Classic cars return to Lopez Island

  • Sat Aug 7th, 2010 12:25am
  • Life
Classic cars return to Lopez Island

The fifth annual Concourse de Elegance is Aug. 14. Each year the event grows in size and reputation, with vehicles now coming from as far afield as Seattle. “The Concourse de Elegance is is a meeting of all kinds of classic antique, classic cars,” says Tex Gieling, who co-founded the event with Helen Cosgrove and continues to coordinate it.

What started as a small local gathering dedicated to enjoying classic cars has now expanded to a cross island parade of nearly 30 vehicles. “Last year we had 28 cars including a 1937 cord and a 1923 Bugatti,” says Gieling. This year she is excited to report a Triumph TR4 will be exhibited.

The schedule includes a parade, and a picnic. Gieling says “We meet at the school at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The cars will then leave about noon and parade the island. We go up center road to military road across military road to north road. We will go down through the village past the old market then on to Fishermanbay Road. From there we go to Burt Road and then burt to Coffelt Drive. We all bring our own lunch and havea big picninc at coffeld drive. There you get to kick tires and tell stories and talk about cars.”

Gieling says she has been intrested in classic cars “probabaly from when I was in diapers,” but she bought her own, 1932 Chrysler Roadster in 1952. “Ive had it ever since.” Gieling attributes the fine condition of her car to islander Roy Berg, now based on the mainland, and says of him “he is the best classic car restorer on the west coast.”

It is the beauty of the classic vehicle that appeals to Gieling, “They’re so wonderfully designed and they’re fun. I think contemporary cars are utility objects, a classic car you can just look at it and your heart goes out. And I think there are a number of people who have classic cars for that reason.”

The event is open to the public, anybody with an interest in cars is invited to watch the parade and join in the picnic, “anyone who loves a car loves to show it off and talk to other people,” says Gieling. Drivers are also welcome to dress in the costume of their car’s era, “This is really a parade for beloved cars,” says Gieling.