04 Oct

Klingberg 2020 – a Drive-thru Car Show Works!


New Britain, Conn. – What a success! The 28th annual Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Series drive-thru event on Saturday, September 26th, met with great feedback and participation that was beyond expectations. Over 120 spectacular and unique show cars ranging from 1905 – 1989 came from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to delight the spectators. And delight they did.

Approximately 250 spectator cars drove through the show route snapping photos with their phones and taking videos. Many spectator cars went through the route two or three times. Some spectators hung out the windows or stood in the back of their truck beds, all while enjoying vintage music on their car radios. Mark Johnson, show producer, said, “We were not sure right up to the start of the event whether it was going to work, and the result has us thinking about how we can incorporate some of these elements in the future.”


Car owners loved being back on the Klingberg campus and appreciated being part of a car show. Many said it was the first and only time they will show their cars in 2020 due to the coronavirus. “We are so excited to have an opportunity to share our love of cars with our fellow car enthusiasts,” said one owner. Please check out the outstanding collection of cars that caught our judges’ attention and praise.

Wayne Carini was again Grand Marshal of the show and brought the Rain Man car to continue his promotion of Klingberg’s work with children with Autism.

Most importantly, it was a very safe event. All state COVID regulations were followed, and 99% of people outside of their cars wore a mask. In lieu of trophies being awarded at the show, 20 awards were posted on the website after the event.


The Vintage Motorcar Series’ purpose is to raise money and awareness for children and families dealing with the effects of trauma and behavioral health issues. Over 49 sponsors supported the event this year. Despite the COVID concerns, almost 50 volunteers helped to make the show a success and donations for individuals attending the event were generous. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

All proceeds benefit Klingberg Family Centers, a private nonprofit providing help to thousands of children and families throughout Connecticut each year whose lives have been traumatized by abuse and/or neglect in its various forms and severe family problems.

More Information


Check out the award winners from September 26.

Courtesy Klingberg Family Centers

08 Sep

The 38th Annual Historic Festival Crosses The Finish Line


PICTURED: No. 25 Tony Carpanzano , Danbury, CT 1993 Reynard 93H Formula Atlantic receives checkered flag for Group 1 Race 3

PICTURED: No. 25 Tony Carpanzano , Danbury, CT 1993 Reynard 93H Formula Atlantic receives checkered flag for Group 1 Race 3

Lakeville, Conn. – After five days of activities, the 38th annual Historic Festival came to an end after another spectacular September day. The event featured 184 drivers, almost exclusively from the Northeast, racing vintage cars that ranged from a 1928 Bugatti 37A to a 1993 Ralt-RT-41A. Nineteen different drivers topped the podium in 32 races.

More than 500 cars were on display during the Sunday in the Park Concours and Gathering of the Marques. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Datsun Z-Car with multiple years represented.

“Faced with COVID-19 our goal was to have a quality event that was safe. We allowed no spectators on the racing days because of concerns of a crowded paddock. On Sunday we felt it was safe to have limited spectators as the cars were displayed all around the track. We had half of the normal number of cars and restricted the crowd to about one-eighth of our capacity. Good racing, quality cars, happy and I believe safe participants,” said Skip Barber, Lime Rock Park President.

For Full Race Results Click Here

The 38th annual Historic Festival By The Numbers:

  •  5 days of activities including 3 days of on track action
  •  32 races throughout the weekend
  •  184 drivers
  •  Cars that races ranged from a 1928 Bugatti 37A to a 1993 Ralt-RT-41A
  •  More than 500 cars on display at the a Sunday Concours and Gathering of the Marques
  •  a 17-mile parade that kicked off the event on Thursday featuring more than 75 cars that traveled through 3 local towns


PICTURED ABOVE: Left: Best American, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, Robert Boutot, Wolcott, CT Center: Best in Show 1930 Packard 745 Phaeton, Dr. Denis Bouboulis, Greenwich, CT Right: Best International 1967 Lancia Flaminia Convertible, Donald Schwarzkopf, Carefree, AZ

PICTURED ABOVE: Left: Best American, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, Robert Boutot, Wolcott, CT Center: Best in Show 1930 Packard 745 Phaeton, Dr. Denis Bouboulis, Greenwich, CT Right: Best International 1967 Lancia Flaminia Convertible, Donald Schwarzkopf, Carefree, AZ

Lime Rock Park Historic Festival 38
497 Lime Rock Road | Lakeville, CT 06039 | Phone: 860.435.5000

Courtesy Lime Rock Park

19 Jun

Lime Rock Park Entries Are Now Open For Historic Festival 38 September 3rd to 7th, 2020


Lakeville, Conn. – Get ready to be a part of Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival 38, this coming Labor Day Weekend – Thursday, September 3 through Monday, September 7, 2020.

