Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance

In the universe of car shows only Pebble Beach has more name recognition than the ultra-prestigious Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in Michigan.  In a fortuitous twist of fate, one of Meadow Brook’s featured 2009 car groupings was “Fins and Chrome: The Convertibles of 1959” in celebration of the 50 year anniversary of the 1959 convertibles.  The cars competing in that special class included the very best example of every 1959 American made convertible.  They are:

1959 Buick Electra 225
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
1959 Chevrolet Impala
1959 Chrysler 300E
1959 Desoto Adventurer
1959 Dodge Royal Lancer
1959 Edsel Corsair
1959 Ford Skyliner Retractable
1959 Ford Thunderbird
1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV
1959 Mercury Monterey
1959 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
1959 Plymouth Sport Fury
1959 Pontiac Bonneville

In a huge honor…my car was selected to represent the 1959 Buick Convertible!

Thanks for this honor go to Brian Laurance for recommending my car to Greg Cockerill (one of the Meadow Brook organizers), who in turn nominated the car for the show. I also need to thank Greg Cook, not only for doing such an outstanding job on the restoration…but also for accompanying me and trailering the car to the event.

The show itself was a first rate event from beginning to end with about 250 of the most exquisite automobiles in existence. All the cars were spread out over a gorgeous golf course and grouped by class. The classes included everything from European sports cars, to true classics, to race cars, and everything in between. I was fortunate to be in the “Fins and Chrome” class with all the other American Convertibles of 1959…and it was an honor to participate and share a patch of grass with such incredible cars.  Below are a few of the cars in the class…

To say a few words about some of the other 59’s…the Pontiac had the most incredible interior anyone could imagine…in fact it won the award for best interior of the entire show, the Chevy was one of only 26 built with fuel injection… and it also had a first year 4 on the floor, the Eldo Biarritz…what can anyone say, the Desoto with dual quads…what a car, the yellow and black Dodge…gorgeous color combination, and on and on…

Here are a few of Snow White…

It was really an incredible lineup!

I finally got the chance to meet Greg Cockerill who was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

One of my sons (Colin) came with me to the show…(he’s the one WITH the hair)

The Judges were all really great and had a few words with Greg and I when they first came over to judge the car…

They asked lots of questions…

Then they got down to business checking every square inch of the car…

After my car was judged I wandered off wondering how the judges could possibly pick a single car out of such an outstanding collection. About two hours later Greg Cockerill called me on my cell with the news that the judges had placed the “Best of Class” ribbon on my board…I was speechless…I’m sure Greg was wondering what was wrong with me as I was having problems getting words to come out of my mouth.

Driving the car to the grandstand to be publicly awarded, with Greg Cook riding shotgun, was an indescribable thrill…

I almost died when they stuck the video camera in my face and started interviewing me on the loudspeaker…I’m sure nothing intelligent came out of my mouth…

Driving away in front of the crowd with the camera’s rolling was quite the experience…

Here’s me and Greg with the “Best of Class” award….

After driving through the Grandstand all the “Best in Class” winners were brought to a special area…it felt a little odd being parked next to a Fiat Supersonic and Ferrari Superamerica

All in all it was an incredible experience!
~ Tom Sidoti
1959 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

4 Responses to “Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance”

  1. Marco says:

    Awesome, what a beauty of a car! I just found a white two-door ’59 Electra in New Mexico, not as nice as yours but I plan on getting it on the road to recovery, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thomas Bronx guy 1st car says:

    i can not thank you enough for brings me back to when i was 18 yrs old . My wife of 48 yers was my girlfriend at that time . your work on your car is a WOW Maybe someday one more time to have it back . Thanks again for sharing Tom Ret. NYPD

  3. Wayne Johnston says:

    My dad owned a 1959 Buick Electra 225 convertible from 1961 until 1973 or 1974. It was black with a red interior. It was his pride and joy. He kept it spotless. We only drove it on special occasions or vacations. The gentleman who bought it from my dad immediately started taking it to car shows. Awesome to see yours and all the work you did to restore it. Would love to find my dad’s old one or one similar. Great memories!

  4. Ed from Philadelphia says:

    What a great read, thanks so much for putting it together! And a fascinating story, what a journey…and what a craftsman you found in Greg. One of my favorite cars as a young kid then, I was just amazed at all the chrome. My aunt had a charcoal Electra sedan that drowned in Wildwood NJ during the Ash Wednesday storm of ’62.

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