07 May

Greenwich Concours Is Coming Back This Fall

Hagerty’s first year of running the show will see a new format, and also a preview of Concours d’Lemons.

Autoweek photo

Autoweek photo

Greenwich, Conn. – Classic car events are still dealing with postponements and cancellations in the wake of the pandemic, but later this year the Greenwich Concours will return after a hiatus in 2020. The next edition of this popular northeast event will be held on Oct. 22-24, 2021.

It’ll also be the first year under Hagerty ownership, with the classic insurance company having acquired the event in late 2019 only to have to cancel the very next edition of the concours.

There are a number of big anniversaries this year; the 2021 concours will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Moto Guzzi, the 120th anniversary of Indian motorcycles, and 100 years since the founding of Duesenberg with featured classes.

Greenwich Concours will also feature a special class celebrating the 100 years of Allard, as well as 100 years of 3-Litre Bentley cars and 100 years of Springfield Rolls-Royce. Other classes will include Lancia, Right Coast Rods, Vintage SUVs, and Ford vs. GM.

The format of the event is changing a bit. If you’ve been used to visiting American cars on Saturday and then fighting for parking space on the Sunday of Concours Europa, which sees plenty of vintage and not-so-vintage European supercars, this year is going to be a little different.

Lancia will be among the featured classes at the 2021 concours. Autoweek photo

Lancia will be among the featured classes at the 2021 concours.
Autoweek photo

Friday will see a Bonhams auction preview part as well as a Hagerty-hosted welcome party for VIPs—these two events will be invite only. Saturday will feature a Grand Tour open to all concours exhibitors that promises to cover the most beautiful roads in the border area of Connecticut and New York. The Bonhams auction will be held on Saturday, as well as Hagerty Seminars presented by the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society. A waterfront party with food and entertainment will also be held on Saturday, hosted either at the L’Escale restaurant or at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club.

Perhaps most importantly, Saturday will host a Concours d’Lemons Special Display ahead of the first actual Concours d’Lemons at Greenwich in 2022. Its arrival to Greenwich had been mentioned briefly in the spring of 2020.

Sunday will be the day (and the only day) of the main concours event itself, which will feature American and foreign cars. It’ll be interesting to see how this new one-day format for the concours ends up playing out, as the two-day schedule has been a fixture of the concours for years. The separate day for the Bonhams auction will perhaps be a welcome change right away, as the auction event has had to compete with the concours for attention on Sunday in past years, while attendee turnout on Saturday had usually been dwarfed by the crowds on Sunday.

The Saturday auction day and the one-day concours format on Sunday seems like it will be a successful change to the event, and it will allow the concours to use more of the park’s grounds on Sunday. The fall schedule should also be a welcome change this year, as Greenwich visitors have had to contend with temperatures above 90 degrees on its early June weekends, along with often-powerful afternoon thunderstorms that would roll through like clockwork at 3 P.M. sharp, right before the awards ceremonies would start.

Past years off the event have featured a very eclectic selection of foreign cars on Sunday. Autoweek photo

Past years off the event have featured a very eclectic selection of foreign cars on Sunday.
Autoweek photo

Greenwich won’t be the only concours in the northeast this fall, as the second year of Audrain’s Newport Concours and Motor Week is scheduled for September 30 through October 3. It’s very first year was in 2019, and it achieved an impressive level of spectacle just due to the location of the event itself.

2021 promises to be a very interesting year for both concours events and their satellite programs.

Visit the Greenwich Concours website for the full schedule and ticket information.

Article Courtesy Jay Ramey, Autoweek

12 Jan

Amelia Island Concours postponed until May due to pandemic

Usually held in early March, the renowned event moved back as a safety precaution

A 1929 Duesenberg SJ roadster and a 1963 Ferrari 250/275P won Best of Show awards at the 2018 Amelia concours | Bob Golfen photos

A 1929 Duesenberg SJ roadster and a 1963 Ferrari 250/275P won Best of Show awards at the 2018 Amelia concours | Bob Golfen photos

Amelia Island, Fla. – The 26th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance events will be postponed because of pandemic concerns, and are moving to May 20-23 from the original dates of March 4-7. A formal announcement will be made early next week but concours volunteers have been notified of the change of date which “allows more time for the vaccine to be distributed.”

