Schmoozing with the Oldies

Jul 21, 2014 | 1 comment

Concours d'Elegance Program

Concours d’Elegance Program

We spent yesterday in Forest Grove on the campus of Pacific University at the Concours d’Elegance. It was their 42nd Annual (but only our 2nd annual) and we loved and lusted all afternoon! We were certainly not alone. It was more crowded than last year – perhaps because the weather was about twenty degrees cooler – but, even so, we had plenty of space and time to enjoy the cars.

We looked for and right away found Ann “Memi” Sherwood Anderson, an Oysterville friend from childhood. She was there with her friend Don Baulig and his 1957 Corvette. We had missed them last year but this time we even baby-sat Don’s beautiful car (feeling pretty important you betcha!) while they took a little coffee break. So so so fun!

Memi, Don and the Corvette

Memi, Don and the Corvette

Even though this year’s theme was ‘The Art of Italian Motoring’ and the Alfa Romeros and Ferraris were to die for, my very favorite car was the 1896 Riker Electric – probably the oldest car on display and certainly the most unusual. It was a prototype designed by Andrew L. Riker who established the Riker Electric Motor Company in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1898. His grandson Richard Riker now owns the car and it was his wife, Judith, who talked with us about it.

The Riker Electric (The Pre-Prius?)

The Riker Electric (The Pre-Prius?)

In my mind the Riker was the 19th century forerunner of our Prius. Never mind that it could only go twelve miles on a battery charge! I was enthralled that all those years ago Riker predicted there would be electric re-charging stations along all the roads in the U.S.A. Truly a man of vision. But he was practical, too, and by 1902 had switched to producing gasoline – propelled automobiles.

While Nyel especially enjoyed the MG-As and Porches and other cars he’d had in his salad days, I found myself gravitating to the cars of a still older era – the Model A Fords of the ‘20s and the Packards and Buicks and Bentleys of the ‘30s and ‘40s. We walked until our legs ached and it was closing time.

And we understand there’s another Concours d/Elegance on August 3rd at Fort Vancouver! If we recover in time, we just might consider going…

1 Comment

  1. Louise Labby Carroll

    We were there also. The Packards won my heart. Gorgeous. The one I would take home, however, would be either the Corvette Nyel is standing with or the light blue T-bird. What a treat to see all of these lovely automobiles!


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