You might think hybrid cars are cutting edge, but talk about driving it old school: Frank Sinatra bought a hybrid in 1957 and so did his pals, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Eddie Fisher , not to mention numerous other celebrities.
Okay, they weren't exactly the energy-saving hybrids we think of today. Sinatra et al drove Dual Ghias , sleek, high-performance GT convertibles with Dodge D-500 hemi engines and custom chassis hand-built by celebrated Italian automaker Carrozzeria Ghia . That's where the hybrid part comes in: they were part American and part European.
The hybrids of the 1950s and 1960s were beautiful automobiles that were part of a mid-20th century renaissance in architecture, furniture and automobile design, and the 2011 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance , June 4 and 5, in Greenwich, Conn., will feature a two-day display of these seldom-seen mid-century hybrid cars. Included in the assemblage of featured hybrids are a Dual Ghia, Facel Vega, Cunningham C-3, Iso Grifo, Cobra, Allard P1, Hudson Italia, Fitch Phoenix and a Nash Healy .
Charles Schoendorf of Norwalk has shown his vehicles at the Greenwich Concours for several years and enjoys the venue: "There are other events earlier in the year but the Greenwich Concours -- one week after Memorial Day -- marks the formal beginning of the collector car season. The setting and the quality of cars are outstanding and the show is extremely well run and a pleasure for spectators and car owners alike." Schoendorf is showing his Cunningham C-3 Coupe at the Councors. It was built in 1952 by racecar builder Briggs Cunningham , who lived in Greens Farms, was famous for his efforts in the 24 Hour of Le Mans, in which he raced an American car that he built.
The 16th annual Greenwich Concours d'Elegance takes place at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $25 for one day or $40 for both days. Children 12 and under are free. Lunch is available and parking is free. AmeriCares, the international relief organization, has been the charitable beneficiary of the Concours since 1996.
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