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Home MICHIGAN Classic cars meet classic art as Concours d'Elegance stages event at DIA

Classic cars meet classic art as Concours d’Elegance stages event at DIA

The classic car show Detroit Concours d’Elegance staged its first event on the outdoor grounds of the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, where 120 innovatively designed automobiles were displayed amid the formal stylishness of the world-class art museum. 

A 1967 black Ferrari 330 GTC sat near the enormous black steel Gracehoper, a 1962 sculpture by Tony Smith on the DIA’s north lawn.

The Ferrari is owned by Dwayne Fietzer of Dexter, who spent eight years restoring the Italian sports car bought by his father.

“I just do it for bragging rights,’’ Fietzer said, when asked why he chose to enter the Ferrari in the Concours d’Elegance.

Marlayna Schoen, 46, of Ferndale observes the classic cars during the Detroit Concours d'Elegance.

The event had been anchored in the Metro Detroit suburbs for 43 years, first at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills and then at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Hagerty Drivers Club, an automotive lifestyle brand that hosted the event, decided to move it downtown after purchasing the event last year.

The Concours d’Elegance events will be held in Detroit from now on, according to Peter Fink, vice president of events and experiences at Hagerty.

“We just feel that it’s the right place to really celebrate, you know, the culture and all things automotive for the industry,” Fink said.

The DIA was chosen in part because it is located along Woodward Avenue, officials said. In 1909, Woodward became the first paved road in America when 1 mile was paved.

Richard Andrews, 70, of Windsor, Ontario, takes photos of a 1940 Packard Darrin.

Near the steel plate sculpture The X and Its Tails by Alexander Calder stood a row of post-war European automobiles that were being inspected by a trio of veteran judges for the event.

When Judge Wayne Carini asked that a gray 1965 Jaguar E-Type Series be started, he smiled as the engine purred. “That is beautiful. I never get tired of hearing that sound,” Carini said. 

A crowd came out to view cars on the grounds of the Detroit Institute of Arts on September 18, 2022.

“I’ve been a judge many, many years. My father was into automobiles, too,” Carini said. He has childhood memories of attending car shows with his father, he said. 

The Concours is a competition in which judges evaluate the cars and name a best in class and best in show.

“This year, we really wanted to celebrate the Motor City, so we did three feature classes that were very Detroit-centric,” Brewer said.

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