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updated: 8/24/2014 9:56 PM

Rare, historic autos come to Geneva

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  • Auto enthusiasts stop Sunday in Geneva to take photos of the car that won the 1933 Elgin National Road Race. The car was one of more than 200 classic, exotic and rare automobiles on display during the Geneva Concours d'Elegance.

       Auto enthusiasts stop Sunday in Geneva to take photos of the car that won the 1933 Elgin National Road Race. The car was one of more than 200 classic, exotic and rare automobiles on display during the Geneva Concours d'Elegance.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • People are reflected in a 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car on display at Sunday's Geneva Concours d'Elegance, a car show with more than 200 classic, exotic, and rare automobiles. The sleek car is one of only five ever produced.

       People are reflected in a 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car on display at Sunday's Geneva Concours d'Elegance, a car show with more than 200 classic, exotic, and rare automobiles. The sleek car is one of only five ever produced.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Third Street in Geneva was filled with thousands of people at Sunday's Geneva Concours d'Elegance, a car show with more than 200 classic, exotic and rare automobiles.

       Third Street in Geneva was filled with thousands of people at Sunday's Geneva Concours d'Elegance, a car show with more than 200 classic, exotic and rare automobiles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

More than 200 of the finest and rarest antique, classic and exotic automobiles from around the Midwest lined Third Street in Geneva on Sunday for the 10th annual Geneva Concours d'Elegance car show.

Among them was a shiny black car with not only a historic link to Elgin but also to the development of modern day stock car racing.

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The 1933 Ford two door with a powerful V-8 engine won the 1933 Elgin National Road Race, an event which helped shape racing's future.

"To learn about this is quite a surprise to (visitors)," said Maurice Dyer, one of three Elgin Area Historical Society board members answering questions and handing out literature about the car and the Elgin National Road Race Association. "Not many people realize road racing was such a big deal in Elgin back then."

The Elgin National race began in 1910 and ran annually in August through 1920, stopping for three years for World War I. It was revived for one time only in 1933, when the Ford on display Sunday took first place.

The racecourse covered an 8-mile loop of oiled, gravel roads for 36 laps. The grueling speeds and endurance tested by the drivers helped advance the development of automobiles and stock car racing.

"When that car raced, it went more than 100 mph," Dyer said.

The car is owned by Dana Mecum, of the world famous Mecum Auctions, who loaned it to the Elgin Historical Society.

The Sunday show highlighted the 100th anniversary of the Maserati, and all Italian made or designed cars, as well as the V12 and V16 autos built before 1949 and the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.

The show benefits pediatric programs at Cadence Health and LivingWell Cancer Resource Center.

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