Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Corvette Excitement at the Concours d’Elegance of America

 Corvette Excitement at the Concours d’Elegance of America
By Rick Tavel © July 29, 2013

 It appeared that the 2013 Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's was going to be rained out on Sunday when Saturday’s storms prevented much of the event set up.   Though rain was forecast, after only a brief shower the 374 exhibitors rushed to get their cars displayed on the beautiful but wet fairways of the golf course.  Though the temperatures were unusually cool, the rain held off except for a short sprinkle around noon and the wet weather didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the car owners or the 10,000 enthusiasts who braved the threatening skies and to view some of the finest cars in the country.  

Award winning C.J. Titterrington's impeccable Z06
 Of course as expected, the category that created some of the most interest and crowds was the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 Corvette category featuring historic 1963 C2 race Z06’s and completely stock Corvettes.  Throughout the event the Z06’s were surrounded by enthusiasts who wanted to get a close up look at some of the historic race cars which took on the legendary Shelby Cobras which had started to dominate the race tracks in 1963.   Three of the  four “big tank” cars on display were racecars and one was a stock “tanker” that had no race history.

Titterington (left) with mentor & Z06 expert Franz Estereicher
 One of the historic Z06 racecars, C.J.Titterington’s impeccable black Z06, took home one of two ribbons awarded to 1963 Corvettes.  Titterington’s impeccable restoration was the only one of the racing Corvettes to receive an award at the show. (see article on Corvette Blogger July 24  The Epic Journey of C.J. Titterington and His Z06 ) His car, originally raced by Alvin Forsyth during the early 1960’s, drew high praise for the documented, historically accurate, extensive, and lengthy restoration.  The restoration was supported by a five inch binder of historic documentation, photos, and racing records on the car.  Titterington did the restoration himself with the help of a few friends and under the guidance of his mentor, Franz Estereicher, the world’s most knowledgeable authority on C2 racing Z06’s.  During the restoration Titterington made contact with many key individuals who played a part in the history of the Corvette including Al Forsyth’s wife, now in her 80’s and also a racer of a 1958 “fuelie”.  In addition he had the original mechanic and crew chief for Forsyth’s car, Steve Shiner, in the 1960’s, now almost 80, go over the engine and install an exact duplicate of the special cam that he installed a half century before. Many important facts concerning the car were gotten from Laura Forsyth and Steve Shiner during long hours of conversations.  In addition Dan Ferri, the second owner of the car and also a competent road racer, offered input on the race history of the car.  It was this attention to detail throughout the restoration that resulted in a world class restoration.

Michaelis' Z06 originally raced by Dick Lang
Right next to Titterington’s Z06 was Terry Michaelis’ Z06, originally raced by Alan Lang, having just returned from Hampton, Virginia, and the NCRS convention where it was honored with the exceptional “Heritage Award” which Michaelis proudly had displayed on the front seat of his beautiful Corvette. (See article in Corvette Blogger July 18 Historic 1963 Corvette Invited,,,  Michaelis is nationally known for owning, restoring and selling some of the most historically significant Corvettes in the country.   Nabers Brothers of Houston did the exceptional restoration of the award winning car at a cost of over $200,000.  In June the car won Best in Class, First Place, and Special Display awards at the 34th Annual Ault Park Concours in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Michael Owen's 1963 Split Window Coupe
 Besides Titterington’s Z06, the only other 1963 Corvette to win an award was an completely stock, Saddle Tan 1963 split window coupe which had just undergone an extensive restoration by Master Works Automotive Services in Madison Heights, Michigan, and owned by Michael Owen of Florida.  The car was in pristine condition appearing as it would have sitting on the dealer’s showroom floor.  Owen’s car has been shown nationally and has been awarded eight NCRS Top Flight awards along with the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence award and has also achieved Bloomington Gold.

 Sadly, the winner of the Best in Show was not a Corvette.  That honor went to a magnificent 1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster Derham, owned by Joseph & Margie Cassini, III. The European Best of Show winner was a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Boat tail Speedster owned by Roger Willbanks.  However had an award been given for the category of cars creating the most excitement, the “50th Anniversary of the 1963 Corvette” would have easily won.

Best of Show Winners











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