The Amelia concours is the latest major automotive event that has been canceled or postponed as 2021 begins, carrying over the multitude that were affected during 2020 as COVID-19 spread around the globe.

Held on the scenic golf links at the Ritz-Carlton resort, the Amelia attracts 10s of thousands of spectators and participants for car shows, demonstrations, vendors, auctions and gatherings, which culminate in the Sunday main concours that includes about 300 show vehicles, many of them rare and unusual examples. For 2021, the signature concours d’elegance will be held May 23.

The annual Amelia concours attracts a strong crowd of spectators and participants

The annual Amelia concours attracts a strong crowd of spectators and participants

“We know the date change will present challenges for some,” the volunteer’s message says. “But we believe the health and well-being of those involved outweigh the inconvenience.
“Tickets and event packages purchased directly from the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation will automatically be carried forward to the corresponding events during the week of May 20-23, 2021. Current vendor and sponsor agreements will also be honored for the new dates.”

Courtesy Bob Golfen, ClassicCars.com

05 Jan

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance moving to October in 2021


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hagerty is transitioning the 2021 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance from its usual date on the first weekend after Memorial Day to the weekend of October 22-24.

“This was a difficult decision but we felt that moving to the fall for 2021 gives us the best chance to safely host a truly spectacular event without fear or massive restrictions for staff, volunteers, owners, judges, sponsors and attendees,” said Concours Director Tabetha Hammer.

The 25th Anniversary event – presented by Hagerty, a company dedicated to the love of driving – will take place, as usual, in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Saturday, October 23, will feature the acclaimed Bonhams auction, family activities, sponsor test drives, popular local food vendors and beloved traditions like the Grand Tour and evening Waterfront Party. The traditional best-of-the-best Concours competition on Sunday, October 24, will feature international and domestic marques. Featured classes will include Ford vs. GM, Lancia, 100 Years of Duesenberg, 70 Years of Allard, Right Coast Rods, Vintage SUVs, and 120 Years of Indian and 100 Years of Moto Guzzi.

Throughout the weekend, Hagerty will add its own unique touches, including its popular “Ride & Drive,” which puts show-goers behind the wheel of cool classic cars, and the Hagerty Driving Experience, which teaches drivers ages 15 to 25 the art of operating a manual transmission.

Founded in 1995, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, recognized by the bestselling book, “1,000 Places to See before You Die,” has grown into one of the premier automotive shows nationwide. Overlooking the famed Long Island Sound, the Greenwich Concours backdrop is the beautiful Greenwich Harbor. Located just 30 miles from the heart of New York City, the event is just steps away from the luxurious Delamar Hotel, lavish restaurants and boutique shops on the world-famous Greenwich Avenue.

Tickets will go on sale in early 2021 at GreenwichConcours.com.

About Hagerty

Hagerty is an automotive lifestyle brand with a mission to keep driving alive for car lovers and drive positive change in the world. Hagerty is home to Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty DriveShare, Hagerty Valuation Tools, Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, Hagerty Media, MotorsportReg, Hagerty Garage + Social, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, the California Mille and more. Hagerty is the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for enthusiast vehicles and supports keeping car culture alive through youth programs, the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA), the RPM Foundation and more. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.

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

24 Apr

Pebble Beach concours, other Monterey Car Week stalwarts cancel 2020 events due to coronavirus concerns

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, 2019. Photo by Matt Litwin.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 2019. Photo by Matt Litwin.

