Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Vintage car celebration to be held in Arlington benefits local charity

With roots dating back to the 17th century, the Concours d’Elegance is a competition among highly luxurious automobile owners where their cars are judged on appearance and originality among other things.
With roots dating back to the 17th century, the Concours d’Elegance is a competition among highly luxurious automobile owners where their cars are judged on appearance and originality among other things. Handout

Arlington will soon be home to one of the most prestigious car and lifestyle events in the state. The Concours d’Elegance of Texas has moved from the Houston area, which hosted the event for the past five years, to Arlington’s entertainment district. The three-day event is set for April 21-23 and will be a world-class gathering of collector cars and other attractions.

With roots dating back to the 17th century, the Concours d’Elegance is a competition among owners of highly luxurious automobiles where their cars are judged on appearance and originality among other things. One of the earliest Concours in the U.S. was at Pebble Beach, still considered the top Concours event in the country. The Concours events are well known for their charitable giving and they have raised millions of dollars for nonprofits selected as beneficiaries. Arlington’s River Legacy Foundation was chosen as the local beneficiary.

Arlington resident and rare car collector Mike Ames is chairman of the event. “We are genuinely excited about our move to Arlington and look forward to being part of the continuing development of the Arlington entertainment district. The city of Arlington and the Convention & Visitors Bureau have been extremely helpful and we look forward to working together to make our Concours of Texas one of the top-tier exhibitions in the country,” Ames said in a press release.

Mayor Jeff Williams said he is very excited about the opportunity to host the event. “It adds great emphasis to our automotive heritage and it will be another world-class event for our city on a national stage and a destination for the exhibition of amazing classic cars right here in the center of the country,” he said in a statement.

Details about the event are online at www.concoursoftexas.org or call 817-695-5254 to make inquiries.

Brian Greene, owner of Greene HD Productions and producer of several car-themed television shows including “Reality Rides” and “Magnificent Motorcars,” is the general manager for the Concours d’Elegance of Texas. An Arlington native, Greene has years of experience in shooting car events all over the world. We caught up with him for a Q&A about the upcoming Arlington event.

For first-time attendees, what basic information should they know?

If you can only attend one event, the main day is Sunday, April 23 in Richard Greene Linear Park. That is the Concours d’Elegance of Texas itself where the premier cars will be — approximately 110 of them will be on the show field. These are the cars that are competing, and they are world-class cars, very rare. Most of the cars that visitors can see here will not be available to be seen anywhere else. Most are even nicer than museum cars, and they are from all over the country.

Gates open to the public at 9 a.m., the awards ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. and the Concours of Texas will end around 4:30 p.m. We expect around 10,000 people to attend this first year.

If you can only say one thing about the event, what is it?

The most important thing to know is that this is not a car show! Yes, we are showing cars, but this is not a car show. It is an art show with the cars as art. Think of it as a giant beauty pageant for automobiles. Cars are being shipped in from California, the east coast, Boca Raton and all over.

How does someone enter their car in the Concours?

All Concours are invitational. It’s like the Academy Awards — you have to be nominated to be on the show field. Around 300-400 invitations are sent out inviting people to submit their car for consideration and from those only about 110 are chosen to be on the show field.

How are winners chosen?

The competition is judged by independent judges from all over the country. It is a 100-point system. Typically, there is no car on the field that doesn’t start with at least 97 points to begin with. Winners are always within tenths of a point. It comes down to such things as: ‘the car is perfect but this one bolt is not original’

Is there an awards presentation?

After an entire morning of judging, winners are chosen in 18 car classes along with a Best of Show and a Modern Best of Show. Judging starts around 9 a.m. and ends midafternoon.

The awards presentation includes a red carpet area that cars drive by to get their crystal award and then they drive around in a showy processional while the announcer describes them.

What about tickets and parking?

Tickets are $50 per person and children get in free. Discounted tickets are available on Groupon and the Rangers will give away discounted tickets as well. Advance tickets ordered on the Concours website are 50 percent off with promo code “50OFF.”

Parking for the event is at Cowboys Silver Lot 4 at Randol Mill and AT&T Way. Shuttle service from the convention center will be available for overflow.

What else besides the cars in the competition will be offered?

Lots of attractions will be fun for people attending. There will be vendor displays. For example, my “Reality Rides” TV show will have a booth and my award-winning 1955 Buick will be there for people to see.

There will also be the Car Club Corral. Local car clubs will be highly selective in choosing cars to be in the corral — not just any car can be there. There will be 250 cars for people to enjoy and look at in this area.

Tell us about the motoring tour that’s part of the event.

The Six Flags Tour d’Elegance is on Friday, April 21. It will be a 43-mile police escorted tour that departs from Globe Life Park and winds through the area passing points of interest and stops at the historic Stockyards at 11 a.m. for lunch. There will be around 50 cars in the motoring tour. Photo and press opportunities are at Globe Life Park from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. or in the Fort Worth Stockyards between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Stockyards Station parking lot.