Better than ever before, this year’s Festival will be sanctioned not only by the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA) but also by the Vintage Racing Group (VRG). The combination of the two groups will reflect the most significant and positive aspects of vintage racing.

The team running the weekend is filled with decades of experience. Murray Smith remains as the Historic Festival Chairman while Paul King of VRG and Bill Gelles of VSCCA will join him to help ensure that the interests of all will be recognized. Dave Handy of SascoSports will join the management group as Murray’s special assistant with reference to racing. Lowell Paddock will assume responsibility for Sunday in the Park and Gathering of the Marques. Paddock is a globally experienced automotive industry executive and has already rolled up his sleeves to start planning one of the best Concours in the Northeast. In addition, the presence of JR Mitchell aided by Tivvy Shenton should reassure potential entrants that the standards of technical preparation established at this event will be strictly maintained.

For competitors, the opening segment of the event will take place on Tuesday, September 1 with Test and Tune. As in the past, those participating in Test & Tune will be allowed to park their trailer or rig for the duration of the event at that time.

Be a part of the 17-mile parade and street fair that kicks off the Festival on Thursday afternoon. Entry acceptance is determined at the discretion of the Parade Committee. Please send in your entry and we will get back to you promptly. Load-in and the well-established Race Car Parade to Falls Village will take place on Thursday, September 3.


Applications are now being accepted for racing at Historic Festival 38. Entry acceptance is determined at the discretion of the Chairman. Please send in your entry and we will get back to you promptly. On-track activities begin Friday, September 4 with Practice and Qualifying. It’s important to note that your practice times will determine your starting position for race 1 on Saturday, September 5. Your starting positions in races 2, 3, and 4 will depend on your fastest lap in the previous heat. Monday, September 7, will include races 3 and 4 for all groups. Race groups for 2020 will at least include places for the following:
• Pre-war
• Medium Bore Sporting Cars
• Large Bore Sporting Cars
• Formula Fords
• Sports Racing Cars of the 50s and 60s
• Formula Junior
• Tin Tops
• GT Cars (Pre-2000)
• Wings and Slicks
• Sports 2000s
• Lime Rock Drivers Club Miata’s


Evening activities this year will include the always entertaining Participant Party in Hospitality Village, which is included in your entry, and on Saturday night we expect to have a serious panel discussion with guests well versed in racing and the particular idiosyncrasies of German and French cars. Details about both events, and their relevant guest speakers will be released shortly.

Sunday in the Park, on September 6, will see the whole of Lime Rock Park devoted, as it has been in the past, to some of the most important, beautiful, and significant cars in the world.


Email historics@limerock.com

17 Mar

2020 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Canceled Due to Coronavirus


From out friends at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance:

Dear Friends,

The Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a highlight for thousands of car fans across the region and nation. But what matters most, at this moment of crisis, is the safety and well-being of our loved ones, friends and fellow car lovers. This is why we have decided to cancel this year’s Concours and instead focus our energies and passion on making next year’s event the biggest and best ever.

Our team is already cooking up some exciting and innovative ways to celebrate cars and driving in the months leading up to the 2021 Concours. We will share details with you as soon as we can.

In the meantime, please know that if you bought a ticket for this year’s event, you will receive a full refund through Showclix.com within 7-10 business days. If you have booked a room, please be sure to cancel with the hotel directly.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please contact our Director Tabetha Hammer at thammer@hagerty.com for any questions or concerns you have as she will be spearheading this transition into 2021.

Be safe everyone. And, when the time is right, keep on driving!