Pebble Beach, CA – Due to “ongoing health concerns” related to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance have canceled the premier event on the automotive calendar for the first time in 60 years and only the second time in the event’s history, a decision that has triggered other Monterey car week cancellations.

“Some of our overseas entrants were nearing the point of putting their cars on boats and planes, and their own travel arrangements have long been made,” Sandra Button, the chairman of the concours, said in a statement. “The same is true for many of our international cadre of judges.”
The announcement came on the same day that California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that no timeline exists for reopening the state and that, even when the state does start to reopen, it will do so slowly—certainly avoiding mass gatherings such as those that descend on the central California coast during the annual Monterey car week.

According to Button’s statement, organizers of the concours—originally scheduled for August 16—recently completed their car selection process and sent out invitations to car owners, all of whom will now be automatically entered in next year’s concours, scheduled for August 15, 2021. “The acceptance letters stressed that these cars were invited to appear at the 70th celebration—even if it was delayed,” the announcement noted Featured classes for the 2021 concours will remain the same as the 2020 event: a selection of past winners, Pininfarina-bodied cars, Porsche 917s, Talbot-Lago Grand Sports, Miller racing cars, Iso cars, early electrics, and cars of La Carrera Panamericana. All tickets purchases in advance for the 2020 concours will now be valid for the 2021 concours.

Other Monterey car week cancelations and changes of plan announced this week:
* Gooding and Co., the official auction house of the Pebble Beach concours, has announced that it has canceled its Pebble Beach auction, originally scheduled for August 14-15.
* Organizers of Legends of the Autobahn, the Monterey car week show focused on German carmakers, had announced the cancellation of their 2020 show, originally scheduled for August 14, prior to the Pebble Beach announcement.
* On Thursday, following the Pebble Beach announcement, organizers of The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, announced that they would suspend their event, scheduled for August 14, and their rally, scheduled for the two days prior; officials at Bonhams, which holds an annual auction in conjunction with The Quail’s event, announced that they will schedule an alternate auction in California to replace the Quail Lodge auction.
* Also on Thursday, organizers of the Concorso Italiano canceled their event, originally scheduled for August 15, citing “the uncertainty of events being permitted by state officials and the California Governor.”
* Organizers of the McCall’s Motorworks Revival postponed their event, originally scheduled for August 12.
* Worldwide Auctioneers has postponed its Pacific Grove Auction to 2021.
* Organizers of the Concours d’Lemons have canceled their 2020 Monterey event.

As of this writing, organizers of other shows and auctions that make up Monterey car week have not announced similar cancellations or changes of plan.

The Pebble Beach concours, which was supposed to celebrate its 70th anniversary this year, has only been canceled once before, in 1960 due to inclement weather. Organizers of the show at the time rescheduled it for the following spring.

Courtesy Daniel Strohl, Hemmings.com 4/23/20

13 Mar


2019 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Best in Show winners

2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best in Show winners

Jacksonville, FL – The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier and 1957 Ferrari 335 S were crowned this year’s Best in Show on March 10, 2019 at the 24 th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance . The event once again brought together the best of the automotive world, including 2019 honoree, “Mr. Le Mans” Jacky Ickx. The legendary Ickx is a six-time Le Mans winner, 1979 Can-Am Champion, a Formula 1 victor and a Daytona, Sebring and Paris-Dakar winner.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier. 2019 Best in Show, Concours d'Elegance

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier. 2019 Best in Show, Concours d’Elegance

The Best in Show Concours d’Elegance Trophy was given to a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier owned by The Keller Collection at the Pyramids.

A brief history of the 2019 Best in Show, Concours d’Elegance winner:

“In March of 1934, a new Mercedes debuted at the Berlin Car Show: “Autobahnen Kurierwagen 8-Zylinder Kompressor Typ 500.” Only one model existed and the brochures informed the public that this car was designed for incredibly high-speeds on the autobahns going as far to claim that the high winds at those speeds gave the car its defining shape. Mercedes built the new model on the existing W29 chassis. Mercedes clientele at the time were conservative buying only 761 W29 cars between February 1934 and November 1939. Of those, 342 were equipped with a 5-liter engine and 419 with a 5.4 liter engine as in this car. Both were equipped with a Kompressor. The remaining 70 chassis were sent to outside firms that would construct specials to client wishes.”

