Classic steel at the Concours

High-end car show raises funds to promote safe and sober driving for teens
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Vintage Jaguars, old school Volkswagens, Mercedes and MGs shone brightly in the early October sunlight welcoming hundreds to the eighth annual Niello Concours at Serrano. The high-end car show celebrated the Marque of Cord Motor Cars, the 50th Anniversary of the E-type Jaguar and the Chevrolet Centennial Sunday at the Serrano Country Club. The Jaguar Coupe starts at a retail of $132,000. It sports a carbon fiber body and a 550 horse power engine. “This is the fastest production car Jaguar has ever made,” said representative Daniel Giles. “It is a really fun car.” Only 200 were made for distribution in the United States. Michael Davis, general manager for Jaguar of Sacramento, was lucky enough to drive the 2012 model. “It’s very exhilarating to drive,” he said. Vintage cars including a 1962 JF VRC race car, a 1965 J-1 Jaguar and a classic 1948 U-Class MG were on display during the day-long event. John and Carmen Clemens, of El Dorado Hills, entered their 1959 Chevrolet Corvette for the car show. This is their third time at the event. “The cause is good,” John Clemens said. “When we go to shows it has to be for a charity.” A portion of the proceeds from the event benefit the Concours Foundation. The group’s mission is to provide education, resources, grants and funding to teenage youth in the areas of safe and sober driving. “Most (shows) are that way and for the community which is why we do this,” John Clemens said. The Clemenses showed off their bright red classic Corvette that they bought 11 years ago. “It was in good condition, but we just finished the restoration,” John Clemens said. As for his outspoken and fun loving wife — she had her own version of why her husband has the car. “It’s his chick magnet,” Carmen Clemens said with a sly smile and a grin. The Clemenses take their Vette just about everywhere including to the local grocery store and trips to the coast. Patrick Hopkins of Sacramento showed off his father’s 1915 Hudson Model 640 also known a s a “horseless carriage.” “It’s been in the family since 1954 when my Dad bought it,” Hopkins said. “Mom didn’t have a stove, but Dad had a second car.” Hopkins’ grandfather found the vintage car in a barn that had fallen down around it. The family purchased it just a day before prolific car enthusiast Bill Harrah said he wanted to buy it. “(Harrah) called all the time trying to buy the car,” said Hopkins who literally grew up with the 1915 Hudson. The Niello Concours at Serrano showcases some of the best motorcars in the country. A portion of the event’s proceeds benefit the Concours Foundation that provides grants and funding to Sacramento area charities.