Keels & Wheels 2019 with Greg

2019 Keels & Wheels Concours d'Elegance

My bride of 30+ years Ronnie, and I

Dinner at Merlion in Sebrook

Ronnie Riley and I arrived in Seabrook for the Keels & Wheels Concours on Friday afternoon and decided to go to an early dinner at about 5p.m. We had sampled selections from Merlion in Seabrook at the Keels & Wheels Uncorked event, and couldn't wait to try the restaurant.

The decor is very cool and contemporary and fortunately we beat the dinner crowd. In fact the place was filling up as we finished our delicious meal. The food and drink are great, but if you go on Friday or Saturday night reservations are recommended. This place has the full stamp of approval from the foodies in the Riley family.

Tasty Mai Tai at Merlion in Seabrook

Lettuce wraps were garden-fresh, and peanut sauce is to die for!

Shrimp Pad-Thai is one of my all time favorite dishes, and you can't fake shrimp this fresh!

We sampled the Kang Ped (Thai Red Curry) at Keels & Wheels uncorked, and my bride couldn't wait to make it a meal. Just the right amount of spicy!

Pine Gully Park & Pier

After that great dinner, we decided to take in the sites and go for a walk to burn a few calories. A short drive brought us to Pine Gully Park and Pier where we met a new friend.

The Pier at Pine Gully Park

Our New Seabrook friend

The Concours d'Elegance at Lakewood Yacht Club

On Saturday morning at about 3 a.m. our phones went off with a tornado warning. We sat up for about an hour looking out our hotel room window, hearing the wind howl, and watching the driving rain. None of this seemed to bode well for the Concours, and it turns out some good friends were just arriving in Seabrook during the height of the storm with one of hits of the show.

Fortunately Saturday dawned beautiful and clear in that way the always seems to follow a Texas coastal storm. I attempt to photograph every car on the field at the Concour events we attend. It is sometimes a herculean task to get clear shots of the cars without arms and head obscuring the cars. Although I took approximately 400 photos I did miss a small number of cars. Apologies to those owners.

Upon arrival at the Concours we met up with our good friend and neighbor Bill Thomas. We've watched the crew at Team Thomas work on this 1927 Cadillac Model 314 formal division sedan over the last two years, and you'd never imagine the basket case they started with. The colors inside and out are spectacular and are Harley Early '27 Caddy correct. Not everything in the roaring 20's was "any color you want as long as it's black." Congratulations to Bill and his crew for their class win.

Our friend and neighbor Bill Thomas with his 1927 Cadillac Formal Sedan

The Interior is stunning!

Everywhere we turned we saw good friends and their cars.

John Alkire and Lee O. Brown with their unrestored 1910 Bianchi Landaulet, winner of the preservation award.


Richard Mitchell exhibited several of his show-stopping Stutz's


1932 Cadillac V12 sedan owned by John Sweeney


Our other Richards, Texas neighbor Henry Hoke owns this really-red 1933 Buick Victoria


1941 Rolls Royce Phantom III owned by John Bowyer of Spring, Texas


1934 Bentley 3.5 Litre 3 position drop head owned by Chris Bugge of Austin, Texas. I was told he drove this car to the event from Austin. Way to go Chris!


1965 Bentley S3 owned by Russel Joseph of Houston. This my personal favorite Bentley design of all time.


Evelyn Timmins seems to be everywhere and doing everything so we didn't catch her with her beautiful 1934 Packard, just one of the wonderful cars collected by sshe and her late husband Tom. 


1947 Packard Custom Clipper owned by Carol and Tommy Baccaro


1931 Bugatti Type 49 owned by Peter Mullin of Oxnard, California



My friend's from In Wheel Time where I've occasionally been a guest, from left to right Konrad DeLong, Mike Marrs, and the apparently camera shy Houston broadcasting legend Don Armstrong


Tony Gullo with his 1934 Nash Big Six Cabriolet


The Media choice award went to the most Unique Porsche 356 I've every seen with a canoe and rack built by owner Alan Bambina of Famers Branch, Texas.


I loved this vintage Henderson. Apologies to the owner as I failed to record his name.