1957 Ferrari 335 S. Best in Show, Concours de Sport

1957 Ferrari 335 S. Best in Show, Concours de Sport

A 1957 Ferrari 355 S owned by Cavallino Investments took home the Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy.

A brief history of the 2019 Best in Show, Concours de Sport:

“The 335 S was the most technologically advanced Ferrari in 1957. It featured a longitudinal 60-degree V-12 with 24 plugs, two valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank and it produced 360 horsepower.

The Scuderia Ferrari Factory team car started life as a 290 MM, was then upgraded to a 315 S and finally a 335 S. The car has a tremendous racing history spanning three seasons. The car participated in the major races such as Sebring, LeMans, the Mille Miglia, and 1,000 km events at the Nürburgring and in Caracas.

The car was piloted by some of the great drivers of its day including Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Alfonzo De Portago, W. Graf Berghe von Trips, Peter Collins, Maurice Trintignant, Mike Hawthorn, Luigi Musso, Stirling Moss and Gaston Andrey. This was in the period 1956 and 1957 when Ferrari won the World Sportscar Championship.”

“The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier and 1957 Ferrari 335 S both truly embody the sophistication of our awards,” said Bill Warner, Chairman and Founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “I was thrilled to watch the judges honor such esteemed automobiles and continue to recognize the best and most extraordinary vehicles in existence, right here in Northeast Florida.”

2019 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Best in Show winners

2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Best in Show winners

It is in The Amelia’s innovative nature to present new classes and the 2019 event did not disappoint. This year’s Concours included “Cars of the Rock Stars,” a class specially curated by John Oates of Hall & Oates. Pairing specific vehicles with guitars, the class consisted of Oates’ personal collection and featured additional vehicles owned or closely associated with well-known musicians. In addition, John Oates sang a moving rendition of The National Anthem.

The new and exciting classes didn’t stop there – a dignified fleet of limosines occupied the lawn in a class titled “Heads of State.” This fleet was made up of cars of Kings and Queens, Presidents, Popes and even a Dictator.

The Amelia joined forces with HistoricRacingNews.com to present the first-ever live stream of the event. The live online video content allowed viewers from all over the world to watch the Amelia unfold in real time.

Additional highlights included a distinct class of Ferrari 250 GT “SWB”, Jaguar XK 120, a celebration of Indy Innovations and a Custom Coachwork Volkswagen class to acknowledge the 70th anniversary of the VW Bug’s arrival in America.
“I am proud to say that this year’s Concours had some of the most innovative classes and interesting vehicles to date,” Warner said. “Our celebration of the automobile finds a way to evolve year after year, and we remain delighted to continue showcasing such rich automotive history through our event.”

Click here for a full list of the 2019 winners.

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

THE AMELIA will be held March 12-15, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. For the Amelia’s full events schedule, including Saturday’s Cars & Coffee at the Concours and Sunday’s premier Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, visit www.ameliaconcours.org . The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.45 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.

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

05 Feb

Garavel Auto Group Signs as Presenting Sponsor of the New England Auto Museum Father’s Day Car Show June 17th in Norwalk

garaval1Norwalk, Conn. – New England Auto Museum has announced that the Garavel Auto Group of Norwalk, Garavel Subaru and Garavel Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram will be the Presenting Sponsor of the 5rd Annual Father’s Day Car Show to be held Sunday June 16th from 10AM to 3PM at Mathews Park in Norwalk.

