Forest Grove Concours

The Forest Grove Concours presents its cars on the idyllic Pacific University campus lawns. 2012's featured marque was Mercedes-Benz.

Forrest Grove Concours and Tour
Rural Oregon show a delight

When Allen Stephens, president of the MBCA Portland, Oregon section, kindly invited me to the Forrest 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.

It was all about classic automobiles Saturday the 14th of July in downton Forest Grove. The 50+ entrants for the day's tour gathered on Main Street. It was an eclectic group that included restored Gullwings, a Saab wagon, a VW convertible and a gorgeous Frua bodied AC. Everyone had a wonderful time.


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.

Our long term 250SE 5-spd coupe project is finally complete. The tall 75 series tires combined with a rare 5-spd gearbox has resulted in a comfortable long-legged highway cruiser. The elegant coupe rests here at Elk Cove Vineyards during a break in the pre-concours tour. Trim rings have since been installed. The combined fuel mileage over the 1,400 miles traveled was about 21mpg and included hours of 80+ mph touring.

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 world.

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 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…


Your author's number 2 favorite car of the weekend - after the one family owned fintail of the Beards.

Heading home

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. To view the high resolution images full size, click the rectangular arrowed icon in the lower right corner of the viewer.

Forest Grove Concours and Tour 2012

Roy Spencer, editor
Photography from


Please comment on this article below.

2 Responses to “Forest Grove Concours”

  1. by Tony Andrews on August 1st, 2012 12:33 pm

    Roy, thanks for the great story and it was a pleasure to meet you in Forest Grove. We are hopeful that there will many more events coming to the Pacific Northwest that will encourage more Mercedes Benz owners/enthusiasts to venture our way in future. Thanks again for making the trek to the PNW and we hope to see you back soon.

    Tony Andrews
    Seattle Section Board

  2. by Allen Stephens on August 2nd, 2012 3:24 pm

    Thanks Roy for making the journey north to our event! It was great to meet you, along with all the other Mercedes owners and enthusiasts. We need to make the dirt track race in Banks part of the official festivities!

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