For five years, the Louisville Concours d’Elegance gathered and displayed the finest examples of automotive history under the twin spires of Churchill Downs on the first Sunday of October. The first four were led by Brooklawn Child and Family Services, with proceeds from the Concours helping the charity provide education, shelter and other resources for their young residents. In 2012, the reins were handed over to Kosair Children’s Hospital, the strong bond between the two charities allowing for a successful transfer when the former could no longer manage the annual gathering due to funding cuts by the commonwealth.
2012 would also be the last time the Concours d’Elegance would grace the infield of the legendary track with its presence.
Though it had been known through the organizers’ Facebook page for some time, the announcement was officially made last week: The 2013 Louisville Concours d’Elegance will be held at the West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Spings, Ind., a 3,000-acre facility with two historic hotels, four golf courses, a pair of world-class spas and more.
The marque to be honored for the sixth annual Concours is Packard, an automaker whose roots can be traced back to Warren, Ohio in 1899, relocating to Detroit in 1902. The late automaker aimed for the luxury clients, peaking with the Super Eight in 1939. During World War II, Packard built airplane engines for the P-51 Mustang, and V-12 marine engines for the PT boats. Postwar, the manufacturer fell on hard times, merging with South Bend, Ind.-based Studebaker in 1954 before disappearing altogether in 1962 with the advent of the Avanti.
Thirteen classes, from Packard’s many offerings to micro cars and modern-era supercars, will all vie for not just the best in their respective classes, but for the ultimate prize of Best in Show. Events include a private welcome reception for the participants, a driving tour through the Hoosier National Forest, a “Great Gatsby”-themed gala, and breakfast on the day of the Concours itself.
The Louisville Concours d’Elegance will be held October 4 – 6, 2013 at West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Springs, Ind. For more information, contact Heather Singleton at 502-629-2125, or through email at [email protected] Until then, have a look through the Concours this author has attended between 2010 and 2012 (and cross your fingers that yours truly can make it up to Indiana in 2013).
Photos: Cameron Miquelon/Louisville.com.