McKeel Hagerty
Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Chairman

03 Feb

Five Indy 500 Winners Highlight the Silver Anniversary Amelia Concours Penske Indy Winners Class March 8, 2020

1972 McLaren M16B/1. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

1972 McLaren M16B/1. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Jacksonville, FL — Five Team Penske Indianapolis 500-winning cars will form the core of the Silver Anniversary Amelia’s “Penske Indy Winners” class on March 8, 2020 at the Amelia Island Concours.

1972 McLaren M16B/Offenhauser – Mark Donohue’s record setter and Team Penske’s first of 18 “500” winners
1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet – Rick Mears’ Indy pole car and “500” winner
1994 Penske PC-23 Mercedes-Benz 500I – Al Unser Jr wins in “The Beast”
2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda – Helio Castroneves’ third Indy “500” winner
2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud’s pole winner and Team Penske Indy 500 win number 18!

1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

1988 Penske PC-17/Chevrolet Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

Team Penske’s first Indy 500 winner — the McLaren M16B/Offenhauser of 1972 — will share Amelia’s field with Rick Mears’ all-conquering PC-17/Chevrolet of 1988, “The Beast,” the 1,000 horsepower Mercedes-Benz 500I V-8-powered 1994 Penske PC-23 driven by Al Unser Jr, Helio Castroneves’ third Indy 500 winning Dallara IR-06/Honda of 2009 and Simon Pagenaud’s 2019 500 winner, the Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet, that brought Team Penske its fastest and record-setting 18th Indy 500 victory last May.

In 1972 Mark Donohue won the 500 at record speed (162.962 mph) in Penske’s Sunoco blue McLaren M16B powered by a turbocharged version of Offenhauser’s venerable DOHC four-cylinder. That record stood for a dozen years until it was broken by Team Penske’s Rick Mears.

The 1988 PC-17 was the first Nigel Bennett design for Penske Cars. It ended an Indy dry spell for the marque when team leader Rick Mears took the pole in the 1988 season opener at Phoenix leading until a touch with a lapped car forced retirement. When Danny Sullivan took the pole with his Chevy-powered PC-17 at the Long Beach Grand Prix the writing seemed to be on the wall for the 1988 Indy’s Month Of May.

1988 Penske PC-23/Mercedes-Benz 500I Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

1988 Penske PC-23/Mercedes-Benz 500I Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

The 1988 Indy-winning PC-17 was a landmark car that swept the entire front row of the “500” grid for the first time in Indy history. Pole man Rick Mears and Penske teammates Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Sr. locked out the Lola’s and Marches and Rick Mears went on to win the third (and slowest) 500 of his extraordinary career. The trio of PC-17s led 192 of the 1988 500’s 200 laps in an unprecedented display of speedway dominance. It was Team Penske’s seventh Indy victory in their 20 th 500 appearance.

None of Team Penske’s 18 Indy 500 winners illustrates Penske’s famous “Unfair Advantage” like the 1994 500 winning PC-23 powered by the famed Mercedes-Benz 500I “pushrod” turbocharged V-8 engine. It was nicknamed “The Beast” because of its extraordinary power.

The turbocharged Mercedes-Benz V-8 500I, created and developed in secret, would exploit a loophole in the Indy 500 rulebook that was written to encourage American car manufacturers to provide race engines based on turbocharged pushrod “production-based” engines. Team Penske drove the 1000-plus horsepower 500I through that loophole and put their PC23 in Indy’s victory lane to score the legendary team’s tenth 500 victory with Penske drivers Al Unser Jr (the winner) and Emerson Fittipaldi leading all but six laps. Within weeks the 500I engine was effectively banned by new rules.

Within the year a new format for The 500 tried again to level the playing field with spec cars and spec engines. In the quarter century that has passed since that day Team Penske has won the 500 eight more times. The 1994 Indy 500 is still seen as a cautionary tale by those who compete with both Mercedes-Benz and Team Penske.

2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

2009 Dallara IR-06/Honda Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

In 2009 Team Penske’s 15 th Indy 500 win was Helio Castroneves’ third “500” victory with the Brazilian becoming the first foreign-born three-time winner of the great race and tying a record by winning the race three times in the same decade (2001, 2002, and 2009). The victory came from the pole position and is uniquely memorable for Helio’s signature post-race victory celebration when he again climbed the safety fencing on the front straight. His crew joined in the climb, including Roger Penske! Perhaps The Captain was celebrating Castroneves’ record $3 million payday that bumped the Brazilian’s Indy career earnings mark over $10 million!

