Sunday, May 6, 2012
In May 2012, the award winning La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa played host to the biggest and most prestigious classic car weekend in Texas, welcoming thousands of visitors through its gates for The Houston Classic Motorcar Weekend and the very first Concours d'Elegance of Texas. Visitors were treated to a spectacular gathering of rare and exotic motorcars, historic military machinery, sports and racecars, antique motorcycles, vintage tractors, and even the odd stagecoach, all displayed in a beautiful golf course lakeside setting. The first Texas Tour d'Elegance got the weekend off to a racing start on Friday, May 4th, as Concours participants took to the open road on a 50-mile scenic tour of the local area, stopping for a distinctly Texas-style lunch at the unique Thomas Ranch, with a cocktail reception later that evening. Event partners, Worldwide Auctioneers, presented their 11th annual The Houston Classic Auction on Saturday, May 5th, packing the Versailles Ballroom at La Torretta with bidders and enthusiasts from across the country and further afield, as 120 hand-selected motorcars went under the hammer.
The inaugural Concours d'Elegance of Texas on Sunday, May 6th attracted a stunning array of entrants, with 16 classes recognizing pre- and post-war classics, American and European sports cars, American Woodies and performance cars, competition cars and pre- and post-war motorcycles. Long-time collector, judge, writer and exhibitor, Roger C. Willbanks Jr. served as Chief Judge. Special displays on Sunday included Beatle George Harrison's Aston Martin DB5, which made its U.S. debut at the Concours, an awesome trio of hand-built tribute Cobras, and a rarely seen collection of historic military vehicles and antique tractors.
The Houston Classic Motorcar Weekend 2012, in its totality, proudly helped contribute nearly $1 million to charitable causes.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
In 2013, the Concours Board of Directors named three charities as their official fundraising programs. The charities included the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Services (MCEA), Holy Angels Residential Facility, and the Hagerty Education Program. Roger C. Willbanks Jr. returned as Chief Judge. The Concours showcased 17 classes with the featured marque, the Cars of Carroll Shelby. Other classes recognized included pre- and post-war classics, American and European sports cars, Modern Supercars, Fun & Funky, Custom Creations and American Trucks.
The Friday morning Texas Tour d'Elegance started off on a crisp spring-like morning as over 30+ vehicles headed out from the hotel's Conference Center porte corchere. Several hundred folks, staff and hotel guests, joined Judge Willbanks Jr. send off the Tour. For four plus hours, and over 50 miles of East Texas woodlands, the Tour guests enjoyed the beautiful East Texas landscape. Following Lake Conroe north through the woodlands, those with convertibles had the tops down as they enjoyed the unusual cool morning. The morning ended with a Texas-style barbecue meal. Many entrants commented that this was one of the most scenic and serene Tours they had experienced and they enjoyed the "guidance" of the police officers who told stories about the historic areas.
Sunday morning at the Concours d'Elegance of Texas started with a cloudless and cool morning as preparations for the Concours began well before daylight. The day slowly warmed up into the 70s the skies stayed clear, and there was a perfect temperature under the trees and breezeways. Entrants, as well as the charities and exhibitors, assembled their booths as the Concours entrant motorcars found their place on the show field. The Judges received their final charges at an early morning breakfast while entrants, exhibitors and vendors enjoyed coffee and breakfast on the golf show field.
An estimated 5,200+ guests enjoyed the events of the day. The hotel's catering staff provided a sumptuous selection of entrees and beverages under a cove of trees on the show field. Early in the afternoon, after judging had concluded, the winning motorcar entrants were assembled for the awards ceremony overlooking the lake on the golf course. Best of Show - Pre-War went to a 1936 Delahaye 135 F&F Teardrop Coupe, and Best of Show - Post-War to a 1969 Ford GTO MKI. Additional awards, as well as the People's Choice award, were presented. With each award presented the Master of Ceremonies interviewed each winner, all to the delight of guests who were sitting around the show field.
The day ended with congratulatory toasts to all attendees and an After-Glow party, giving everyone the time to re-live wonderful memories of the Weekend. Plans began that afternoon for Concours d'Elegance of Texas 2014.