Concours on the Avenue founder dies at 72 – Monterey Herald

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As a child, Doug Freedman enjoyed piloting gasoline powered airliners with his pals. Except that, unlike everyone else, he was the kid who ran a flying club, who kept a handwritten list of members, who organized events around motorized boats.

Throughout his life, he always believed that his passion started there; the willingness to organize events around the engines, the spirit of the hunt, the flight and all the things that went as fast as anyone could do them.

Mr. Freedman, 72, went on to found Carmel’s Concours on the Avenue, one of the flagship events of Classic Car Week. He died Sunday from a heart attack.

Mr. Freedman’s first emotions led to a chance trip to Carmel when, in 1987, he and his wife Genie arrived on the Monterey Peninsula to experience the excitement of the great gathering among the vintage car community at the Concours d elegance of Pebble Beach.

“Genie and I checked into the Cypress Inn,” Mr. Freedman recalls. “We walked down Ocean Avenue and said, ‘The cars would be amazing here on this road down to the sea, in this little village of chocolate boxes, this living movie set. “Finally, in July 2001, we made our first call to the city of Carmel and, on May 2, 2006, we obtained a permit to host“ Concours sur l’Ave ”.

Their aim was to create a sophisticated event with a touch of fun, Mr. Freedman always said, to serve the underused days at the great 10-day classic car rally on the Peninsula and showcase underserved automotive brands. . For two days, Ocean Avenue and the downtown side streets would be closed to traffic to showcase vintage cars from 1946 to 1971.

On August 10, after the pandemic put the event on hiatus for a year, Doug and Genie Freedman, along with their team, held their 14th Avenue Contest, with all pandemic protocols in place, to host a unprecedented projection of classic cars and those who love them.

“Doug said this most recent competition, along with the amount of work required to keep it COVID compliant and provide all pandemic precautions, was the year he was most proud of,” said Holly Zoller , President and CEO of Carmel. Foundation, recipient of
$ 480,829 in charitable funds raised by the event. “Doug and Genie worked with the Town of Carmel in such a symbiotic relationship to make this happen. He had a reason to be proud and he was really looking forward to next year’s event.

“Doug Freedman was the quintessential car guy, but he was more than that,” Carmel Mayor Dave Potter said. “With his awareness and support in Carmel and the surrounding area, he was a valued member of the community despite not being a full time resident. It’s a shocking tragedy to lose Doug so suddenly, which reminds us of how fragile life is and how important it is to live life to the fullest every day. Doug embodied that, and that’s how he will be remembered with gratitude.

Driven by passion

Born in Port Chester, New York, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Freedman was an international auto enthusiast and regional manager, president and chairman of the Ferrari Club of America. His introduction to the art of luxury automobiles came in 1959 when, at age 10, he saw a photo of American racing champion Phil Hill on the cover of Sports Illustrated, sitting on the nose of a Ferrari.

“I had no idea who he was or what the car was,” Mr. Freedman once said, “but I was taken away by the car and the man, who looked like my monitor. YMCA camp. After reading the article in the magazine, I knew from that moment that I was addicted, and I will never forget where it
begin. By the end of the 70s I had had some success in life and bought my first Ferrari.

Mr. Freedman’s involvement with the vintage car community, in particular Ferrari, led to a year in Brussels, Belgium, while he was the curator of the personal Ferrari collection of the late racing driver Jacques Swaters, as well as invitations to judge some of the most prestigious competitions in the world.
Elegance events.

The other passion of Mr. Freedman was music. In 1967, as the drummer of The Fly-bi-Nites, he joined his bandmates to co-write “Found Love,” a song used in 2013 during a mind-blowing moment in season six of “Mad Men. “from Cable TV.

Considered a complex and caring individual, many of his family and friends, colleagues and vintage car enthusiasts remember Mr. Freedman for his contribution to the community.

“With Concours on the Avenue, Doug Freedman put on an exciting event, which is now historic,” said David von Gompertz, who exhibited cars from his personal collection for six seasons. “It was so important for the well-being of this community, on behalf of Carmel
Foundation, and on behalf of the automotive community. Thanks to Doug, everyone got access to an amazing art exhibit rolling through Carmel. Doug’s absence from this community will be deeply felt.

Mr. Freedman was able to create and execute his vision and master the myriad of details that created a world class event in our village, recalls Kimberly Willison, Director of Development for the Carmel Foundation.

“We will always be grateful for his unwavering support and that of Genie for the elders in our community. But what stood out to me the most about the eight years we worked together, ”she said,“ was the unparalleled passion he had – for cars, for the people in his life. ‘he liked, and to do the
good thing.”


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