Forest Grove Concours and Tour
Rural Oregon show a delight
When Allen Stephens, president of the MBCA Portland, Oregon section, kindly invited me to the Forest Grove Concours in Oregon, he didn’t realize this event was already on my calendar. I’d been itching to get off the computer and hit the road with our (almost) completed 250SE 5-spd coupe and a trip north sounded just perfect.
Held under the beautiful oak canopied grounds of the Pacific University in Forest Grove and featuring Mercedes-Benz this year, the July 15 show along with the Saturday tour offered a welcome holiday. Founded in 1973, the Forest Grove Concours must be one of the longest running shows in the Pacific Northwest.
Touring in comfort
Deciding what to drive north was a cinch. Our 250SE coupe project car was essentially complete and required just a few odds and ends to be roadworthy. I’ve built it for touring and a trip to Oregon seemed to be the perfect first outing.
With the final details attended to, I eased the coupe onto the road at about 6 pm Thursday hoping to reach Redding for a night’s rest and finish the trip Friday. It was a comfortable ride lounging in this 111 coupe’s gorgeous freshly restored interior and looking out over the perfect dash wood. Our massive technical preparation was evident by the way the car behaved on the road.
Between the 5 speed gearbox and very tall 75 series tires, I was able to cruise for hours at 80+ mph with the tach registering barely 3,600 rpm. Touching 90mph on occasion raised the revs to only 4,300. We have indeed created a comfortable touring and event candidate with our cool white coupe. It’s exactly what we hoped for.
The Tour and Concours
Once in the Forest Grove, the itinerary included Saturday’s leisurely tour with stops at the Elk Cove Vinyards, Hagg lake for boat rides and Sake tasting at Sake One back in Forest Grove. The Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce handout mentioned the ‘pastoral byways’ in the area and I can now speak first hand about the beauty of this part of the country.
Whenever I’m on the road, I try to visit local race tracks and rather than indulging in Saturday night’s event dinner, I made the 20 minute trip to Banks to visit Sunset Speedway for some local dirt oval track action. While neither Steve Kinser nor Joey Saldana were entered, the local action was nevertheless entertaining.
Sunday was all about the Concours and meeting friends and clients who follow MercedesHeritage.com and have purchased cars from me but who I’ve never had a chance to meet. Once I put the identification placard in the windshield of the coupe, I had a steady stream of visitors stopping by to say hello. Meeting so many wonderful people during the tour and show was really the highlight of the weekend. My favorite car? I’d have to vote for the horizon blue, one family owned 220S fintail with the wonderful background history. Well, I wouldn’t mind having John Gilmore’s largely unrestored ’57 roadster in the warehouse either.
I could have chatted well into Sunday evening but there was an eleven hour drive ahead so I said my goodbys to all the cool MB enthusiasts I’d met and turned the nose of my coupe south on highway 5. All in all, my Forest Grove trip was one of the more enjoyable in recent memory. The venues for both the tour and the show were excellent and the relaxed and comfortable ambiance was a welcome break. I’d encourage any enthusiast in the Pacific Northwest to put this show on their calendar for 2013.
Have a look at the image slide show below for a nice overview of the proceedings. It was a fantastic weekend.
roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage