Sunday, October 6, 2013

Concours d'pumpkinfest

Every October the folks down the road in Port Elgin put on their "pumpkinfest" fall fair extravaganza. What gets the headlines is the giant pumpkin weigh-in. This year's winner came in at a whopping 1545 pounds!

If ogling giant gourds is not your cup of tea, there's an even better reason to hit pumpkinfest. The car show.

Unlike the Concours d'elegance put on at Cobble Beach a few weeks back, this one is free, and while there was no Bugatti on display, there was more than enough to make your eyes glaze over. In fact, the car show has become so well known that even big league car guys like Jay Leno have been known to drop in.

The citizens of Port block off a good chunk of their downtown for the weekend, and you've got literally a couple of dozen blocks lined on both sides of the street with everything from rat-rods to retro-cruisers to the cream of Detroit's high-water era, the '60s. There's even a block's worth of choppers if you're a two-wheel fanatic.

Virtually everything at the Port Elgin car show gets driven to the meet, and the focus is on cruisers and muscle cars. There must have been at least half a dozen big-block Novas on view, each more pristine than the last.

One car that did arrive on a trailer was also at the Cobble Beach event. That was one of the ultra-rare 64 Fairlane Thunderbolts that Ford built a very limited number of. These were strictly intended for drag racing only, and came with the 427 motor stuffed into the smallish Fairlane chassis. A documented Thunderbolt commands in the range of a quarter million dollars today.

My favorite of the show had to be that cherry red '62 Pontiac Grand Prix... or maybe that '62 Dart with the 413... or that 409 Impala SS with the twin four-barrels...

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