Beauty will be in the eye of the beholder Sunday in Philadelphia as the Radnor Hunt Concours d'Elegance presents a special class consisting of about 16 rally cars. Here's a case where judges are not likely to deduct points in the cleanliness column since a bit of road grime is a mark of authenticity for these rugged vehicles.
What's remarkable - at least for a concours - is that at least two of these cars will be driven onto the show field not from a trailer, but direct from an out-of-state journey over the interstate. Faced with a tight schedule, Steven Harris, owner of this 1964 Porsche 356C will be hightailing down the highway a distance of 240 miles from Upstate New York early Sunday morning. Typically at a concours, this is when many car exhibitors will be performing a final check for fingerprints on their perfect paint.
Harris is no stranger to arriving on time in his specially prepared Porsche, nicknamed "Lola." He's driven her in the 37-day long 2010 Peking to Paris Rally and this year in the Great South American Challenge, each covering a distance of about 15,000 kilometers over terrain often reserved for 4-wheelers. More about these adventures can be found here.
Photos by Gerard Harris
Also driving to Philadelphia in a vintage rally car is Mike Maddalena from Connecticut. He's bringing "The Colonel," a 1967 Mercedes 230s, so named because the original owner was a US Army colonel stationed in Brussels. It's got a four-on-the-tree column shifter and you can see Mike going through the gears in this video. Mike finished preparing the car this year just in time to show it at the Greenwich Concours (photo below by Hemmings).