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A perfect afternoon at the 2012 Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles

This type of automotive diversity wouldn't exist at the event if enthusiasts of a broad range of historical vehicles, from full classics to hot rods and The annual Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles is technically a concours d'elegance. Yet that phrase—French for “contest of elegance”—is notably absent from the event's title. According to organizers, that omission was intentional—and after spending a day enjoying the vehicles displayed on the grounds of the Glenmoor Country Club in Canton, Ohio, it's easy to understand why it was made.

Perhaps for some of the more competitive exhibitors participating in the Sunday, Sept. 16 event, the 18th Gathering really was a contest. To the thousands of attendees and probably the bulk of exhibitors, however, it was simply a chance to enjoy classic automotive design in an atmosphere free of pretension and snobbery.

Phil Carpenter of Louisville, Ohio, has been attending the Gathering for nine years, and in that time he's seen it grow into the nationally recognized event it is today. Carpenter compared the event favorably to the annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, which he has also attended.

Key to his enjoyment is the Gathering's “nice and open setup,” which allows guests to view “the kind of cars you just don't get to see every day.” He added that in past years, he's seen “everything from milk trucks to school busses” next to coachbuilt classics.

This type of automotive diversity wouldn't exist at the event if enthusiasts of a broad range of historical vehicles, from full customs, didn't feel welcome at the Gathering.

Take Norm Anderson of Canfield, Ohio. Anderson reports that he “absolutely” feels comfortable at the event, where his Chevy-powered 1932 Ford highboy roadster shares the grounds with historically accurate restorations.

Nearly two dozen rare Allards, a handful of steam-powered cars, and a variety of so-called “Trans Atlantics”—American-powered cars draped in European bodywork—filled out the field. Motorcycles and the ever-popular micro cars captured almost as much attention as the priceless full classics on display yards away.

The Gathering's ability to attract exceptional vehicles, such as a group of Tucker '48 sedans, is a testament to its growing relevance on the collector car circuit. The event pulled in seven of the vehicles, plus a one-off replica and a prop car from the 1988 Jeff Bridges film Tucker: the Man and His Dream.

A Tucker is best appreciated when viewed in the company of other Tuckers. Alone, a Tucker is a curiosity—the most famous automotive might-have-been. Viewed in a group, however, they can be appreciated as the revolutionary vehicles that they were; one can almost imagine the pride Preston Tucker felt when looking at his admittedly small but striking fleet of Torpedos.

And at Glenmoor, guests were able to view those Tuckers—and Packards and Stutzes and so on—without tripping over rope barriers. It is refreshing to attend an event that recognizes the responsibility of its attendees and permits a level of accessibility not always found on the councours field.

Competition among collectors and restorers may not have been the primary purpose of the Gathering, but every car on the field was a solid contender for official recognition. A 1929 Duesenberg J phaeton by Murphy owned by Bloomfield Hills, Mich., resident Charles Letts Jr. claimed Best of Show, while a 1931 Packard 840 Sport landaulet was named the Most Elegant Motorcar.

A 1901 Packard C, a 1927 Hudson Custom roadster, a 1936 Buick Opera Coupe and a 1956 Continental Mark II convertible were awarded Best in Class trophies.

Davis Bianchi, a local eighth-grade student, served as one of the Gathering's junior judges. The Junior Judge Award went to the 1959 Fiat Abarth coupe by Zagato belonging to Don and Diane Meluzio of York, Pa., but Davis also enjoyed the show's selection of American muscle cars and a restored Studebaker woodie wagon.

Davis said that eventually, he'd like to own a vintage Porsche like the 1977 911S that belongs to his father David. Until then, he and his friend J.J. Olivera seemed content inspecting the impressive collection of vehicles on display. The thousands of fellow enthusiasts of all ages who joined them at the Glenmoor Gathering couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable afternoon on which to share in their appreciation.

This article was originally published on AutoWeek.com. Click here for the original article.

Click here for the AutoWeek.com article on the Glenmoor Gathering Countryside Tour.

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