Fountain Hills, AZ — What started out six years ago as a low-key, stress-free car show for under 200 vintage and classic cars, the Concours in the Hills has now mushroomed into a gargantuan 941-car extravaganza that’s close to capacity on its picturesque site, but still maintains its no-stress atmosphere as a free celebration of classic, vintage, sports and exotic cars from around the globe.
This year’s Feb. 9 event shattered previous levels for charity donation, attendance, show vehicles and sponsorship. Other than Scottsdale’s January auction week, it’s likely Arizona’s largest gathering of vintage cars each year. Event organizer Scuderia Southwest reported it raised more than $155,000 from the $60 per-car entry fee, 108 sponsors and vendors and donations, all benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
The over 20,000 estimated attendees gawked from morning to mid-afternoon at literally every make and model of performance and road automobiles, from Aston Martin to Zagato, BMW to Yugo. The bulk of the show entrants were a wide range of classic and modern American muscle cars like Shelby Mustangs and Cobras, Corvettes, Camaros and Mopar, to vintage European sports cars from Ferrari, Maserati Porsche, Austin-Healey, etc.
For the VM-oriented crowd, there was a display of 21 race cars, including a mid-1960s Indy car driven by Mario Andretti, a 1958 Lister Jaguar “Knobbly,” a couple of Mirage Le Mans racers mixed with a Bocar, Kurtis 500S, Devin D, Shelby GT350 and a 1957 Jaguar D-Type racer that won the Best of Show award for owner Terry Larson.
Other award winners were Best Car Club Display: Jaguar Club of Central AZ; Best Import: 1970 Maserati Ghibli, Albee Allstadt; Best Domestic to Mike Shoen’s 1968 Lonestar Cobra, one of one built by Shelby American, an extremely rare car and a real stunner, a low-slung red coupe powered by a mid-engine Ford V8, naturally.
Also on the racing theme, the show was opened by Arizona-resident race drivers Lyn St. James, Arie Luyendyk, Didier Theys, Harley Cluxton and racer and ex-“Bachelor” Arie Luyendyk Jr. Five helicopters were also on display on the far side of the lakeside setting, including two U.S. Marine Corps attack copters that panicked the local waterfowl as they made low passes at the end of the show.
Next year’s concours is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8.