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Nearly 6,000 pass through gates at Forest Grove's Pacific University for classic car show that celebrated its 45th year

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JOHN SCHRAG - Norman Noakes of Lake Oswego was all smiles after winning the Best In Show award at the 2017 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance Sunday, July 16, for his 1937 Cord Super Charged 812.The 45th annual Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance is in the books, and it was a memorable one.

This year's show featured a record 362 classic, sport and custom cars, coming from as far away as West Vancouver, B.C., and Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Top honors went to Norman and Judi Noakes of Lake Oswego, who took home the Best in Show award for their 1937 Cord Super Charged 812, which also was judged the Best Classic Car.

Alan and Sandi McEwan, of Redmond, Wash., brought their 1947 Chrysler Town & Country down to the campus of Pacific University and drove away with the Best Closed Car award.

Judges, meanwhile, awarded the Best Open Car to Ernie Spada of Lake Oswego for his 1958 Porsche 356A Cabriolet.

The People's Choice, chosen by those who attended, went to Larry Knowles, of Tulalip, Wash., for his 1931 Lincoln K205.

"The show this year was outstanding," said Allen Stephens, Jr., a longtime member of the Concours committee whose father was one of the original members of the Forest Grove Rotary Club, which puts on the show every year. "We had an amazing quality of cars on campus."

The 2007 Concours honored a Century of Lincoln Motors cars and featured special classes of Austin Minis from 1959-2000 and wood-bodied station wagons. Also on display the hand-crafted custom Renaissance Roadster, built in Portland, which recently won the prestigious Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama custom car show.

"The variety brought out a wide range of car enthusiasts and they were able to see a lot of great cars we have never seen here before," Stephens said. "And I think it really sparked the imagination of the public."

Stephens said the addition of some of the region's top custom cars also generated excitement. "We had a lot of great [customized] cars which attracted a lot of great spectators. It really improved the event, having those cars here."

Organizers said paid attendance was up from last year and an estimated 5,500 to 6,000 people passed through the gates.

This year, the Concours also hosted a special event with classic car historian and appraiser Donald Osborne, who sold out signed copies of his new book "Stile Transatlantico/Transatlantic Style — A Romance of Fins and Chrome."

Osborne and Keith Martin, who returned as emcees, said the Forest Grove car show has established itself as something very special.

Addressing the crowd at the awards presentation, Martin described the tree-shaded campus as "the best venue ever for a collector car show."

For Osborne, it's also about the people.

"The biggest difference between this show and all the other shows I go to is that at this show just about every entrant has a personal story connected to their car," said Osborne, who is editor-at-large for Sports Car Market magazine and is featured on "Jay Leno's Garage" on CNBC. "The passion and the direct connection between the people and their cars is just alive at this show. It's something that people absolutely feed on. It's amazing."

The Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance, created in 1973, is an all-volunteer event, coordinated by the Forest Grove Rotary Club, its largest annual fundraiser. Each year, the net proceeds are divided equally among the club's scholarship program and community service projects. Thanks to the Concours d'Elegance, the Rotary Club has returned more than $1 million to the community.

The Concours welcomed BMW Portland as its 2017 presenting sponsor. Supporting sponsors included Chubb Collector Car Insurance, Sports Car Market magazine, Barrett-Jackson, Kuni Lexus of Portland, Pamplin Media Group and The Oregonian/Oregonlive.

For complete results and more information, visit forestgroveconcours.org or check out the forestgroveconcours Facebook page.

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