In 2019 Team Penske’s record-obliterating 18 th Indy 500 victory again came from the pole position. Simon Pagenaud’s Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW-12 led 116 laps, taking the lead for the final time with just over one lap to race. He became the first pole-sitter to win the 500 since 2009 when Helio Castroneves logged his third and Team Penske’s 15th victory.

2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet. Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

2019 Dallara DW-12/Chevrolet. Photo courtesy of Team Penske.

“The cars of Team Penske have been a pivotal part of the Indy 500 for half a century,” said Bill Warner founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “These Team Penske cars made motorsport history; a few changed Indianapolis forever. Having these five Team Penske Indy 500 winners for the 25 th annual Amelia Concours is an honor.”

“Today a Penske company owns The Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Warner. “Penske’s stewardship of these and many other significant race cars speaks with eloquence and clarity to the future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and The 500.”

Tickets for the 25th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance are now available online.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit https://www.ameliaconcours.org/shop/tickets

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA will be held March 5-8, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org .

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance| 904-636-0027 | E-mail | Website

08 Sep

Race and Concours Winners from Lime Rock Historic Festival 37

Lakeville, Conn. Following five days of activities, the 37th annual Historic Festival crossed the finish line Monday to close out another successful race season at Lime Rock Park.

Andy Williams of Stamford, Conn., in a 1958 Lotus 11 (left) and Greg Amy of Middletown, Conn., in a 1974 Porsche 914-4 (right). The two raced in Group One: A Sporting Mixture — Small bore sports and sports/racers. Photo: Lime Rock Park.

Andy Williams of Stamford, Conn., in a 1958 Lotus 11 (left) and Greg Amy of Middletown, Conn., in a 1974 Porsche 914-4 (right). The two raced in Group One: A Sporting Mixture — Small bore sports and sports/racers. Photo: Lime Rock Park.

RACER Founder & Incoming Vintage Motorsport Publisher Paul Pfanner attended, calling it a “wonderful” event from flag to flag. It featured 212 drivers from 21 states and two countries racing historic and vintage cars that ranged from a 1925 Bentley to a 1986 Porsche. Take a look back, thanks to images from VM photographer Bill Stoler.

Although the final races on Monday afternoon were canceled after heavy mid-day rains left a portion of the circuit unsuitable for competition, 29 other races went into the record books. Get all results from Race-Monitor.com.

More than 800 cars were on display during the Sunday in the Park Concours and Gathering of the Marques. Ninety of them received an award from the judging panel. See awards for concours classes and the Gathering of the Marques

The Best in Show – Sport honor went to the 1961 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa of Ralph Lauren that had won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1961 with driver Phil Hill and defended its title the following year with drivers Joakim Bonnier and Lucien Bianchi. Best in Show – Touring was awarded to Peter Kalikow’s 1958 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cabriolet.

The two Best in Show winners from Lime Rock Park’s Sunday in the Park Concours. Left: Ralph Lauren’s 1961 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (Best in Show - Sport). Right: Peter Kalikow’s 1958 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cabriolet (Best in Show -Touring). Photo: Lime Rock Park.

The two Best in Show winners from Lime Rock Park’s Sunday in the Park Concours. Left: Ralph Lauren’s 1961 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (Best in Show – Sport). Right: Peter Kalikow’s 1958 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cabriolet (Best in Show -Touring). Photo: Lime Rock Park.

More Photos: Lime Rock Historic Festival 37
Article by Cyndi Paceley
Courtesy Vintage Motorsport Magazine

18 Aug

Don’t Miss the Historic Festival at Lime Rock – Coming up Labor Day Weekend

lrp37_1Historic Festival 37
featuring the Sunday in the Park Concours & Gathering of the Marques

Thursday, Aug. 29 – Monday, Sept. 2, 2019

Now in its 37th year, the Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park has been a time-honored tradition since 1982. Enjoy vintage car racing at its best.

