For the 40th edition of the Midwest’s grandest weekend of vehicular worship, organizers covered 200 acres of manicured greens with 300 spectacular cars, motorcycles, and racing machines arranged in 29 classes. The weather was spectacular, the crowd was properly attired and well behaved. Approximately $80,000 of the ticket revenue was donated to four worthy organizations: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Project Beautiful, Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, and Flint’s Kettering University. The one hardship attributable to this show is a global dent in carnauba wax reserves.
Dozens of fine trophies were presented to the standout bikes and cars, including Best in Class, Grand Awards, Best Sound, Most Outstanding Paint, Lion Awards, Most Elegant Car, Chairman’s Award, Timeless Beauty, Most Original, and Engineering Excellence. Other trophies venerate patrons of automotive design and preservation. But, what you really want to know is what American and European entries (one of each) won Best of Show. Without further ado, here are your mega stars:
European Best in Show
1937 Bugatti Type 57S
Only 43 examples of the Bugatti Type 57S were produced. The S designation indicates a special "surbaisse" (lowered) chassis achieved by using a dry sump engine, different suspension and dampers, and five very small-diameter exhaust pipes. This Gangloff-bodied coupe with rear-hinged doors was delivered to Dr. Andre Chauvenet, a World War I veteran residing in Noir, France. It’s now part of the Rare Wheels Collection of Windermere, Florida.
American Best in Show
1935 Duesenberg SJN
Duesenberg competed with the best European cars of the time by means of advanced technologies including dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, supercharging, and hydraulic brakes. This 1935 Rollston-bodied convertible designed by Herb Newport rides on 17-inch wheels and is equipped with the day’s best power-assisted brakes. This is the only factory supercharged JN and is allegedly capable of 89 mph in second and 115 mph in top gear, consistent with the factory’s ‘America’s Mightiest Motor Car’ aspirations. Clark Gable owned one of the ten JNs sold which he used to race arch rival Duesenberg owner Gary Cooper. Each door is supported by four hinges at the rear of the openings. The current owners of this magnificent Duesie are Bill and Barbara Parfet of Hickory Corners, Michigan.