When the 45th annual Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance takes place in two weeks, Lincolns, Woodies and classic Minis will take center stage, but auto enthusiasts will find a wide variety of classic and sports cars, thanks to people like William Relyea.
Relyea, of West Linn, is bringing his 1951 Jaguar Mark V convertible to the show. The lavender-gray car was previously owned by the famous beautician Max Factor Sr. (of Max Factor cosmetics fame) and was nicknamed the "cocktail car" because — with its maroon interior — it resembled a Spanish olive with a pimiento in the center, "which people typically put in martinis," Relyea said.
"Factor and his wife typically drove it around town to get cocktails in the evening," Relyea said.
Over the past 44 years, the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance has drawn thousands of car buffs to the Pacific University's shaded campus to fawn over meticulously maintained Maseratis, Bentleys and Ferraris and admire pristine Packards, Chevys, Fords and Buicks.
This year's show will honor a Century of Lincoln Motors cars, featuring pre-war and post-war Lincoln automobiles. Special classes include Mini from 1959-2000 and wood-bodied station wagons.
The 300-plus entrants for 2017 include a stunning 1941 Lincoln Continental, owned by Charles Humphreys of Ridgecrest, Calif., that served as this year's poster car. And in a nod to 'rods, the show will offer a rare up-close look at the hand-crafted custom Renaissance Roadster, which recently won the prestigious Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama custom car show.
Other notable entries include an 1896 Riker Electric, 1947 Ford Woodie, 1960 Austin Mini and 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster — along with the Jaguar Mark V Relyea bought and restored in 1995.
"I'm just excited in general to have one of these very rare cars in a local show," Relyea said. "I don't recall in all the years I've gone that I've ever seen one shown. They only made 477 of these cars and I think according to the Jaguar registry, there are only 50 cars left worldwide that would qualify for entry in a concourse show."
As usual, the show organizers from the Forest Grove Rotary Club have lined up a stellar class of cars — and car expert Walt Johnson, longtime car collector, is returning as Senior Judge, while Keith Martin and Donald Osborne, from Sports Car Market magazine, will again emcee the awards ceremony, telling the stories behind each car.
In addition to turning heads, the famed automobile show, run completely by volunteers, has also raised more than $1 million for more than 700 student scholarships and youth and community service projects funded by the Forest Grove Rotary Club.