Media Release


Don Sommer, Founder and Chairman Of the Meadow Brook Concours d’ Elegance Turns Reigns Over to Larry Smith of Bloomfield Hills

Vintage Motor Cars At Meadow Brook Hall

(Rochester, Michigan - September 29, 2006) Don Sommer, 73 of Troy, Founder and Chairman of the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, today announced that he is retiring from his position as Chairman of the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance. Larry Smith, 55, of Bloomfield Hills will take over as Chairman of the event. Smith, President of Autometric Collision, has been involved with the Meadow Brook Concours for years as a judge, committee member and chair as well as a participant.

“After 28 years, it is time for me to turn over the reigns of this great event to someone younger,” said Sommer. “I am delighted that Larry Smith has accepted the Board of Director’s offer to take on the position. Larry has been involved with the Concours for many years in numerous leadership positions. He is a great car collector who brings appreciation, knowledge and passion to this new role. I believe under his direction the Meadow Brook Concours will continue its great tradition.”

Accepting the new position Smith said, “ I am honored to have been chosen to take over this chairmanship. With the support of the Big 3 Auto Makers the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance has become one of the greatest automotive events in the world and will maintain its prominence. In the past 28 years Don Sommer and the committee have done a wonderful job showcasing the most incredible automobiles ever made and we are lucky to have this event take place at Meadow Brook Hall, an architectural jewel of our region. “

Keith Crain, of the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance Board of Directors said, “ The heritage that Don Sommer gave the Concours will serve as the foundation for the new vision that Larry Smith brings with him to this important event.”

In 1977 Sommer wrote a letter to Meadow Brook Hall suggesting the idea of holding a classic car concours type of event on the elegant grounds of the historic Tudor home of Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of John Dodge. It was this letter that served as the basis for what was to become the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance of today. Shortly thereafter Don recruited a core group of dedicated car collectors, automotive designers and enthusiasts to help organize the event. They included Dave Holls of General Motors, Otto Rosenbusch of Chrysler, Jim Quinlan of Ford and Del DeRees and Dick Teague of American Motors.

Sommer’s great idea grew over the years to earn recognition as one of the three most prestigious car shows of its kind in the world. Annually it features over 200 of the most revered classic and vintage autos brought to the site by the major car collectors worldwide.

Sommer is president of American Arrow Corporation of Clawson, manufacturer of specialty parts for classic and vintage autos.

Smith founded Autometric Collision in 1975. With 7 locations throughout Metro-Detroit, it has become the premier state of the art automotive body repair facility in the Midwest.

Under Sommer’s leadership the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance was the first major vintage car event to display automotive art, the first to display 50’s cars and introduced porcelain license plates. It raised over 6 million dollars for the preservation of Meadow Brook Hall.

The 29th annual Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance will take place August 5, 2007. For more information contact Contact: Linda Ashley 248-548-3779 or visit: www.meadowbrookconcours.org

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