A parade of some 450 classic cars ranging from middle-income affordable to some worth millions will settle around AT&T Stadium this weekend for the Concours d’Elegance of Texas’ first show and auction in its new home: Arlington.
The Houston-born event will conduct car auctions Friday and Saturday at the Arlington Convention Center and a couple of private charity fundraisers. Its judged competition will be Sunday, featuring the cream of the Concours, 120 cars that will be parked along the ponds and landscaping of the Richard Greene Linear Park, between the ballpark and AT&T Stadium.
For the price of a $50 ticket — students up to high school seniors get in for free — fans can mill about the cars and talk with their owners throughout the exhibition, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with the award ceremony around 2 p.m.
A “car club corral” featuring 150 of the best classics from area car clubs will also be available for browsing in AT&T’s Silver Lot 4, southeast of AT&T Way and Randol Mill Road across from the linear park. A ticket booth will be set up there.
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“This is a high-end event with beautiful, high-dollar cars,” said Mike Ames, the event’s chairman. “This is not to be confused with just a car show.”
Two auctions at the Arlington Convention Center, 1200 Ballpark Way, are open to the public, with admission of $25. The 4 p.m. Friday auction is “no reserve,” meaning all 50 cars or so cars on the auction block will sell no matter how low the bid.
Saturday’s auction, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., will feature about 100 cars, starting around $40,000 and topping out at over $1 million, Ames said.
Cars to be auctioned include a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster worth $1.4 million; a 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster, $350,000; and a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Dragonsnake, $1.3 million.
“Everything from a Rolls-Royce to a Ferrari, from a Packard to a Lamborghini,” Ames said. “We’ve got 20 different classes of cars, starting out with antique and vintage cars up until 1924, European classic cars, and we’ve got what we call American popular pre-war — World War II.”
There will also be American luxury, muscle cars and sports cars from between 1953 and 1975.
The Concours d’Elegance, which translates to “contest of elegance,” dates back to the 17th century with French aristocrats who paraded their horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris, according to the website.
The Texas exhibition started at a resort on Lake Conroe, north of Houston, in 2011, but officials felt the event was stagnating. Organizers were impressed with Arlington’s entertainment district and the area’s large population.
“We just felt we could build a better Concours here than we could in Houston,” he said. “We felt it would be a lot easier to attract the sponsors and the public interest in DFW.
“People are already used to coming to Arlington for big events — you’ve got the Cowboys, the Rangers, Six Flags. We felt like this is just a lot better environment.”