The Board of Directors of the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance have announced that John Nirenstein has decided to step-down as Chairman of the Concours. As one of the original founders of the event John’s initial responsibilities included automobile selection and entrant registration. In 2011 John was promoted to Vice Chairman and then took over as Chairman in 2012. According to Interim Board Chairman David Devlin, “John has worked tirelessly for six years to help bring the Concours to the point where it can sustain itself for the future, including procuring a title sponsor for year 2014. In 2011 John was instrumental in shifting the Concours from an organized group of committed people to a 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation of which he has served as Chairman & CEO. We are sad to see John leave and thank him for his leadership, dedication and hard work through those pivotal years. Of course the Concours will continue next year and we look forward to making many exciting announcements as we move forward.”

John Nirenstein shared, “Being a serial entrepreneur and avowed “start-up” guy, I think we all have done a fantastic job over the last six years of creating the foundation for a lasting event. The Concours Committee and Board of Directors have all worked very hard to help the community and raise over $500,000 for charity. Once again this year we have been fortunate enough to raise enough money to make a gift to our selected charities and it’s time for me to leave the event in the capable hands of the Board and find my next adventure. I would like to thank all previous board, committee members and volunteers for their hard work over the years, the Concours would not be the celebrated event it is without their efforts.”

The Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance announced today it has added Steve McQueen’s 1961 Cooper T56 Mark ll Formula Junior to its spectacular showing of vintage automobiles once owned by Hollywood Legends. One of only two Cooper Works cars campaigned by Team Tyrell in 1961; McQueen purchased the car from Cooper at the end of the 1961 season. McQueen brought the car to California and began racing FJ-2-62, scoring a number of victories, including the Santa Barbara street races. McQueen’s performance in the car was so impressive that John Cooper personally invited him to come and test for a drive in Europe. McQueen, putting his motorsports career on hold due to intervention from his Hollywood bosses, later sold the car to Al “Buster” Brizzard, who went on to capture five straight wins with the Cooper, and its third championship title in five years.

Also set to appear on the Concours Green at the Marin Civic Center, Sunday, May 19 from 10 am – 4 pm are a 1960 Rolls-Royce Cloud ll Drophead Coupe owned by Elizabeth Taylor; a 1934 Duesenberg J-370 owned by Mae West; Jean Harlow’s 1932 Packard 903 Sport Phaeton and Gloria DeHaven’s 1953 Muntz Jet of which fewer than 400 were built between 1951 and 1954, many of which were purchased by celebrities.

The 2013 Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance will also focus on modern bespoke automobiles from local avant-garde designer Steve Moal; Corvette Sting Ray in celebration of the 50th Anniversary; Lamborghini in celebration of the 50th Anniversary; Japanese Manufacture and vintage Italian motorcycles.

Classic wood cars and station wagons will round out the display of amazing vintage automobiles on the Concours Green.

New this year is the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance partnership with Sonoma Raceway’s Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival. Christening the weekend as “The Wine Country Classics,” the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival and the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance have created the Wine Country Classics Flex Pass, which allows attendees to attend both events for just $45. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the power of historic racing machines on track, plus the incomparable beauty of some of the finest vintage automobiles in the country.

Fashion will once again play an important role with the Second Annual Concours Couture Awards given during the Concours on Sunday. Awards for “Best Hat,” “Best Ensemble,” “Best Dressed Couple” and “Best Period Ensemble” will be presented during the event.

For more information regarding the Concours please visit the website at The Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance is dedicated to advancing the interest of vintage automobile culture and promoting the education of its heritage to the community. Charitable beneficiaries for the 2013 Marin Sonoma Concours include Hospice By The Bay and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties.