(Words and photos by Doug Gregory) – I know what you’re thinking – this kind of show isn’t for regular gearheads. I disagree. Certainly the white-glove scrutiny the top-end cars get is beyond most of us that beat on our stuff, but it still has plenty to offer. The Keeneland Concours began back in 2004 as the brain child of Tom and Connie Jones to bring this kind of event to Lexington, KY. The event specifically raises funds for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
If you don’t know what Keeneland is then let’s enlighten you. Keeneland is more than a horse track with both dirt and grass surfaces, it’s also the site of the world’s largest thoroughbred auction house, and hosts many other events. This track has been featured in movies and been instrumental in the horse racing industry for over 80 years. There are two meets every year that host 32 graded stakes races, some of which are Kentucky Derby and Breeder’s Cup prep events. Keeneland is also designated a National Historic Landmark so that plays well into hosting an event highlighting older cars. The part you need to know is that it‘s all a historic-looking. park-like setting with plenty of space.
The only bad part about the 2019 event was the very muggy conditions. It was sweaty hot.
This first gallery features a lot of cars I know very little about. Good thing many had signs so I knew what I was looking at and its significance. Many of the cars in here are coach-built or handmade. There were cars I have never even seen in a museum and all of them drove onto and off the grass. In fact…there’s a touring event that takes place after the Concours show and some of these priceless automobiles will sail down the road enjoying the Kentucky countryside. Every judged car must start and show that all systems are operational to be considered.
Winning Best of Show was a 1933 Isota Fraschini Tipo 8A. Don’t know what that is…? Neither did I. Coach-built body and powered by a then most-powerful straight-eight engine available. A few of these were used in movies way back when and cost more than a Duesenberg.
Most of the images have labels to help average gearheads like myself that wouldn’t necessarily know. Much of it is interesting to read about so looking them up might help you stump someone with a trivia question one day. Or maybe not.
Lots more to see from the 2019 Keeneland Concours so check back soon.