In its 5th year, the NEAM Father’s Day Car Show takes advantage of its surroundings on the spacious lawns of Mathews Park, which provide a scenic backdrop for a spectacular collection of classic cars. The show provides a wide variety of attractions for car owners and spectators alike including tours of the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum and the neighboring Stepping Stones Children’s Museum as well as great BBQ food, ice cream and games.

Anyone interested in showing a car at the Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register online (after April 1st) 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

garaval2Garavel Auto Group
Located in Norwalk, CT, Garavel Subaru and Garavel Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram offer quality new and used cars and are also proud to have a full car service center along with a top-of-the-line quality parts department. For more information check out www.garavelsubaru.com and www.garavelchryslerjeepdodgeram.com

18 Dec

Tim Considine’s epic Le Mans treatise leads the field in Christmas book recommendations

"Yanks at Le Mans" details every American who raced there between 1923 and 1979. Here, Tony Adamowicz swings his and Sam Posey’s 512 M through Tertre Rouge in 1971. Unable to match the dominant Porsches and not even in the fastest Ferrari, “Tony A-Z” and Posey would put in a gritty performance to carry their increasingly crippled NART Ferrari to a podium finish Photo by RAINER SCHLEGELMILCH

“Yanks at Le Mans” details every American who raced there between 1923 and 1979. Here, Tony Adamowicz swings his and Sam Posey’s 512 M through Tertre Rouge in 1971. Unable to match the dominant Porsches and not even in the fastest Ferrari, “Tony A-Z” and Posey would put in a gritty performance to carry their increasingly crippled NART Ferrari to a podium finish

 It won’t be out till 2019, but order it anyway. Other books, too.

Courtesy Mark Vaughn, West Coast Editor, Autoweek

What would make the eyeballs of your car- and race-loving special person light right up on Christmas morning? One of these here books, that’s what. Imagine the look of delirious joy that will smack his or her grille when they unwrap something as interesting and car-worthy as one of these? Except for maybe the Le Mans book, which won’t be out until next year. But you can put a little card saying it’s in the mail.

Twice Around the Clock: Yanks at Le Mans by Tim Considine

From the first Model T at the first running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, there have always been Americans present in one capacity or another. Now, finally, their stories are told, in glorious, intricate detail by author — and sometime Autoweek contributor and famed motorsports journalist — Tim Considine. He poured 28 years of his life into this book: writing, researching and interviewing the American drivers, team owners and crew members who raced at Le Mans over almost six decades. Considine covers the years 1923 to 1979, and if there’s anything not in here, it probably didn’t happen. But what did happen is a cavalcade of riveting race reporting, wonderful anecdotes and hundreds of interesting stories I guarantee you won’t find anywhere else.

All your favorites are in it: Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Bob Bondurant — even Roger Penske, who co-drove a Luigi-Chinetti-entered Ferrari with Pedro Rodriguez and who was running third up until he missed a shift coming out of Mulsanne Corner and blew the engine. “Bonnier was behind me in a (Porsche) Spyder, and with all the smoke, he went off into the trees and wrecked. I remember, he was mad as hell at me.”

Surprise winners Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt on the podium, their win in Chinetti's Ferrari 275 LM likely because some gripless experimental Goodyear tires, changed every hour, saved them from the transmission weakness of similar Ferraris that year. Photo by LAT

Surprise winners Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt on the podium, their win in Chinetti’s Ferrari 275 LM likely because some gripless experimental Goodyear tires, changed every hour, saved them from the transmission weakness of similar Ferraris that year. Photo by LAT

There are more stories.

In 1965, when Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt were paired in Luigi Chinetti’s Ferrari 275 LM, the car was shod with gripless experimental Goodyear tires that had to be changed every hour. This wound up saving them from the transmission weakness of similar Ferraris that year and lead to them winning the race. But was there a third driver (which would have disqualified them?). Considine investigated, but the controversy endures to this day.