The event opens on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, with the Vintage Race Car & Sports Car Parade presented by Salisbury Bank. This 17-mile tour through the local towns culminates in a free street fair in the charming town of Falls Village. Then continue your nostalgic journey through time and enjoy three days of authentic vintage car racing with practice and qualifying on Friday, Aug. 30, and a full day of racing on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2.

On Friday, Saturday and Monday, the Festival is in full swing with open paddocks, three concession stands, book and poster signings, vintage hat showcases, the Harpoon beer tent, food trucks and vendors on The Midway, the Kids Club area, unique merchandise in the Lime Rock Store, and the Swap Meet with car parts and unique automotive collectibles.

Of the Festival’s highlights, the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance and Gathering of the Marques brings nearly 1,000 motorcars and motorcycles to the track on Sept. 1. Stroll the Park and tap into your inner car enthusiast as you admire rare and exotic historic and vintage cars. Another featured event is the Saturday Night Dinner & A Panel. Held in the main tent in hospitality village overlooking the front straight, the gathering is an entertaining charity event open to competitors, VIPs and fans alike.

New This Year at Historic Festival 37

  • Special tribute to Formula Ford, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the single-seater class which launched the careers of many Formula 1, Indy Car and sports car drivers. Read More
  • Formula Ford 50th Anniversary Saturday Night Dinner & A Panel will be a celebration of this important class and the people that made it successful. Read More
  • Italian motorcar masterpieces such a Ferrari, Lamborghini and many more will be the stars Sunday’s Concours d’ Elegance. Read More
  • A special celebration of the Morgan, celebrating the marque’s 110 year history. Read More
  • Luigi Chinetti Junior, a name synonymous with Ferrari, takes the position of Historic Festival’s Honored Guest. Read More
  • Honored collectors B.Z. and Michael Schwartz, showcasing their 11 masterfully restored collection of Post-War Italian GT and Dual-Purpose and Sport Racers. Read More
  • The Italian-made motorcycles of Gregory Rathe, the Festival’s honored motorcycle collector. Read More
  • The new Touring Group welcoming sports cars of up to the late 1970s to be part of several pace-car-led run sessions. Read More
  • The Riverside Cafe, a VIP hospitality tent, is now open to the public via advance ticket purchase during Sunday in the Park. Read More
  • The preliminary Entry List with the Racing Groups is now available for viewing. Read More
  • The preliminary Weekend Schedule of Events is now available for viewing. Read More

Explore the Historic Festival

Go inside the Historic Festival and what makes it an internationally acclaimed historic car event. Check out these snapshots highlighting previous Festivals.

Plan Your Weekend:

Find yourself immersed in the grassy park setting along the hillsides and under the trees while enjoying road racing at its best. There are no bleachers, no grandstands, no assigned seating. Spread out your blanket or pop open the lawn chair, sit for a while or walk along the infield’s fence line to take in the on-track action from various viewing points. Tour the open paddocks for no extra charge and get up close to the cars and meet the competitors. Lime Rock Park is simply Beauty, Tradition and Speed. Here’s how you can experience Lime Rock during the annual Historic Festival:

Schedule, Pricing & Tickets
Free Admission For Military & Youths
Hospitalities & Upgrades
Car Corrals & Parade Laps
Weekend Camping
Sunday in the Park
Saturday Night Dinner
Vintage Car Parade & Street Fair
Area Accommodations
Participate in Historic Festival

For more information, questions or to purchase tickets and passes by phone, call (860) 435-5000 Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Become a Participant

From competing in one of the races or in the concours to riding in the parade or bidding in the auction, there are numerous ways to be a part of Historic Festival 37.


Event Information Courtesy Lime Rock Park

19 Jun

NEAM Father’s Day Car Show Award Winners 2019

Norwalk, Conn. – Here is a list of the big winners from our 5th Annual Father’s Day Car Show. Many thanks to our wonderful Sponsors, Show Entrants, Spectators, Vendors and Volunteers for another successful show!