Will there be cars for sale during the event?

The Texas Classic Auction at Arlington Convention Center is open to the public and is a lot of fun to watch. On Friday evening there is an auction preview featuring 48 cars, and all day Saturday, April 22, around 100 cars will be up for auction. The public is invited but in order to bid, you must register. The cars are listed on the Worldwide Auctioneers website. Cars will be valued at an average of $150,000 with some valued around $1 million and even more. These cars are not thought of as transportation — they are art.

At other Concours auctions, what sort of bids do these cars receive?

A 1955 Lantia GT Spider, for example, recently had a starting bid of $1.5 million. Many of the rare cars sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other auctions featured, for example, a 1952 Porsche that sold for $350,000 and a1967 Ferrari sold for $67,000. Even though it needed complete restoration, a 1961 Astin Martin VB4 sold for $300,000. The auctions are really fascinating to watch.

Is there a charity component of the event?

Concours d’Elegance is a nonprofit organization that donates generously to charities. The Texas event has chosen the River Legacy Foundation as the local charity. The Make a Wish North Texas is the regional charity selected, and Holy Angels, a nonprofit that operates residential facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is regional charity.

The Concours internal charity is the Next Gen Education program that uses automobiles to connect students to the fields of engineering and technical training and works with kids at risk of dropping out to develop an interest in careers connected with cars.

In the five years this event was in Conroe near Houston at a much smaller venue, they raised and gave away nearly $2.5 million.

What do you see as the future for the Concours of Texas?

We have worked for two years to get this event in Arlington, and we finally accomplished that goal by working with the city, Six Flags, the Chamber of Commerce, the CVB, the Rangers and the Cowboys and a whole range of sponsors.

This is an event, that if we grow it to become the third largest behind Pebble Beach and Amelia Island, it will without a doubt make this the largest event in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Wet and wild fun at Cardboard Boat Regatta April 22

Most would agree that the Cardboard Boat Regatta held each spring is arguably the most unique event around these parts. First, there are those amazing all-cardboard boats built and designed by amateurs — some that are unbelievably clever and even the plainer ones are engineering marvels. Second, there is the entertainment value of seeing these cardboard creations actually race in the waters of the wave pool at Hurricane Harbor. And there are sometimes some pretty spectacular sinkings as well.

For some extra special Saturday entertainment, buying a ticket to the Regatta would be money well spent. Spectators can view all the incredible boats and watch the races and they can also enjoy several of the Hurricane Harbor attractions.

“Family-fun activities during the Regatta include a children’s area featuring a Mini-Boat ‘Raingutter’ Regatta and Hook’s Lagoon,” said event spokeswoman Kristi Payne. Mini-boat kits are for sale in advance at the River Legacy Living Science Center for $5.

“There will also be unlimited rides on the Tornado, Tsunami Surge and Typhoon Twister with the purchase of a $10 wristband,” Payne said.

Those who are adventuresome and spontaneous can actually build a boat on event day on site. More fun awaits kids who want to “adopt” a rubber whale and sail it down the Lazy River. Whales plucked from the finish line win great prizes. New this year is a Prize Cube where participants grab a whale from the cube to try for a prize.

Event tickets are $8 at the gate or save $2 by buying in advance at the Living Science Center located at 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd. Proceeds benefit the education programs of the River Legacy Foundation. Learn more at www.riverlegacy.org or call Payne at 817-860-6752.

Adult Field Day throwback will raise money for community programs

Why must it be just the kids who have all the fun of a field day? Grown-ups want to have fun, too, and all those field day competitions from your own school days or those of your children can be a blast at any age. That’s why the Fort Worth Junior Woman’s Club decided to host a family friendly Field Day on April 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Westside Little League Fields.

“Join us for a throwback to Field Day with adult fun. Enjoy friendly competition with prizes up for grabs. Participants with all varieties of athletic skills are invited to enjoy recess games including tug of war, relays, and flip cup,” said JWC officer Britta Hinze.

“Players will also enjoy beer, food vendors and music throughout the day. Coed teams are welcome and costumed or theme team dress is encouraged,” Hinze added. Field Day committee members are Isha Parkey, JWC President, and Elissa Winder.

Emcee will be Four-Day Weekend comedian and CW33 morning show host Oliver Tull. Winning teams will take home prizes including a Camp Gladiator certificate, shirts, gift cards, a wine tasting session and a facial from The Last Hurrah.

Admission for spectators is free (teams paid a fee to register). Proceeds enable JWC to continue programs to benefit scholarships and the community. The Field Day venue is located at 417 Rockwood Park Drive. Additional details are at www.jwcfw.com or contact Hinze at brittahinze@gmail.com to inquire.

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