“Shelby vs. GM” will join “Vintage Off-road” and “Right Coast Rods.”
These 10 classics prove the Greenwich Concours spectator lot is where it’s at
Every year, the small city of Greenwich, Connecticut, opens the waterside Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on its south end to house the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. Although tiny when compared to the monstrosity of elite-level car shows that are Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, the Greenwich show still garners enough million-dollar metal and other unique automobiles to pride itself as the largest Concours d’Elegance in the Northeast.
Over the course of two days, the Greenwich event features cars from America on day one, and foreign cars on day two.
Like other Concours, it’s also a reason for many non-participant enthusiasts to bring their own toys out from winter hiding, a sort of season opener to summer car show season. The spectator lot tends to be a car show in itself, one full of cars mortals can attain and enjoy.
Hagerty teamed up with the show’s organizers to introduce the first-ever VIP parking lot, meant specifically for spectators with cool cars and to benefit Americares and Hometown Foundation. Of course, we prowled the lot to check out some of the coolest sheet metal that arrived outside the Greenwich show. Here are the 10 best we spotted.
This 1960 Valiant V200 Suburban is a product of the late Plymouth division of the Chrysler Corporation and was one of the company’s best-selling cars of the time. Essentially a precursor to what would become the Plymouth Valiant, it gave Mopar a reputation for innovation, reliability, and durability. Initially, Valiant started off as a sub-brand of Chrysler, giving the Auburn Hills manufacturer a chance to break ground in the emerging compact car market. It was also one of the few American cars at the time to utilize a unibody construction, while others still depended on a body-on-frame structure.
This specific example has been in the hands of Mark Bridgeman of Southbury, Connecticut, since 2003 and was restored under his ownership. Bought sight unseen from its previous Californian owner with 93,000 miles, this Valiant fulfilled Mark’s hunt for a classic station wagon. Although in rough condition when first acquired, Mark daily-drove this Valiant until it was almost on its last leg. He then stored the car for nearly 12 years before finally restoring it to its current state four years ago, doing the majority of the work himself. It also features a unique three-speed manual from the factory. Mark said many expect his Valiant to feature Chrysler’s iconic push-button transmission selector but are often surprised that it sports a rare manual.
“I’ve always liked these early Valiants, so when I saw a station wagon that was a ’60 Valiant, I was like, I had to have it,” Mark says. “I kept it because I always knew it would be cool someday.”
The Jaguar Mark II sedan is arguably one of the Coventry-based automaker’s most iconic cars of the 1960s, behind the venerable E-type. It was the essence of Jaguar’s slogan, “Grace, Space, Pace” at the time and was one of the earliest examples of a post-war midsize sports sedan.
Driven by Richard “Nick” Cantee of Boston, this example is a two-owner car that’s been kept within the same family for the past 27 years following its original purchaser. The car has clocked 61,000 miles total. It belongs to a close friend of Nick’s, who simply asked him to take it to the Greenwich show for a sprint and a classic “Italian tune-up,” since it doesn’t get driven all too often. Its motor was rebuilt by Gran Turismo Jaguar of Ohio, who also gave it a few upgrades, such as Venolia forged pistons, versus the original factory cast versions.
The car was also repainted, though Nick believes the interior is all original and shockingly, in excellent condition. Nick has no doubts this Mark II, given its complete mechanical restoration, is ready for a cross-country journey—particularly if his brother in Wisconsin wanted to buy it.
1973 Alpine A110 1600S VC
The Alpine A110 won the first-ever World Rally Championship in 1973 before being dethroned by the equally legendary Lancia Stratos. Featuring a plethora of Renault parts, the A110 was a low-production sports car designed to take on the likes of Porsche’s 356 and eventually, the 911. Alpine made the A110 in three versions, with this example being the top-spec “VC” model, which was the platform for the rally editions that performed in various international motorsports competitions.
Chris Robbins from Rye Brook, New York, bought this example from a European-based rally car collector and is one of only 82 produced. It was imported into the United States by a friend a few years ago, making Robbins what he believes as the car’s fourth owner. Through careful documentation, this A110 traveled only 27,000 kilometers, or around 16,777 miles, and is set up as it came from the factory as a competition car. It does sport a few upgrades, such as a racing exhaust from the later 1600 model. This A110 is also particularly unique with its white-on-red paint livery, which was the same color that led to the A110’s first WRC victory with Jean-Claude Andruet behind the wheel.
“When I was growing up as a kid, I loved rallying, and the Alpine A110 was just one of those cars I’ve always wanted to have in my collection one day,” Robbins says. “It was one of my childhood heroes.”
The GTV 1750 is the two-door variant to Alfa Romeo’s first line of compact executive cars, based on the original four-door Type 105—better known as the original Giulia. With styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone, the GTV is arguably one of Alfa Romeo’s most gorgeous post-war era cars. Not only was the GTV known as a very capable sports coupe, the GTV also had a strong prominence in a variety of international motorsports competitions.
Owned by Nick and Tina Puccia of Brooklyn, New York, this example is a nearly all-original two-owner car with just 119,000 miles clocked in. It was repainted to restore its original color and its engine was rebuilt by the original owner. Nick and Tina first spotted the car at an outing at Lime Rock International Raceway in 2018. After some discussion about the need to add an Italian car to their collection, both Nick and Tina agreed that this GTV is a must-have.
“My wife kept saying to me, we’re Italian and we should have an Italian car,” Nick says. “When we were at Lime Rock we saw the car, started talking to the owner. And once we drove it, we knew that we had to have it.”
Nick notes that this is one of those cars where the original owner was meticulous, with a stack of paperwork from the day it was brought into the country. The previous owner went to Italy to buy the car, since they weren’t importing to the U.S. at the time. “So far, we’ve driven it over a 1000 miles since we bought it eight months ago with no issue,” Nick says. “And it’s comfortable. We feel safe driving this car across the country if we decided to.”