People’s Choice Award
– First Place ’59 Jaguar XK150, Eric Herdan
– Runner Up ’68 Chevy C-10 Pickup, Cliff Carroll

New England Auto Museum Award – Favorite in Show
’34 Ford 3-Window Coupe, Grace Gagnon

Mayor’s Trophy – selected by Harry Rilling
’69 Chevrolet Camaro SS, John Taranto

Malcom S. Pray Jr. Award – Favorite Classic Car
’28 Chrysler Convertible, Tom Boyian

Bob Sharp Award – Most Fun to Drive
’65 Shelby Mustang GT350, Richard Patterson

James Melton Award – selected by George Dragone
’53 Morgan, Rod Griffith

Garavel CDJR Award – Favorite Mopar
’64 Plymouth Fury, Doug Zumbach

Garavel Subaru Award – Favorite Import
’16 Ferrari 488, Jorge Doblado

CT Seaport Club Award – Favorite Preservation Car
’65 Pontiac GTO, George Klitsch

Hagerty Award – Car That Matters
’69 Mustang Mach 1, Vincent Sciarabba

NE Racing Fuels Award – Favorite Track Car
’83 Ferrari 308 QV, Alan Sosnowitz

Automotive Restorations Award – Favorite Restored Car
’57 Chevrolet Corvette, Harvey Wagner

Black Bridge Motors Award – Favorite Re-Imagined Car
’68 Chevy C-10 Pickup, Cliff Carroll

Ord Family Award – Favorite British Car
’59 Jaguar XK150, Eric Herdan

Coachmen Car Club Trophy – Favorite Rod or Custom Car
’63 Chevrolet Corvette, Bob Sabre

People’s Choice 1st Place, ’59 Jaguar XK150, Eric Herdan

People’s Choice 1st Place, ’59 Jaguar XK150, Eric Herdan

People’s Choice Runner Up, ’68 Chevy C10 Pickup, Cliff Carroll

People’s Choice Runner Up, ’68 Chevy C10 Pickup, Cliff Carroll

NEAM Favorite in Show, ’34 Ford Coupe, Grace Gagnon

NEAM Favorite in Show, ’34 Ford Coupe, Grace Gagnon

Mayor’s Choice, ’69 Chev. Camaro SS, John Taranto

Mayor’s Choice, ’69 Chev. Camaro SS, John Taranto

Malcom Pray Award, ’28 Chrysler Conv., Tom Boyian

Malcom Pray Award, ’28 Chrysler Conv., Tom Boyian

Featured Marque, ’55 Chrysler 300-C, Chuck Schoendorf

Featured Marque, ’55 Chrysler 300-C, Chuck Schoendorf

11 May

Legendary ’55 Chrysler C-300 Coupe featured at NEAM Father’s Day Car Show Sunday June 16th

3001Norwalk CT – America’s first mass-produced 300-horsepower car was the legendary 1955 Chrysler C-300 coupe, which many consider America’s first high-performance auto for the general public. Only the limited-production, custom-body 1930s Duesenberg, built for the very wealthy, had provided such power. It’s difficult today to realize what a sensation a 300-horsepower auto was in 1955.

That was a car-crazy year for Americans, who welcomed radically new, unexpected body styles. For 1955, General Motors offered its racy Chevrolet Corvette V-8 sports car and Ford introduced its sporty Thunderbird V-8 two-seater. Chrysler Corp. had spent $100 million—than a huge sum—to dramatically restyle its 1955 models and had no money or time to develop a two-seater. The 300’s V-8 easier out powered the Corvette and Thunderbird V-8s—not to mention the costly Cadillac’s top V-8, which had 270 horsepower.

The C-300 arrived when the fastest, most powerful American mass-produced cars were still mostly costly, full-size models. The Corvette and Thunderbird were generally considered frivolous, as were two-seat foreign sports cars.

The big, gorgeous new 1955 Chrysler model was officially called the C-300, with the “C” likely standing for “Chrysler.” But it soon was just referred to as the “300” to prevent confusion because the second 300 was the 1956 300B, which had 340-355 horsepower. Subsequent 300s carried the letters C through L, except the “I” designation was skipped to avoid confusion with the number “1.” They’re all Chrysler Corp.’s prized collector “letter cars.”

