Found this in my inbox today:
I better get my s*** together before August.
I think I detect a little more pleasant enthusiasm in their prose this year for the Man, the cars and the owners. It seems a bit more sincere than the last time they feted the marque, which was back in the mid-late nineties(?). Interesting to see if they really embrace a non-pedigreed Italian with a Ford engine. We shall see.
Philosophically yours, Chuck Engles
I believe the year De Tomaso was the featured marque was 1997. Tom McDowell runs things a bit differently. The Concorso under Tom celebrates all anniversaries occurring during any given year. His stage shows are therefore quite a bit longer and more comprehensive than they were under previous organizers. And they move quickly to fit everything in.
The fiftieth anniversary was celebrated in 2009. The Concorso was following up on the disappointing 2008 showing at the Marina air port, the last year the event was organized by Wadsworth. For 2009 there was a new organizer, Tom McDowell; and a new venue, the Laguna Seca golf course. He did a good job for his first showing, including remembering the 50th anniversary of the marque.
The Concorso had a special De Tomaso display which included the Elvis Presley Pantera from the Peterson Museum. They made sure the marque was well represented by making special invitations to owners of De Tomaso cars other than Panteras, such as Tom Galli's Mangusta, Greg Sullivan's Longchamp, and a light blue Vallelunga (I believe owned by Franco Manitti). Debbie & I presented a special tee-shirt ... "De Tomaso circa 1959" .... to each exhibitor. I believe Tom Tjaarda gave a discourse on stage of his memories of working with Alessandro De Tomaso.
That was the first year Pantera International gave gifts to exhibitors, a tradition we've perpetuated since then. I've worked steadily at earning the respect of the event organizer and judges ... I believe that culminated with a Mangusta being awarded best of show two years ago ... a first for a De Tomaso.
Don Emas won Pantera International's best of show award in 2009 ... I expect to see him back there in 2019 ... right Don?!?
I am fully intending to drive up for the first time this year which means I have to get enough confidence that my car will not break down on the trip up from Los Angeles. It's back in the shop now to deal with the vapor lock and high engine temps as I want to be as prepared as possible. Next, replace the very old rear tires with new ones. I hope to meet many of you up there.
Any wild guesses as to how Mangustas will be there? I would also hope for Longa Champs etc. ( No shade intended to the Pantera guys who always seem to keep their cars running to show up for Concorso)
I haven't received a head count yet, hopefully soon. I will share the information when I receive it.
The Concorso organizers normally extend invitations to owners of special cars when milestones or special models are being celebrated.
We haven't had a Longchamp in the corral since Greg Sullivan drove his to the event from Arizona in 2007. I don't remember ever having a Deauville in attendance. The one street legal Guara in the US is no longer available, it was damaged by fire.