When the 41st-annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance takes place later this month, it promises a distinctly American flavor, with a dash of European spice, thanks in part to Sharon McDonald of Milwaukie.

McDonald will be bringing her 1960 Chevrolet Impala to the annual event on the campus of Pacific University in Forest Grove on Sunday, July 21, to help feature “American Royalty” with a display of coach built and luxury automobiles made in the United States. This year’s event will also celebrate 60 Years of the Chevrolet Corvette and 50 Years of Porsche 911 with special classes.

McDonald, who’s retired as a teacher’s assistant for 21 years at Seth Lewelling Elementary, started with a 1962 Chevy convertible when she was 19 just out of Oregon State University in 1965 for $1,800 with $50 car payments.

After successfully getting her latest “baby” for $23,000 on Independence Day weekend in 2005, she had to borrow a trailer from a farmer in Michigan to take it home from York, Penn.

“All I got it for was my own personal pleasure, but I never thought of showing it until it won Best in Show at Mike’s Drive In two days after I got it home,” she said.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: MCDONALD FAMILY - Sharon McDonald hands the steering wheel of her 1960 Chevy Impala over to her husband, Ronald, during their recent vacation to Nevada.As usual, the organizers have lined up car experts for the event in Forest Grove. Automotive author and collector Ken Gross, a regular at the Pebble Beach Concours, is the Senior Judge. Keith Martin and Donald Osborne from Sports Car Market magazine emcee the awards ceremony, telling the stories behind each car.

Over the past 41 years, the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance has drawn hundreds of thousands of auto enthusiasts to the Pacific University’s shaded campus to fawn over meticulously maintained Mercedes, Bentleys, Ferraris and admire pristine Packards, Chevys, Fords and Buicks.

This year’s list of 200 entrants includes a 1915 Ford fire engine from Roseburg, a 1927 Bugatti being brought by Bob Ames of Portland and a 1931 Duesenberg J Phaeton owned by Clifford Stranberg of Beaverton, which is featured in the show’s poster. But there are also more modern classics, including a 1968 Jaguar XKE Roadster, a 1970 Corvette, a 1973 Triumph Stag and a 1976 Porsche Coupe.

The show has also raised more than $1 million for more than 700 student scholarships and youth and community service projects funded by the Forest Grove Noon Rotary Club.

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