There’s a story behind every car. Old cars, especially those classic and collectible cars often have interesting and intriguing tales from their past. The cars that are deemed worthy to be on display at a concours event tend to have tales often worthy of legend.

A couple of weeks ago the 14th Annual Keeneland Concours d’Elegance was held on the lawn beside the famed Lexington race track. Benefiting the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, this show has rapidly become one of the more desirable of the region’s concours events. This year’s field featured cars not only from Ohio and Kentucky but as far away as Florida, Connecticut, Missouri, and Michigan. Each had a story to tell.

Whether it was an impressive racing heritage, the fact that the car was significant in the line’s history, or that the owners had cared for the car for many decades, every car on the lawn at Keeneland held a story. Those stories were told multiple times by the proud owners.

In 1956 this 1931 Plymouth PA (Photo 1) was a 25-year-old used car. Still, something prompted the current owner’s grandfather to purchase and restore it. In 2005 it underwent a full restoration that took it to factory specification except for one item; the copper brake lines were completely replaced. This is a matching number car, meaning every part was original, and has documentation back to 1935.

Usually when we think of “woodies” we imagine a car toting surf board and heading toward the beach. But this 1947 Chrysler Town and Country (Photo 2) is a spectacular original example of how Detroit use to use wood as door and body panels. When it was new, this Chrysler was stock full of top of the line options including a Fluid Drive semi-automatic transmission, a radio, a heater, defroster, and fog lights. All things we take for granted on modern cars. This Town and Country was restored over the course of a decade to its original interior and exterior, including the beautiful mahogany and ash body work. It is little wonder this car won its Best in Class for the Classic Car Club of America class.

Today two different companies rarely work together to build a car. But that is exactly what how this stunning 1933 Delage D8S Coupe Roadster by de Villars (Photo 3) came about. Delage only built 99 of the D8S chassis and power train. These were handed off to different coach builders to “clothe” them. Only 25 were bodied by the famed coachworks of de Villars. This arraignment was made to showcase the capabilities of the two companies which it did quite well. This car won Best in Class for the Coach Built Classics.

This 1957 Dual-Ghia (Photo 4) is perhaps one of the most historic examples of collaboration, In fact, it spanned two continents. Each example, and there were only 99 total, this being number five, started out as a Dodge chassis. The chassis was then sent to Italy where the famous firm of Ghia hand built the body and interior. It was then shipped back to the states where a 315 cubic inch Dodge V8 was added. It is believed that this winner of Best in Class for American Collector convertibles is one of only 35 remaining today.

It is extremely rare that a 53-year-old car could live in only one state its entire life but that’s the case with this 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 (Photo 5). Now imagine that same car never leaving the original family. The car was built at the Ford assembly plant in Louisville and was bought new by the current owner’s grandparents. The owner took a few years to restore the Galaxie but made sure it was finished in time for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

Some cars are rightfully considered legends. There are fewer still motors that fall into this category. One that surely does is the incredible V 12 Colombo Tipo 125. This 3.0 liter engine was developed to power the early Ferrari racing cars but in 1953, in order to meet homologation rules, the Colombo V 12 was put into a street car, the 250 Europa GT (Photo 6). This was the first of the famed Ferrari 250 series and this particular car was named Best in Class for the Foreign Collectors.

All Corvettes are special but imagine one owned by one of the founding members of the National Corvette Restoration Society. That is exactly what this 1957 Vette (Photo 7) is. This car underwent a total restoration 11 years ago by the folks at Eastern Corvettes who were featured in last month’s issue. The restoration is holding up so well that this car won the Chairman’s Award at Keeneland.

Most everyone in the old car hobby dreams of stumbling across a special barn find. Imagine finding a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona (Photo 8) that had been sitting in storage for 30 years. That’s what happened with this car in 2011. The car has never been restored and in its original condition and shows and incredible 9700 miles on it. In addition to lots of paperwork and other documentation the car still has its original Ferrari felt dust cloth.

There are some posters that just about every boy of a certain age had hung on their wall. Along with that Farrah Fawcett swimsuit photo most likely was a picture of a Lamborghini Countach. This mid-year 1988 Countach Quattrovalvole 5000 (Photo 9) is one of about 150 produced. It was an improvement over the original adding fuel injection and upping the size of the V 12 engine from 4.7 liters to 5.2.

From its inception Rolls Royce was a luxury automobile of distinction. There were true international automobiles. Yes the parent company was in England but there was also an American based factory that hand built Rolls for sale in North America. This 1927 Phantom I (Photo 10) is one such car; one of 33 in fact. That is the number of Rolls that were fitted with this gorgeous Pall Mall touring body. This car won the top prize in the Featured Rolls Royce Marque class.

Many early cars were built with racing in mind. That was true of this 1925 W.O. Bentley 9-Liter Speed Model Tourer (Photo 11). The car was raced extensively during its early years down in South Africa. Running on a 3.0 liter four cylinder overhead cam engine that pushed 70 horse power the car had a top speed of 90 miles per hour.

The father of the owner of this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (Photo 12) bought the car when it was five years old. It has been in the same family now for 43 years. In fact, the car was given to the current owner when he was five. The Z28 was a homologation package Chevy devised for racing purposes. The car still sports the original 302 cubic inch V8 and close ration four speed transmission.

Allards were all built of a racing heritage using light weight British chassis and large, American V 8 engines. This 1952 J2X (Photo 13) is one of only 83 of this model ever built. With a 331 cubic inch V 8 engine and a four speed transmission, this car, as was the case with all Allards, had success on the track.

These are just some of the stories that were on the lawn at Keeneland for the concours. There were a great many more excellent cars and even some amazing carriages that were on display. Every one of these cars there had its story told by the owner to the judges and to any interested guest. That is the beauty of any gathering of great cars. There are stories to be told.

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