, and calendar year 2004 brought on several of those to celebrate at Greenwich, including the 100th anniversary of the world's most famous luxury car brand, Rolls-Royce, and the 50th anniversary of the landmark German sports car, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL coupe, also known as the Gullwing.
So, the Most Distinguished Rolls-Royce trophy, presented by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars of North America, went to Michael Kittredge of Massachusetts for his spectacular 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, built in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Best English Drophead 1951-1979 (convertible to you younger people) was won by Michael Schudroff's 1961 Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe. Best Rolls-Royce Drophead 1988-2001 went to Larry Halpert's late-model 1989 Silver Spur.
Best Rolls-Royce, Pre-1930 went to Robert Rosenbaum of New Jersey for his huge and stately 1920 Silver Ghost, one of the very oldest cars at the show. Tour host Malcolm Pray won two awards with two of his Rolls', Best Rolls-Royce, 1930-1940 for this 1938 Phantom Town Car, and Best European Postwar Car for his 2000 Corniche convertible. Bentleys, first cousins to Rolls-Royces after 1931, also picked up three awards.
In this 50th year since the debut of the Gullwing, which cleaned up in international sports car racing in 1954-55 and has become an automotive design icon in the years since, the big trophy, the Melvin Milligan Award for Most Outstanding Mercedes-Benz, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz USA, went to the 300 SL coupe of Connecticut's Henry Miller, with four other classes also won by mid-'50s Benzes.
During the course of the 3 days, we talked to lots of car owners about their cars, trying to find one owner who treats his concours entry like a real car, instead of a trailer queen, and we found such a man in Dr. James Foght, who drove his black 1950 aluminum-bodied XJ 120C competition Jaguar all the way from Illinois, and who told us that, even though it is rare, beautiful and nearly perfect, he drives it to work every day. No accident, then, that he won Best English Sports Car, 1946-1951 with it, then drove it home.
Own own trophy, the one given annually by european car Magazine for Most Awesome High-Performance Car, was carted off by regular Greenwich participant James Glickenhaus of New York City, who brought his brutishly beautiful 1967 Lola Mark III-B coupe. Glickenhaus also owns a twin-turbocharged big-block Chevy-powered McLaren M6B coupe and a pristine yellow Ford GT40, obviously a power freak and a man after our own hearts. We'll be back next year with a full report from Greenwich, and in the meantime, please enjoy Tim McKinney's impressionistic photos of one of our favorite events of the automotive year.