The C-300 had a race-style version of Chrysler Corp.’s then fairly new “Hemi” V-8.
That engine got its nickname from its hemispherical combustion chambers. The 1955 Hemi 300’s 331.1-cubic-inch Hemi was modified like Hemi V-8s used in successful early 1950s race cars, with such power-enhancing items as two four-barrel carburetors, a competition camshaft and solid valve lifters. Solid lifters were more efficient than the hydraulic ones used in other Chrysler V-8s, but were noisier. The camshaft also caused a rather rough engine idle, although not an intolerable one. The exhaust system generated a rumbling sound. It soon became clear that this was no car to mess with.

The 1955 300 had a Chrysler New Yorker Newport hardtop body and smooth Chrysler Windsor side trim and rear-quarter body panels. There was subtle “300” badging on the body and hubcaps, but the 300 shared the classy “twin tower” taillights of other large Chryslers. Up front was a large Chrysler Imperial “egg crate” grille.

3002At $4,110, the new 300 was the second most costly Chrysler brand auto. Only the big $4,209 Town & Country station wagon cost more. The price, alone, signaled that this was no car for kids. It was a hot rod luxury model for generally older affluent folks who liked fast cars. Veteran national auto writer Tom McCahill said the new 300 was a “hardboiled, magnificent piece of semi-competition transportation, built for the real automotive connoisseur.”

The 1955 300 was virtually unbeatable in competition that year, winning its first NASCAR Grand National race. It took the checkered flag at 37 NASCAR and AAA races of more than 100 miles.

The most-prized 300s are the 1955-58 models because they had the Hemi. A second version of the Hemi V-8 came in the 1960s for some Chrysler Corp. cars to keep the automaker among the hottest contenders in that decade’s muscle-car race. But they were totally different types of cars than the glamorous 1950s 300 Hemi models. The 1957-58 300C/300D looked sleeker and was more powerful than the 1955 C-300, but there’s no topping the 1955 300 because there’s no topping an original. The Chrysler C-300 to be featured on Father’s Day comes from the collection of Chuck Schoendorf of Rowayton who is an aficionado of Chrysler Hemi engined cars, including a stable of Cunningham C-3 sports cars which were part of a featured class at Greenwich Concours d’Elegance last year.

Article courtesy Dan Jedlinka.com

3003Anyone interested in showing a car at the Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register online at the New England Auto Museum website at only $15/per car or at the gate on the day of the show for $20/per car. All show cars will be welcome with no cut-off year. Spectator admission is free. Prizes will include awards for the Peoples’ Choice, the Mayor’s Choice, Favorite in Show and many more. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

08 Apr

Cars of Carrozzeria Zagato Headline 24th Annual Greenwich Concours d’Elegance June 1-2

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Greenwich, Conn. – Celebrating its 24th year of showcasing significant cars, motorcycles and one-off automotive creations, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will feature the custom coachwork of Zagato on June 1st and 2nd, 2019.

Recognized as one of the most prestigious classic car shows in the United States, the Greenwich Concours will honor the centennial of the famous Italian atelier with displays of more than 20 significant cars bodied by Zagato.

The Concours continues its tradition of holding two unique Concours back-to-back, with American cars and motorcycles on Saturday, June 1, and foreign marques on Sunday, June 2.

The event takes place at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park overlooking Greenwich Harbor on Long Island Sound.

Andrea Zagato, grandson of founder Ugo Zagato, and his wife Marella Rivolta Zagato, will represent the Zagato marque and are this year’s Concours honorees. Marella is the granddaughter of Iso’s founder Renzo Rivolta, and works closely with Andrea at the Zagato family business in Rho, Italy.

According to Maxim Magazine, “The [Zagato] brand – formed in 1919 by plane and car laborer Ugo Zagato – is the only surviving Italian coachbuilder from that halcyon era that is still family owned. Andrea Zagato, the grandson of Ugo and living scion of the ‘Lightning Z’ crest, now leads the brand into the 21st century.

“The foundation of Zagato’s work was Ugo’s proficiency in aircraft, which allowed him to integrate aeronautic philosophies such as lightweight materials and aerodynamics into his designs.

“The company’s foundation was established with the racing success Zagato enjoyed in its first decade of existence. Collaborations with Alfa Romeo produced unprecedented success: From 1928 to 1930, Alfa Romeo 1750 Zagatos claimed first place in the Mille Miglia. In that last year, Zagato-built Alfas snatched the first four places cementing the brand’s legacy as one of the most successful performance-oriented coachbuilders of the prewar period.”

