21st Annual Keels & Wheels Concours d'Elegance 2016
By Connie Kwan-Wong | Photos courtesy of Lakewood Yacht Club | Date: April 24, 2016
Seabrook, Texas - Classic car and antique boat enthusiasts from all over the United States explored the grounds of Lakewood Yacht Club April 23 through April 24 for the 21st Annual Keels and Wheels Concours d'Elegance. Keith Martin, Publisher of Sports Car Market Magazine and star of the TV program, "What's My Car Worth", served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Martin welcomed over 10,000 attendees alongside special guest Aaron Shelby, grandson of Carroll Shelby, to experience the beauty and rarity of over 200 hand-selected classic automobiles and vintage wooden boats. The featured vehicles for the 21st Annual Keels & Wheels Concours d'Elegance included the marques of Duesenberg, concept cars and muscle cars for automobiles. The featured marque for antique boats was Chris Craft Racing Runabouts. The diversity of entries allowed guests to view unique cars and boats such as the rare 1963 Cobra Dragonsnake race car, a 1921 race boat named 'Dixie Baby', a one-of-a-kind 1948 Bentley coupe and a dozen concept and prototype cars.
The opening of Keels and Wheels on Saturday, April 23, attracted competitors from 17 states and Canada who brought their cherished classic automobiles and wooden boats to the picturesque bay for judging in 60 classes. The concours boater award ceremony took place Saturday afternoon. Terry Fiest served as the 2015 Chief Boat Judge alongside several distinguished judges to award Best in Show for the small boat category to Lorne Leibel of Beverly Hills, CA for a beautiful 1921 Ventnor Stepped Hull Racer named 'Dixie Baby'. Judges also prized a spectacular 1896 Bath Iron Works Steam Tender owned by Richard & Irina Mitchell, of Montgomery, TX for Best in Show in the big boat category.
The Concours reopened to the public for its second day of fun-filled activities on Sunday, April 24. Visitors experienced tours of a 1958 U.S. Naval Academy training boat, test drives and the first showings of several vehicles in the Houston area including the 2017 Lincoln Continental. Children also had a chance to participate hands on in the "Kids Build a Boat" event in which the finished boat with oars was given to one of the participating builders through a raffle drawing.
The car award ceremony also took place mid-afternoon where Honarary Chief Car Judge Al Kroemer, Concours Chairman Bob Fuller and Keith Martin, Master of Ceremonies, awarded Joseph Cantore of Elmhurst, IL with the Best of Show - European award for his 1938 Talbot-Lago Figonio and Falaschi Teardrop. Richard and Irina Mitchell of Montgomery, TX won the Best of Show - American award for their 1929 Stutz Lancefield. The judges also awarded the Best of Class - Concept Car award to The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Collection from Los Angeles, CA.
The judges presented the inaugural Margaret Dunning Award in memorial of the beloved Belle of the Concours, Margaret Dunning. The award was given to Richard and Irina Mitchell from Montgomery, TX for their 1930 Packard 733. The full winner's list is available at www.keels-wheels.com.
This event is made possible with the support from sponsors Lincoln Motor Company, City of Seabrook, Old Iron Works, BayWay Lincoln Auto Group, Fishbone Safety Solutions, Evergreen Environmental, Bentley Houston, Reliable Carrier, Inc., City of Nassau Bay, MCM Worldwide and numerous other sponsors.
All proceeds from the 2016 event benefitted the Boys and Girls Harbor, whose mission is to provide a home and safe environment for abandoned and abused children and healthy, comprehensive care for children and families in crisis. For more information please visit www.keels-wheels.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.