Best of Show: Arizona Concours d’Elegance

Writer Lara Piu
Photographers Scott Dames, Larry Edsall and Bob Golfen

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is widely considered among the greatest automotive jewels of the Art Deco era. It’s the most famous creation of Jean Bugatti, the artist and engineer son of company founder Ettore Bugatti. A classic display of the gracefully-lined design aesthetic he is famous for, the 57SC was the first of four Atlantics built by Bugatti.

Originally sold to Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild, Chassis Number 57374 is now owned by Peter Mullin and Rob Walton and sits in the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. But on January 15, it will sit among 90 antique, classic, post-war race and exotic cars at Arizona Concours d’Elegance.

“To have one of the most recognized classic cars in the world present on the Biltmore’s inner courtyard is a wonderful opportunity for those who cherish the art and style of the automobile,” says Ed Winkler, co-director of the event. “The car is pure art in motion, and guests will have the opportunity to see this extraordinary — and rarely seen — automobile at the Arizona Concours.”

Held at the historic Arizona Biltmore, the fourth annual competition will also include a celebration of the 100-year history of Italian design house Coachwork by Vignale, champion race car drivers, panel discussions, racing legends and more.

Automobiles come from across the United States for the competition. Each year, 15 standard classes are displayed and judged. In addition, there will be three special classes this year: Lincolns of the Classic Era, Cars of Ettore Bugatti and Coachwork by Vignale.

The weekend includes three panel discussions on January 14:

• 10 a.m.: Phoenix Automotive Press Association Auction Week Preview
• Noon: “Legends: Pioneering Women in Racing,” moderated by veteran driver Lyn St. James
• 2 p.m.: “Drive: The Passion Driving Race Team Owners,” moderated by Lyn St. James with Chip Ganassi and Bobby Rahal

On January 16 at 8:00 a.m. is the Arizona Tour d’Elegance, when a parade of the Concours cars will drive through the Valley. At noon, the cars will be parked at the Scottsdale Waterfront, where they will briefly be on display for free.

All proceeds from the Arizona Concours benefit Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Concours has raised about $200,000 for Make-A-Wish Arizona, making more than 20 wishes for Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions possible.

Arizona Concours d’Elegance Arizona Biltmore Resort
2400 E. Missouri Ave.
Phoenix, 85016
Competition: $80 online; $100 at the door
Panel discussions: $60
Arizona Tour d’Elegance: Free

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