Most of us buy the car of our dreams. Not Jim Simpson who created two coachbuilt marvels! The 2001 Simpson Swift in the upper photo won the Mayors award. 


Author, adventurer, humanitarian, and 2019 Keels & Wheels Grand Marshall Clive Cussler with his 1919 Locomobile Six-Fender Town Car, my absolute favorite vehicle at the show.

Who says Ferrari's can only be redheads? I loved this beautiful 1993 512TW owned by Grady Owens of Spring, Texas


It isn't a Concour without at least one spectacular E-Type such as this 1971 E-Type V12 roadster owned by Mike Cook of Montgomery, Texas


This little 1966 Spitfire MK2 is another car we saw being restored over a period of years. Congratulations to our former Magnolia, Texas neighbor Kenny Daves. This has to be one of the best Spitfire's in the country!


You don't see a coachbuilt 1953 "Wacky Arnolt" MG everyday such as the preservation example owned by Craig Burchsted of Austin, Texas


Yes, I know it's just a pic of the engine, but the rest of this spectcaular 1961 Austin-Healy Bugeye Spirte racer owned by Greg Hill of Cypress, Texas is just as sanitary. Beauty is where you find it 😉


Meh, nothing to see here, just a plethora of Lambo's including two Muira's


I've never been much of a 'Vette guy, but this '63 Splittie checks all the right boxes for me, Owned by Lee Matthews of Houston, Texas


This 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner is was purchased new by owner Anna Alfiero, and is a spectacular example


This 1960 Continental Mark V is as long as some of the yacht's in the harbor, but stunning in every detail! Owned by Gerald Sherman of Pearland, Texas


Back in my street racing days of my miss-spent youth I had a hot Camaro. A Hemi Barracuda similar to this one pulled alongside, and we both revved our engines. About the time my buddy spotted the Hemi 'Cuda emblems, and exclaimed. "don't screw with's a Hemi." Only change "screw" to another pejorative (hey this is a family friendly blog.) 1970 Plymouth Barracuda 426 Hemi owned by Jon Hodges of League City, Texas.

On Sunday we had the excellent brunch at Lakewood served in their waterfront ballroom,  featuring a breakfast buffet and delicious lunch entrees to choose from including omelet & waffle station, delectable seafood & chicken entrees, carved roast beef, smoked salmon, cold boiled shrimp and more! During the Concours the brunch is open to the public, and highly recommended. It was to die for, but I was too busy eating to remember to take a picture!

The license plate of Elerry Andrew's 1968 Shelby GT 500 KR says "HolyGrl" for a reason. This original Houston, Texas car has an amazing back story we'll tell in another edition. 1968 Shelby GT500 KR owned by Ellery and Raelyn Andrew of New Caney, Texas


I have a thang for geen cars in general, Lancia's in particular. I haven't seen one greener than Tom Radom's stunning 1976 Lacia Fulvia


Perfect vehicle to start your own Uber business with, 1954 Austin taxi owned by Jon Hodges of League City, Texas


Did someone call for a limo? 1957 BMW 600 owed by Max Lieber of Houston, Texas


The Chairman's award went to this former Ridler award winner, a 1950 Chevy Bel-Air (?) owned by Dennis Flolo of Kemah, Texas. I'm not sure I see much Bel-Air but regardless it is a spectacular custom.


Best of show American went to our friend Billy Hibbs of Tyler, Texas with his 1966 Ford GT40 Mark I aka The Ferrari Slayer. After several years in restoration, the GT40 was finished by the team at Jeff's Resurrections and delivered to the Lakewood Yacht club at 3 a.m. in the midst of driving rain and a Tornado warning!


Best of show European went to Craig Hopkins of Cedar Hill, Texas with his 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster

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My writing partner Mia. She sits on the back of my chair and critques all I do with a loud Meooowwwww!

As the old time followers of GarageDlx know, I always end with a video. This is one we received from Train Boy while we were eating at Merlion of him taking his brother for a drive in our junkyard reject '62 Corvair Monza...not his 16 year old brother Brandon, but his 14 year old brother Collin. Mom was terrified, Pop was proud as punch!