Welcome to Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance 2009!

Hillsborough Concours is the longest continually running car show west of the Mississippi. Now in it's 53rd year, we acknowledge this year the engineering innovations of German manufacturers in the Post-War period.

A special focus in 2009 is our Green Car display, with the largest collection ever shown in one place in California.

All proceeds benefit the Hillsborough Schools and the 49er Foundation.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 10-4pm.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Join the Tour d'Elegance on May 2nd

The ninth annual Tour d'Elegance on Saturday, May 2nd still has spaces remaining so if you want to be part of the fun, sign up now!

The route remains a secret only our organizers know for sure, but the Tour is always a source of conversation on Concours day. Expect a spectacular route, convivial conversation and a delectable luncheon in a private garden setting - the perfect prelude to our evening reception at the Candy Store, which is followed by the Big Event!

You don't have to be an entrant in Concours to drive the Tour.Please download FORM to register.

If you have any questions, please call us at 650.344.2272.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

1915 "Alternative Energy" Vehicle at Concours

This 1915 Stanley Steamer owned by Mr. Channell Wassen will be on display at the 53d Concours. It is an example of an original 'alternative energy' vehicle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is the Ultra-Narrow Tango the Future of American Cars?

by Commuter Cars CEO Rick Woodbury

I've heard that to innovate, you don't give people what they ask for, but
rather watch what they do.

What people do is drive cars with four empty seats, jamming up streets and parking spaces.

Small cars eliminate congestion and the strain on our resources, but not all small cars are created equal. A Mini-Cooper takes relatively the same space on the freeway as the largest SUVs because both use a full lane and have similar braking distances. Motorcycles can fit two-to-a-lane but are unsafe, offer no protection from the weather, and give little room to carry things.

Freeway Lanes
By federal standard, a freeway lane is 12-feet wide. A truck is 9' 4" from mirror to mirror, which leaves a clearance of 16" on either side. In order to double a freeway lane's capacity, the maximum width of a car needs to be 40" in order to have that same 16” clearance. The Tango is 39" wide.

We've driven two Tangos side-by-side in a single lane for over 40 miles at freeway speeds and it felt quite comfortable. A Booze Allen Hamilton / UC Berkeley study on a narrow car of nearly the same dimensions as the Tango found it would increase lane capacity from 2,000 cars per hour to 4,400 cars per hour.

The Tango can fit perpendicular to the curb in one-fourth of a standard parallel parking space. According to a diagram in a Booze Allen Hamilton / UC Berkeley study, by striping a parking lot for cars of the Tango's dimensions, parking capacity is increased by 350%.

According to the parking departments of San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can park as many Tangos, cars or motorcycles in a metered space as can fit, if the meter is paid.

For a car to be as narrow as the Tango requires one of two methods for stability. If tilted like a motorcycle it would have to have either manual or electronically controlled tilting. Both would be problematic. If the system failed in a turn it could be deadly.

The other simple solution is to ballast the car so that it has a safe rollover threshold - similar to a sailboat. By the time you put a couple thousand pounds of ballast in such a small car as the Tango, you have a weight that requires a lot of horsepower to move. Battery-electric is the answer.

The lead-acid batteries provide just enough weight in the Tango to achieve the same rollover threshold as a Porsche 911. As you may have seen in one of our videos, they also provide plenty of power. This is because, using the same kind of motors that pull 100-car freight trains in one gear from 0 to 90 mph, fit nicely in the space between the rear wheels leaving the rest of the bottom of the car for batteries. The two Tango motors actually produce more than twice the torque of a Dodge Viper V-10 engine.

In order to get the Tango to the mainstream, it will require overcoming the obvious objections - primarily rollover and safety. The Tango has achieved the static rollover threshold of a Porsche 911. Seeing videos of the Tango racing around corners and parked perpendicularly on a 30% grade with people trying but failing to push it over should eventually sink in and convince people that its looks are deceiving.

Even I, who know the rollover statistics, was trembling when I parked it on upper Stanyan St. in San Francisco. It's a 30% grade. After rocking it with my terrified stepsister inside, I was finally relieved of my fears. It just looked like it would fall over, but in actuality it's at least as stable as any other car.

Passenger Safety
For safety, we know that we must go to the extreme because everyone instinctively thinks that small cars are dangerous. The Tango has a full race car roll cage; in fact, there are actually four times more side protection bars in a Tango door than in the largest SUV. The four bars are also thicker and stronger than that single bar. Furthermore, they are attached by specially designed hinges to to be as strong as the cage in front, and have 1/2" steel pins in the rear to attach the doors to the rest of the cage. The cage is exactly the same as those in race cars that crash at over 200 mph and has an FIA certification. Race cars don't have air bags but do use a 4 or 5-point harness. The Tango has 4-point harnesses, as are used in pilot's seats of aircraft.

Driving Range
Range for an electric car is probably the next concern. Since the Tango is not trying to be a family car, the range is not such an issue. Again, according to transportation statistics, the average commute in the US is only 20 miles round trip. Even in Los Angeles, it's only 37 miles. So the average commuter would be well-served with lead-acid batteries which are inexpensive and have a low cost per mile when used within average commuting distances.

Charging, is another win for the Tango. For an average commute, one would just plug in the Tango every night like a cell phone. Service stations could install charging stations at a lower cost than adding a gasoline pump. And since the Tango's battery box is easily removable, a future plan could involve quick pack-swapping.

As of this printing, CEO Rick Woodbury will be on hand at the 53rd annual Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance on May 3, 2009, as part of our extensive Green Car Display and Showcase.
For info on the Tango, please visit CommuterCars.com.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Concours Merchandise Available for a Limited Time

The official 2009 Concours merchandise offered here celebrates this year’s theme, the engineering innovations of German manufacturers in the Post-War period, and features the handsome 53rd annual Concours d’Elegance badge.

We invite you to support the Hillsborough Schools Foundation through the purchase of these commemorative items, available for pre-order until April 15, 2009. Limited quantities will be available on Concours Day, but to ensure the best selection, we invite you to download the Merchandise Form and pre-order your favorite items.

For a complete list of items, visit our merchandise page.

Concours Teams Up With 49er Foundation

Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance is pleased to announce our partnership with the 49ers Foundation to present the 53d annual Concours on the 3d of May, 2009.

The 49ers Foundation has pledged to use its substantial media resources to help increase visibility of and drive attendance to the Concours. The Foundation will provide cheerleaders to help sell these tickets, to bring players to the event to act as diplomats for the show, and to give Concours access to sponsors and donors to assist in underwriting the costs of producing the event.

In return, Concours has pledged to give 50% of our net revenues to the Foundation, which the Foundation will in turn donate to the 49er Academy. The Academy has a 10-year-strong track record of serving at-risk youth, giving them an opportunity to learn and thrive in a safe, academically rigorous environment.


MFinity Wines is a Proud Sponsor of Concours

Winemaker Ron Mura, owner of MFinity Wines won Best of Show for his red wines at the 2006 San Francisco Bay Wine Competition.

Discover what the experts loved about Mura's wine and help raise money for Concours/HSF at the same time.

Mura uses traditional sake distillation techniques to create flavorful and textured wines that are lower in sulphites than other red wines, while preserving the heart-healthy benefits from polyphenols. Mura's whites are lush and bright and perfect for a picnic or dinner with special friends.

For more information visit the MFinity Wine website.