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2015 Hillsborough Hillsborough Concours D'Elegance

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On: Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 1:04AM | By: Jon Summers

2015 Hillsborough Hillsborough Concours D'Elegance

Hillsborough Concours is one of the best events of the Northern California car show calendar. It takes place right on the San Andreas earthquake fault line, hard to believe since a more picturesque spot would be hard to find. Like Pebble Beach, it is on a golf course, with visitors parking and riding. Like Pebble, the show is a manageable number of cars, meaning you can walk around the field multiple times, revisiting favorite cars, rather than drowning in volume. Like Pebble, this year one of featured marques was Ferrari.

As so often with the old car space, the Master of Ceremonies, John Joss, is an Englishman, and he seems to relish the crowd’s enjoyment of his Terribly British tones. Unlike a well-known concours in the New York area, where cars were roped off and visible from only one angle, at Hillsborough one can walk all around the cars, get close enough to point out the open-gated shifter and wood-rimmed Nardi wheel of a Ferrari Testa Rossa to your wife. There’s a friendliness and an accessibility; I arrived early for the show, and the guy who directed me to the parking was one of the main organizers of the event. One entrant lamented,“There’s too much competition,” speaking about the excellent turnout. Certainly show did seem bigger than recent years, with a car corral, which hadn’t existed other years.

A friend who was showing a car reminded me of the remarkable price of tickets for Pebble Beach this year: $300 in advance, $350 at the gate. He remarked”The people going nowadays, they don’t flinch at that. There will still be more people crowded on the lawn…”

Hillsborough provides the high caliber cars and lovely setting, and the room to stand back and see the cars; truly, Hillsborough is something of what Pebble was decades ago, and therefore well worth carving out time for a visit. The slogan at Brooklands used to be “The Right Crowd, And No Crowding”, and that is perhaps how Hillsborough feels. Highly recommended.

The author is a docent volunteer at the Hillsborough Concours; he has no commercial relationship with the organizers, sponsors, or beneficiaries.

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