“It’s all about the stories,” said Considine. “It’s hard to choose, but I think my favorite pull quote of all was from a dentist, Dr. Edwin Abate, an amateur from San Jose who paid 25 large to drive one of Barbour’s rent-a-ride Porsche 935s in 1979, the P.L. Newman/Whittington brothers year. Big rains in a 935 at Le Mans!

“Abate said, ‘I remember going down the Mulsanne, with the one wiper going, and lightning going off down at the end of the Mulsanne. I said to myself, ‘Dear Mother Mary, if I get killed here, that’s it … I can’t help it, I really love it here, it’s magnificent!’ He looped it in practice, slid off near the end of the race, but finished eighth overall and second in the IMSA class won by Newman. The magic of Le Mans.”

The Mulsanne Corner crew, The vaunted Cunningham team's unconventional signaling pit crew - 16-year old self-described "military brats" sent on scooters in response to a request to the Paris embassy for help . Photo by Terry Andrews

The Mulsanne Corner crew, The vaunted Cunningham team’s unconventional signaling pit crew – 16-year old self-described “military brats” sent on scooters in response to a request to the Paris embassy for help . Photo by Terry Andrews

My own favorite story is one year when Briggs Cunningham needed a team of signal workers to man the Mulsanne corner signboards. Someone called the U.S. embassy in Paris — because why not? — got patched through to the Embassy Transportation Officer, a known racing enthusiast, who called his teenage American son. “Round up four of your friends, you’re going to Le Mans!” They got there on Vespa scooters, found the Cunningham team, got the signboard and scootered out to the Mulsanne corner. The boys’ story is told in sleepless detail, including one of the youth’s romance with a French local. Considine tracked down one of the boys — now men — somewhere in South America, got previously unpublished photos and gave the episode a whole page in Volume 1.

Yes, Volume 1. There are three volumes, all three of which slip into a single case that will make any bookshelf the envy of motorsports enthusiasts everywhere. At $350, this ain’t cheap, but for that, you get three big books, 925 photos, over 1000 pages, a million stories and 28 years of Considine’s life. I guarantee it is supremely worth it. Buy it here.


Other books:

50/50 The Story of Champion Race Car Driver John Paul Jr. and His Battle With Huntington’s Disease, By John Paul Jr. and Sylvia Wilkinson

Already reviewed here, the book deserves another mention because of John Paul Jr.’s remarkable story. Born with a 50/50 chance of getting the terrible disease that claimed his grandmother, mother and sister, JP started exhibiting symptoms in 2000. Advances in treatment, combined with JP Jr.’s incredible will, have kept him alive. You can’t help but think that he will overcome this just like he overcame challenges on the racetrack and in jail, where he served time for complicity in his father’s drug dealing that financed the pair’s racing for several years. There is an awful lot packed into this one life and one book. Buy it here.

The Prototype by Sam Mitani

Full disclosure: I know and like Sam Mitani. We have both worked at car magazines our entire adult lives. Fuller disclosure: I am a character in the book: the thinly disguised “Mark Taylor of Auto News Weekly.” (Ha!) The book is a spy thriller set in the high-shrimp-and-fois-gras world of pampered car magazine writers, which is in itself kind of hilarious, at least to me. The protagonist is a low-seniority magazine staff member who stumbles into an international criminal conspiracy. It’s a fully functional spy thriller with fast cars, a couple private jets and several beautiful PR professionals. Yes, this is the life I/we lead. You’ll be drawn in by the plot and you’ll even stick with it as it gets progressively farther out there, including the surprise ending. And you might even get a kick out of the insider petty politics of some car magazines (not this one!). I hope they make a movie out of it. I want Redford to play me. No, he’s too old. Maybe Brad Pitt. Buy it here.

