The champagne and caviar of car shows is coming to Tacoma on Sunday and it’s bringing some of the most jaw-dropping automobiles in the region with it.
Now in it’s 10th year, the Kirkland Concours d’Elegance will take over the outdoor field at LeMay – America’s Car Museum. Previously it’s been held at Kirkland’s Carillon Point.
Scot Keller, the museum’s chief marketing and communications officer, said the event is the biggest and most prestigious on the museum’s calendar.
“These cars are defined by rarity, provenance, authenticity and design,” Keller said.
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The invitation-only event (the cars are invited but spectators need just buy tickets) is one of several concours around the country. While not as prestigious as the Pebble Beach, Calif., and Amelia Island, Fla., versions, the museum show falls in the next level below those, Keller said.
“(Concours are) the crme de la crme of car shows,” Keller said. “(The Kirkland Concours) has developed a significant reputation for the past nine years.”
Spectators can expect to see the finest automobiles in the car-collecting community, Keller said. “There’s a rigorous set of judging standards that the cars are evaluated against,” he said. And the judges themselves are some of the most knowledgeable car experts in the nation.
The dozen or so classes of show vehicles include British cars and motorcycles, Lamborghinis, American post-war (1948-1951) and previous best-in-show winners including a 1937 Bugatti T-57. But it’s not all land vehicles. Seven unlimited hydroplanes (on trailers) will be competing. They include “Tempo VI,” once owned and raced by Guy Lombardo, and ground-breaking “Slo-mo-shun V,” which won the 1951 Gold Cup and ushered in a new era of hydro racing.
“These boats are rare in their own right and most people don’t get to see them up close,” Keller said.
A longtime sponsor of the Kirkland Concours, the museum took ownership of it this year and moved it permanently to Tacoma. There are no plans at the moment to change the name, Keller said.
The event is sponsored by U.S. Bank and proceeds are split evenly with Seattle Children’s Hospital and the museum. In its first nine years, the event raised approximately $1.5 million.
Attendance is cranking along at the museum, Keller said. Any day now, the museum will greet it’s 70,000th visitor since its June 2 opening, he said.
Kirkland Concours d’Elegance
When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Where: LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 2702 E. D St., Tacoma
Tickets: (includes admission to the museum) adults $30, seniors/ military $25, youth (ages 5-12) $15, younger than 5 get in free