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Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance Secures Significant Sponsorships

Andy Granatelli, Meguiar’s, Tesla Motors, Milpas Motors and the Classic Car Club of America sign on for the Oct. 29-31 event

Andy Granatelli, “Mr. Indy 500,” will serve as grand marshal for the Oct. 29-31 Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance and joins the list of sponsors including Meguiar’s, Tesla Motors, Milpas Motors and the Classic Car Club of America, event organizers announced this week.

Organized by South Coast-based Stratus Media Group Inc., the event at the Santa Barbara Polo Fields will begin Oct. 29 with a Mille Miglia Tribute, a prelude to the 2011 North American Mille Miglia Tribute Series.

The weekend program will bring participants and businesses together in a blend of automobiles, wine, design, tradition, style and entertainment. Stratus officials said the festivities will benefit the United Boys & Girls Club and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

“We are excited that Mr. Granatelli will be the grand marshal at the Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance,” said Jeremy Cable, Stratus vice president of motor sports and car shows. “His legendary career and relationships within the automotive world bring a tremendous amount excitement to this prestigious event.”

Granatelli holds a Knighthood from Italy and has been inducted into 25 halls of fame in 12 categories. He is president and chief executive officer of STP Corp. and holds records of achievement for his business success, as well as being an award-winning auto racing driver, race car owner, promoter, innovator, marketer, automotive designer and engineer.

He has been nominated for the Guinness World Records for having been inducted into so many halls of fame.

“This event brings together the beauty and excitement of classic racing cars, beautiful settings, and the shared experience and pleasure for spectators that come from being part of automobile racing,” said Paul Feller, Stratus president and chief executive officer. “High-profile sponsors and thousands of people are lining up to be part of the fun, and we’re proud that Stratus is able to see its vision become a reality.”

Car wax maker Meguiar’s Inc. has been a participant in the hobby of collecting cars for decades, according to Barry Meguiar.

“We are car guys who happen to be in the car wax business,” he said. “The ultimate experience for us comes when our two passions merge in the exhilaration of ‘best of show’ winners who are using our products.”

At last year’s 50th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, perhaps the most famous classic car show in the world, 21 of the 25 best of class winners and the best of show winner all used Meguiar’s products to achieve their shine.

Meguiar’s began a century ago as a furniture polish laboratory and plant in the garage of founder Frank Meguiar Jr. The company spans more than 100 years of Meguiar family stewardship.

Event sponsor Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome. The Tesla Roadster hit the streets in early 2008, and now more than 1,000 roadsters drive the emissions-free sports car in more than 25 countries.

Another sponsor, Santa Barbara-based Milpas Motors, sells new and used automobiles from manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi and Saab.

The Classic Car Club of America, another Concours sponsor, began in 1952 with members dedicated to the collection, preservation and enjoyment of the world’s finest cars. Automobiles manufactured during the “Grand Classic Era” from 1919 to 1948 remain the primary focus of the club.

Noozhawk business writer Ray Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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