The Amazing Adventures of Stroker McGurk – Comic by Tom Medley

If you are a hot rodder of a certain age, you remember the work of Hot Rod cartoonist Tom Medley and his goofy but intrepid main character Stroker McGurk. Stroker comics appeared in Hot Rod from 1948 to 1965 and this book has all 70+ of them. See Medley’s presentation of motorsports innovations like the multi-engined lakes racer and the parachute used to slow the car that worked a little too well. McGurk never gave up, even when maybe he should have. At only $14.95 each, you can buy one of these for every hot rodder on your list. Buy it here.

Pete Brock's P70

Pete Brock’s P70

The Road to Modena: Origins and history of the Shelby-DeTomaso P70 Can-Am Sports Racer by Peter Brock

When Pete Brock himself hands you a copy of his latest book to read, you read it. Thus, at the Art Center College of Design’s annual Car Classic, I saw not only the book but the car it was about. Both were stunning. The car looks beautiful even today, 50 years after it was created. You might not have heard of it because it never ran a lap in a race. Blame the gigantic egos of Carroll Shelby and Alejandro de Tomaso. Had they gotten couples counseling and been able to work things out, the P70 would have taken its place among the Lolas, Coopers, Brabhams, McLarens and Chaparrals of its day. This is the story of what happened. Buy it here.

Classic Car Auction Yearbook 2017-2018 by Adolfo Orsi and Raffaele Gazzi This annual publication started 25 years ago and rounds up the global auction action from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. Total sales of classic cars in that time topped $1.2 billion (or 1 billion Euros or 900 million English pounds). Leading the world by far are U.S. auction sales at $764 million (the UK is a far-distant second at $148 million so, USA! USA! USA!). Such are the stats you get with this stat-dense book. Look up your favorite model and see what it went for: A Lancia Appia topped $8000 at Bonhams Goodwood sale. So there’s hope for us all. Buy the book here.

Other books we haven’t read but which look promising enough that we’ll list them anyway:

Car Stories: Down the Road and Back by David Fetherston is a collection of auto-related tales by this lifetime automotive writer and publisher, gathered from years of driving in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and the U.S.A. over the last 50 years. Buy it here.

Legacy of Justice: An American Family Story is about the Justice Brothers, Ed, Zeke and Gus, and the lubricant company of the same name that sponsors race cars around the world.

Stardust International Raceway: Motorsports Meet the Mob in Vegas, 1965-1971 Who knew there was this competent road course and drag strip out in Vegas 50 years ago?

Goldenrod: The Resurrection of America’s Speed King is the story of the restoration of the famous land speed race car built by the Summers brothers to set the wheel-driven land speed record that would not be broken for 25 years.

So there, saved you a bunch of shopping. Merry Christmas!

Mark Vaughn – West Coast Editor Mark Vaughn covers all car things west of the Mississippi from his Autoweek lair high above the LA metropolis.

09 Oct

Porsche 962 to be honored at Amelia Island Concours in March, 2019

The Amelia Island Concours will celebrate the car’s 35th anniversary in 2019

962-1Amelia Island, Fla. – Racing is in Porsche’s blood and over the past 70 years the German sports car manufacturer has created some incredible racers; the 904, 917 and GT1 to name but a few. However, one of its creations stands as one of the most successful in all of motorsport and will be celebrated at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours. That car is, of course, the Porsche 962.

Next year the Porsche 962 will be 35 years-old, hard to believe when it still looks the part today. The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is to honor the prototype racing car that dominated America’s IMSA series. In that formula, the 962 won no less than 54 races with 1985 being its golden year, taking the top step at every event bar one. The 962 also won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour race three times.

The 962 was born out of necessity as the Group C Porsche 956, that had won Le Mans in 1982, did not comply with IMSA safety regulations. This issue led Porsche to evolve the design of its first monocoque racer and create the compliant 962. When international rules changed in 1985, the 962C ended up replacing the 956 globally.


Porsche’s 962 was ahead of its time with its extensive use of ground effects, something that kept it competitive for an unusually long period. Star drivers such as Mario Andretti and his son Michael, Indy 500 winner Al Unser and his son Al Jr., Derek Bell, and AJ Foyt have all claimed victory behind the wheel of a 962.