Iso, founded by Renza Rivolta, was an automobile and motorcycle maker, the product of Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A of Italy. The company was predominantly active from the late 1940s through the early 1970s. It is known for its iconic Isetta bubble car of the 1950s, and for a number of powerful performance cars in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

One of the more compelling Zagato-bodied cars to be featured at the Concours is the 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Corto Spider originally built to order in 1933 for race-car driver Tazio Nuvolari. It was prepared by Raymond Sommer for the 1933 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Sommer and Nuvolari placed first overall. Three weeks later, it was driven by Sommer and Henri Stoffel to second overall in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Barron Collier became its next owner, winning the Mt. Washington (N.H.) Hillclimb in 1937. It was subsequently raced by various owners in the U.S. until the early 1950s. It will be shown at the Concours by its current owner, Scuderia N.E.

Other cars on the field designed by Zagato will include those of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, Lancia, Jaguar, Nissan, Porsche, and Aston Martin. Also displayed will be examples of the rare Alfa Romeo Tubolare Zagato, a 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ1, a 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ2, and a 2012 Alfa Romeo TZ3.

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

To honor Marella Rivolta Zagato, there will be a special Iso class, featuring such cars as a 1970 Iso Rivolta Lele and a 1973 Iso Grifo.

“We are honored that Andrea Zagato and Marella Rivolta Zagato will celebrate this very special anniversary with us at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance,” said Concours Chairman Mary Wennerstrom. “We will have a great variety of cars built by all three generations of Zagato, from the 1930s to the modern day. We also are pleased to honor Marella’s heritage with a special class of cars from Iso.”

The weekend will also feature cars of Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt, a Chicago industrialist who began importing foreign cars in the 1950s to the U.S. Although sold as American cars, the cars were true hybrids, with British mechanicals, Italian bodywork, and U.S. sales and distribution. A fortuitous meeting with Bertone at the Turin Auto Show in 1952 resulted in four collaborative efforts between Arnolt and Bertone.

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

Photo Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

His son, Michael Arnolt, will be an Honorary Judge at the Concours and will bring his Arnolt-Bristol Bolide. Arnolt-MGs, Arnolt-Bristols and Arnolt-Aston Martins will come to the Concours from as far away as New Mexico and Arizona.

American Orphan Marques and American Supercharged Cars are the special classes on Saturday. Cars of interest include a 1948 Tucker and a 1954 Kaiser in the orphan class. A one-off 1952 Packard Macauley Speedster with a McCulloch-supercharged 359-cu.in.straight-eight engine will be in the supercharged class.

Sunday’s Concours will host a special display of cars from the Bentley Driver’s Club in honor of the marque’s 100th anniversary, including models from the early W.O. Bentley and Derby Bentley eras, up to post-war and modern examples.

The weekend will also showcase orphan motorcycle marques. American Iron Magazine publisher Buzz Kanter will showcase limited production marques that no longer exist including a 1938 Mandille et Roux D2 “Passe-Partout,” a 1971 Münch Mammoth, and a 1950 Vincent Black Shadow Series C.

The Concours will again benefit Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. The Stamford-based organization is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies.

A silent auction will be held to raise money for The Hometown Foundation, of Cheshire, Conn., which honors and assists five distinct areas of interest including Animal Welfare, Emergency Response Personnel, Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities or in Need, Major Illness and Military.

  • Advance tickets for both days are available online at $30 per day or $50 for both days and include early entry at 9:30 a.m. and event program
  • VIP Admission is $150 per day or $250 for both days and includes early entry at 8 .m., breakfast and lunch with the car collectors, entrance to Bonhams cocktail party on Friday night, poster, lapel pin, event program and VIP lanyard.
  • Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $40 per day or $60 for both days
  • Gates open at 10 a.m. for general admission
  • Children 12 and under enter free when accompanied by an adult
  • Saturday Night Gala tickets are available for $175
  • Tickets can be purchased at http://www.greenwichconcours.com/visitors/tickets/

Article courtesy Greenwich Free Press