Announced in May 1946, Bentley’s Mark VI was the automaker’s first post-war car, when Rolls-Royce and Bentley cooperatively manufactured automobiles. It was Rolls-Royce’s first car to feature all-steel bodywork and the first to be fully assembled at its factory in Crewe, England. As a very expensive and exclusive sports sedan, the Mark VI was also a platform used by many custom coachbuilders, such as this special Drophead example, which hails from Swiss firm Graber.
Although featured as a show participant for the day two of the Greenwich Concours featuring foreign automobiles, this rare Bentley Mark VI was driven in a day early from Hamilton, Massachusetts by Thad and Mary Jane Steward. The Stewards actually featured this very car in the Greenwich show way back in 2000, when it won first place in its class and “Best-In-Show” after undergoing a full restoration. Since then, it’s just been driven.
The Stewards are either the fourth or fifth owner and it was originally built for display purposes at Bentley’s stand during the 1951 Geneva Motor Show. It was later sold to a Swiss industrialist and was imported into the United States in 1965. So far, it’s accumulated around 70,000–80,000 miles and is a complete turnkey example.
“We’ve had it in the family for about 18 years, and we don’t plan to get rid of it,” Thad says. “This is the only 1950 or 1951 Graber coachbuilt Mark VI left, there were two originally. A total of 17 Graber-bodied cars were built since 1937, before the owner of the firm passed away. From what we know, the other one burned up from an accident, so this is the only one that exists from the 1950 and 1951 years.”
1975–77 Toyota Celica GT
This is about as “OG” as Toyota Celicas can get. This first-generation model was one Japanese automaker’s first cars to be imported into North America. Specifically aimed for the U.S. market, Toyota made the Celica as a direct response to the success of the Ford Mustang. The original Celica came in two forms, a traditional two-door coupe and a three-door liftback.
The specific model brought to the Hagerty lot on the second day of the Greenwich Concours show is a top-spec GT variant, meaning it features a five-speed manual and the Celica’s most powerful 2.2-liter inline-four from the era. Judging by the car’s beefier “5-mph bumpers,” this is likely a later 1975–77 model. Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t around for comment, as we imagine he or she was busy enjoying the show. But from the condition of the car, it’s about as clean and pristine as first-gen Celicas can get, on top of considering how rare they are to begin with these days.
1991–98 Fiat Cinquecento
Forbidden fruit is always a treat to see on U.S. roads and such is the case with this 1990s Fiat Cinquecento. Fiat left the American market in 1983 and it wasn’t until 2009 that the company reintroduced itself. So seeing anything in between that originated from other shores is a special occasion.
The Cinquecento was a replacement for Fiat’s 126 hatchback, the platform that was essentially Fiat’s answer to the original Austin Mini. The Cinquecento only came in one body style, as a subcompact three-door city car. Because of its simplistic design, the Cinquecento earned a strong reputation to become one of the automaker’s most popular cars in Europe, before seeing competition from the likes of the Renault Twingo, Ford Ka, SEAT Arosa, and Volkswagen Lupo.
What started off as a private experiment by lead Mercedes-Benz engineer Erich Waxenberger, the 300SEL 6.3 went on to become one of the Silver Arrow’s most iconic cars. Taking the beastly M100 V-8 straight from the flagship 600 limousine, Waxenberger shoehorned the motor into the company’s new at-the-time, big-bodied W109 four-door, penned by none other than Paul Bracq. With close to 300 horsepower on tap, it was the world’s fastest production four-door of its era, sprinting to 60 mph in less than seven seconds with a top speed nearing 140 mph. The 300SEL 6.3 further separated itself from other contemporaries with a four-corner air suspension setup and luxurious amenities.
This example features a rare dark blue exterior with a lovely red interior and was one of the highlights of the Hagerty lot for the first day of the Greenwich Concours. The owner sadly wasn’t present to tell us about the car, but considering its condition, it appeared to be very well cared for and ready for the intercity Autobahn sprints that it was initially designed for.
1963–73 Rover P6 “2000 TC”
This British oddity is arguably one of the UK’s most beloved saloons, next to the venerable Jaguar Mark II. The Rover P6 was first introduced in 1963 and it was so compelling, it became the first car to win the European Car of the Year award in ’64. The P6 is best known as one of the first cars to utilize Rover’s legendary 3.5-liter V-8, following the P5B.
This Rover P6 however is a little bit different. It’s one of the earlier P6 models, which didn’t feature the famous Rover V-8. Rather, it’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but is a later variant of the engine, featuring twin SU carburetors and an upgraded valvetrain.
It’s clear that this is one of the best surviving examples of the Rover P6, especially when you consider many of them sadly met their rusty demise over the years.
Built as a successor to the previous W109 300SEL 6.3, the W116 450SEL 6.9 featured the same M100 V-8 as the preceding car. But the engine was bored to displace slightly more than 6.8 liters. Just like the car before it, the 450SEL 6.9 was at one point the world’s fastest production vehicle, featuring the largest engine ever fitted to any Mercedes-Benz post-war.
It was one of the first cars to offer electronically controlled anti-lock brakes, while the 6.9 also offered a Citroën-esque hydropneumatics self-leveling suspension at all four corners, a precursor to what is now referred to as active adaptive suspension and to Mercedes-Benz’s current Active Body Control.
This particular example is apparently a two-owner pristine car that covered just a shade over 55,000 miles since new. With it comes a stack full of service records and even its original window sticker, which stamped in a grand total just short of $42,000, or around $177,112 in today’s money. And although W116 S-Classes are pretty rare to begin with, 6.9s are even rarer. Maybe because they’re not for the faint-hearted restorer.