An amazing fact is that with victory at Le Mans as well as Daytona in 1986 and ’87, the 962 had technically been undefeated in 96 hours of endurance racing. Between its first IMSA win in 1984 and the final competitive victory in 1999, Porsche’s 962 tallied 142 victories and won 35 international championships.

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws more than 300 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. The 24th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 8-10, 2019. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.

Courtesy Tyler Heatley, autoclassics.com

14 Aug

Lime Rock Park Historic Festival’s Honored Guest Brings $40M Bugatti

Peter Mullin to be the Honored Guest & Collector at Historic Festival 36, Bringing With Him the Fabled “World’s Most Expensive Car”

1936 Bugatti Type 57S Atlantic famous as “World’s Most Expensive Car”

1936 Bugatti Type 57S Atlantic famous as “World’s Most Expensive Car”

LAKEVILLE, Conn. — Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance and the Gathering of the Marques, to be held on Sept. 2, 2018, as part of Lime Rock Park’s 36th annual Historic Festival, will be one of the largest showing of motorcars in the Northeast. According to organizers, more than 1,000 motorcars and motorcycles are expected to be showcased along the 1.5-mile Lime Rock Park track, including more than 50 Bugattis—a record setting amount.

Held over Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2018, the festival is the only North American classic car race and concours held in the same location. Historic Festival Chairman Murray Smith explained, “No other event in the U.S. combines a first-class Concours d’Elegance with quality vintage competition on the same property, all on the same weekend. This year, the registrations have been impressive and we fully expect to have over 1,000 vehicles on display.”

Sunday in the Park is segmented into two parts: the Concours d’ Elegance, a showcase of nearly 300 outstanding and rare entries that will be judged with class winners honored during an award ceremony, and the Gathering of the Marques with 800-plus vintage and historic cars of all types.

Peter W. Mullin, the American businessman and philanthropist, will be the honored guest and collector for the Historic Festival 36. Mullin is the founder of the M Financial Group and chairman of its subsidiary, M Financial Holdings. Additionally, he serves as the chairman of Mullin Barens Sanford Financial. He is the founder and patron of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California.

Peter was born in South Pasadena, California near Los Angeles, California, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he founded Mullin Consulting in Downtown Los Angeles in 1969. He served as its chief executive officer until 2003 and as its chairman until 2006.

Mullin co-founded the M Financial Group with Mark Solomon, Carl Mammel, and Eli Morgan in 1978. He serves as the chairman of its subsidiary, M Financial Holdings. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, it offers life insurance and other financial services to “the ultra-affluent and corporate markets.”

An avid car collector, Mullin established the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, in 2010. Additionally, he serves as the president of the American Bugatti Club. He is also a member of the Bugatti Trust.

1936 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster

1936 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster

As well as being Honored Guest and Collector, Mullin will be racing one of his Bugatti’s during the Bugatti Grand Prix portion of the Festival and will be bringing with him four show cars, including Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic – which was described as “the world’s most expensive car” in 2010 when it was purchased by Mullin. The $30 to $40 million dollar car was purchased by Mullin in 2010 and is on display at the Petersen Museum in California.

Additional multimillion-dollar Bugattis featured at Sunday in the Park will include the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Gangloff Drop Head Coupe from the Ralph Lauren collection as well as the Type 59 Grand Prix Bugatti of Greg Manocherian. “These Bugatti’s will be making rare and much-anticipated appearances,” Smith said.

More information about Peter Mullin will be found in The Daily Rev, the program guide available during the Historic Fest. Learn more about Lime Rock Park’s at Historic Festival 36.

1931 Bugatti Type 49

1931 Bugatti Type 49

To read more about Peter Mullins’ Bugatti’s to be featured at Historic Festival 36, upload this document overview of each vehicle.

Courtesy Lime Rock Park Historic Festival 36