2011 Ironstone Concours d'Elegance
September 21-23, 2011
On Friday September 23, 2011 we headed to Murphys, CA, which is approximately 150 miles from San Francisco . For those of you that have never been to Murphys, it is a small foothill town, population 2,213 and elevation 2,400 feet in Calaveras County , which exists mostly off tourists’ dollars as it is on the way to Calaveras Big Trees National Park and Bear Valley Ski Resort. It has a very quaint main street with wine tasting, historical buildings, restaurants and shops. Murphys was founded in 1848 by John and Daniel Murphy who came to California for the Gold Rush to mine, but ended up becoming multimillionaires as merchants serving the gold miners. During the gold rush roughly $20 million in gold was discovered in Murphys.
Nine of us stayed at the Murphy’s Inn Motel and at least eight members and friends stayed in Angels Camp (west of Murphys) at the Greenhorn Creek Golf Course in a rented home. On Friday six of us attended the Concours Pre-Event Dinner and Wine Tasting with silent and live auctions at the Ironstone Vineyards. Ironstone was founded in 1989 by John and Gail Kautz. They grew grapes in Lodi and in the Sierra Foothills and wanted to create a state-of- the-art winery and destination site so they developed Ironstone. The name Ironstone comes from rock that the aging caverns and first wine tasting room are built in. It was so hard, that it took dynamite, pick axes, and shovels to develop. The limestone and Calaveras Schist rock were like “iron”. Ironstone Vineyards has one of the largest gold nuggets (44 pounds) in captivity on display as well as a gold mining museum and quartz gold jewelry sales. The main building is built to resemble a stamp mill for processing placer gold ore and the grounds include an amphitheater, ponds, and rolling hills of grass and plants. It is a spectacular venue.
Saturday September 24 eight members and friends showed their cars. The cars displayed were: Donald Barnes’s 1958 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz (Award of Merit winner), Walter Caplan’s 1967 Jaguar E-Type Roadster, Stuart Fong’s 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster, Charles Kascal’s 1954 Buick Skylark Convertible, Tom and Terry Machado’s 1931 Model A Slant Windshield Town Sedan (Award of Merit winner), Maria Rodriquez’s 1968 Morris Minor 1000 Coupe (Award of Merit winner), Chris Thompson’s 1967 Morris Minor 1000 Traveler, and Todd Sucy’s 1965 Thunderbird Landau. The marquee car was a 1948 Tucker for the 15th Annual Concours. All the proceeds from the annual concours provide scholarships for the Future Farmers of America and 4-H students. The temperature was in the 80’s with a breeze so no one melted from the heat.
On Saturday evening we all had dinner at Camps Restaurant in the Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort. It was a loud fun time and the food was very good.
Sunday morning September 25, after breakfast, we all headed down the hill to our respective towns and homes. Barry Kinney has reserved motel rooms for next year, so if you haven’t yet attended one of the Ironstone events, think September 2012.
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Photos by Scott Williams, Victoria Acosta, and Hunter Pavay