2018 Don Panoz Award to McPerson College

By: Matt Nutting, student McPherson College, Automotive Restoration

The last weekend in September, three other McPherson College students and I had the amazing opportunity to experience my first Concours d’Elegance in Atlanta at the beautiful Chateau Elan. On Saturday morning, as we walked around Cars and Coffee, I turned to another student that came on the trip, Dylan Riley, and said, “We are in way over our head, dude.” He laughed and agreed with me.

I had been at the show only an hour when I called my parents to tell them how cool it was. I was a kid in a candy store after he had just opened all his presents Christmas morning! I saw some cars that I had only read or heard about and they were more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. From Duesenberg, to Delahaye, to Porsche, and Ferrari. Legendary names in the industry and I shared the same air as them!

After a day of cars, coffee, and judges meetings, I was looking forward to the Concours on Sunday. When I stepped onto the field that morning I knew I had entered a world I had never experienced before, and I loved it. I had the opportunity to apprentice judge in the Senior Touring and Senior V16 and V12 classes. Having never judged before I thought I was going to stand with the judges and watch what they did but they walked around the cars with me and pointed out details I would have never thought of before. It was a great learning experience.

As I conversed with the judges they asked for my opinions and thoughts on the cars. I really felt like I was a part of the judging team and that they wanted to hear what I had to say. I learned to look at headlight lenses to see if the right and left lenses were in the correct spots. I learned that on a 1934 Lincoln, the emblem is purple for a V12 opposed to Red on a V8. Small details that I would have never known before.

It was a great learning experience and I’m so glad that McPherson College and the Atlanta Concours gave us this opportunity.

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