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September is a busy month for Northeastern car lovers. The Lime Rock Fall Festival and Sunday in the Park Concours start the month. Three days later, our Vintage Racing Services Inc. staff finds itself at Watkins Glen International for the SVRA’s sensational vintage weekend. ARI staffers are going full bore to perfect some exhibit autos and be ready for our roles at the Fairfield County Concours’d’Elegance. All good fun and what a month it was.

Saturday September 17th started out Sunny and warm with just the slightest hint of early New England crispness in the air. After summer’s heat, fall is welcome and even your warmed-over Jag will stay cool on that excursion you’ve been planning. It is indeed a vehicular respite to many New Englanders and the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance proved just the place to be.

Automotive Restorations Inc. is pleased to be a supporter, sponsor, and operational assist organization for the event. Working with co-creators Bill Scheffler and John Shuck, not to mention the car guy of car guys, Miles Morris, is indeed a pleasure. Together this group has taken this event from a small local “on the green” exhibit to a national-level event. Entry is by invitation and the organizers select awfully well. The exhibits to be found on the field are uniformly exceptional in quality, provenance, or some other carefully chosen combination of elements. Concours: a museum that’s only open for a day, which makes the FFCC experience all the more engaging.

Saturday is a relaxed club day with a terrific array of clubs exhibiting great cars on the field. Seminars are a part of activities, along with the event’s rally tour. We enjoyed providing a portion of the entertainment in the form of a seminar we titled “just drive it, Tales from the Road and Restorations.” Our theme: active use of collectable automobiles and joys therein. We had lots of help: Friend Wayne Carini recounted his tales of a Renault Dauphine on the California Mille rally while Charlie Webb, classic car rallyist Hans Abrahams and I extolled the virtues of fine vintage machines at speed.

Sunday was show day and what a show it was. I had plenty to do helping with judging assignments. With so many great cars to review, it is no surprise that the judging teams just managed to get results in under the wire. I think all my distinguished colleagues did a fine job of a difficult task recognizing just a few of the most deserving among a field of great automobiles. Every single one on the lawn deserves recognition and we will all savor the sights months to come.

We were pleased to see some of the cars we at ARI and VRS have had a hand in preserving and maintaining justly awarded. Andy Bennenson and Elizabeth Jensen’s 1949 Bentley MK VII Continental Touring Salon with coachwork by Harold Radford took the Judges Choice Award in the “Woodie” class among a superb field, with Drake Darrin’s Town and Country convertible garnering a Judges Selection acknowledgement. Michael and Barbara Schwartz drove up to collect the Judges Choice Award for their class in their Siata 208BS Balbero Coupe. Peter Kalikow’s superb Ferrari 400 Super America found the Judges Choice Award among a very noteworthy field, as did a good number of others before it was all said and done.

Well done all and thanks to the organizers and all who helped make the weekend a fond memory. The Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance. Close to home, world class, with a special, elegantly relaxed ambience its creators have worked hard to develop. What could be better? The following photos tell the tale.

 And on the field that day, Johns’s Buick exhitibted.

And on the field that day, Johns’s Buick exhitibted.

 This beautiful Darby 4-¼ liter Bentley, with paint and interior by ARI, shows delicate work to make it a splendid show car. Owner John Faigle brings it out for its exhibit debut at FFCC after a 10-year process.

This beautiful Darby 4-¼ liter Bentley, with paint and interior by ARI, shows delicate work to make it a splendid show car. Owner John Faigle brings it out for its exhibit debut at FFCC after a 10-year process.

 The craft of Automotive Restorations exhibit, stage right.

The craft of Automotive Restorations exhibit, stage right.

 Seminar in process: “Just Drive It To The Show.” Many did!

Seminar in process: “Just Drive It To The Show.” Many did!

 Distinguised judges assemble. Awards to follow.

Distinguised judges assemble. Awards to follow.

 Michael and Barbara Schwartz’s Siata awaits.

Michael and Barbara Schwartz’s Siata awaits.

 Henry Miller leaves his Gullwing open for review.

Henry Miller leaves his Gullwing open for review.

 Just out of our paint shop; Josh Lewis’ 365 GTC.

Just out of our paint shop; Josh Lewis’ 365 GTC.

 Awards underway as a Ferrari 400 Super America we know well is tailed by a Siata 208 BS coupe we’ve also had our hands in. Both nicely awarded with class wins. Congratulations to Peter Kalikow and Michael and Barbara Schwartz.

Awards underway as a Ferrari 400 Super America we know well is tailed by a Siata 208 BS coupe we’ve also had our hands in. Both nicely awarded with class wins. Congratulations to Peter Kalikow and Michael and Barbara Schwartz.

 "Later in the day, Andy Bennenson and Elizabith Jensen take a class win in Bentely MK6 Continental Touring Salon from Harold Radford Coachworks.

"Later in the day, Andy Bennenson and Elizabith Jensen take a class win in Bentely MK6 Continental Touring Salon from Harold Radford Coachworks.

 We’ll let Hemmings say the rest. We just barely got Chirs’ Thunderbird finished in time. He was patient and understanding of our efforts and he was there bright and early with both Thunderbird and drivers looking great.

We’ll let Hemmings say the rest. We just barely got Chirs’ Thunderbird finished in time. He was patient and understanding of our efforts and he was there bright and early with both Thunderbird and drivers looking great.