The Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance, the premier concours event in the City of Brotherly Love, returns on June 24-25 and will this year celebrate the “Snakes” – the iconic Ford Shelby Cobra and the Dodge Viper – each brand with its own unique provenance and cachet in the collector car world.
Featured at this fifth annual event will be two of the late Carroll Shelby’s early employees, Peter Brock and Chuck Cantwell, who helped establish the Shelby brand worldwide, on the street and the race track.
Also expected to participate will be a member of the original Viper design team, to be announced soon.
The Viper is the popular sports car that was manufactured by Dodge from 1992 until 2017. Bob Lutz, the Chrysler president at the time, suggested to Chrysler Design Center that the company should consider producing a modern high-performance supercar, and a clay model was presented to Lutz a few months later. The powerful two-seater sparked immediate interest in the Dodge brand among enthusiasts and the automotive press.
Shelby hired Brock in 1961 as his first paid employee, running the Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving while helping to develop Shelby’s first Cobra. He continued at Shelby American until the end of the 1965 race season when the Brock-designed Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupes won the FIA’s World GT Championship. Brock also created Shelby’s image for the Shelby American brand – logos, merchandise, magazine ads, and car liveries – and designed numerous other race cars for Shelby as well as the exterior components for Shelby’s Mustang GT350s.
Cantwell, while not directly involved with the Shelby Cobra, was instrumental in advancing the Shelby brand as Project Engineer on the Mustang GT-350 and GT-500 production cars, the design and building of GT-350 R-Model race cars, followed by Trans Am cars and serving as race team engineer for the Shelby Mustang Trans Am team, earning national championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
The nonprofit Cool Cars for Kids, Inc. will stage a classic car “competition of elegance” on Saturday, June 25, at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, which in 2019 was voted the “No. 1 Car Collection in the World” by The Classic Car Trust.
The Concours will be preceded on Friday, June 24, by a Preview Gala featuring legendary Super Bowl-winning Coach Dick Vermeil, who will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this August, and Peter Brock, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America this past March.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating two of America’s most iconic sports cars, the Cobra and the Viper at this year’s Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance,” said Michael Tillson III, president and director of Cool Cars for Kids, and one of the country’s most highly regarded authorities on classic and sports automobiles. “Attendees of the Concours will not only have a chance to get an up-close look of many historic and legendary examples of Cobras and Vipers, but also see other classic cars from the Simeone Collection.
“They will also be treated to a no-holds-barred discussion about the Shelby years with Peter Brock and Chuck Cantwell. Viper representatives will also be on hand, who will be announced soon.”
The Concours will showcase an invitation-only assembly of Cobras, Vipers and other American and European classic and historic automobiles and race cars. The fundraising event includes professional judging and awards presented for historical accuracy, technical merit, and style. The popular Hagerty Youth Judging program will also be implemented.
This year’s classes are: Pre-War, Post-War, Open, Closed, Sports, Muscle and Kids Choice.
Special events will offer a panel discussion with Peter Brock, Chuck Cantwell, Dick Vermeil and Viper representatives (to be announced) during Saturday’s Concours, and the Friday night gala honoring Brock and Vermeil.
Also included will be family-friendly activities; celebrity guests (to be announced), a Car Corral open for local car enthusiasts to exhibit their classic cars; food and specialty vendors; and access to the Simeone Museum.
A special car tour for Cobra and Viper owners on Saturday morning to the Simeone Museum is also planned.
For ticket information click HERE.