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Palm Beach, 28th of January, 2017

The 26th edition of the Cavallino Classic today moved from the Palm Beach International Raceway into the Breakers for the annual Concours d´Elegance, the highlight of the Ferrari meeting in Florida. Well before sunrise the first Ferrari were lined up in the driveway of the luxurious hotel at the Beach. Just as in previous years this edition featured some rare examples of the history of the marque with the prancing horse although the jubilee edition in 2016 set the bar very high for all the coming years but even without the numerous Best of Show winners of the past this year’s line-up was again no disappointment. Ranging from the early 212 Inter and Export both clothed by Vignale to the latest Ferrari SP275 Speciale both the upper and the lower lawn were packed with great cars and again the international jury could award numerous platinum awards showing the condition of the cars on display.

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Certainly it becomes more and more difficult to find new cars or fresh restored examples every year so it is no surprise that several examples were repeating guests on the lawn and therefore not part of the judging. Among those were a few cars seen on the track the days before like the 412MI and the GTO of Chris Cox as well as the 250 TDF of Charles Wegner that could be seen again by the paying guests. But several cars fresh from extensive restorations highlighted the show and many of them made the post-restoration debuted in Palm Beach rather than in Pebble Beach still showing the importance of this American meeting among the fans of the cars from Maranello.

Right next to the fountain at the upper lawn were a duo of 212 Vignale Cabriolets, a single carburetor 212 Export as well as a triple Weber 212 Inter and especially the sleeker Export of Peter Kalikow, restored to perfection by David Carte was one of peoples favorites and surrounded all day by spectators admiring the numerous details on this car.

Also fresh from restoration was the 342 America, one of only 6 examples including 3 coupé and 3 cabriolets. This coupe was seen many years in black just to be restored back to its original livery of light green over silver and a three piece rear window.

The 250 series was very well presented starting with a small 250 MM Vignale from the Wexner-Collection, no less than three 250 GT LWB nicknamed “TdF” after their victory in the French road race, two Boanos, 4 SWB Berlinettas, two Lussos and a SWB California Spider as well as a Series Two Cabriolet.

In the middle of the upper lawn was a 330 GTC Speciale featuring numerous unique features as well as last year’s 275 Speciale inspired by the famous Ecurie Francochamps livered 275 GTB Speciale of Preston Henn.
Moving from the upper lawn one could have a glimpse of what to expect at tomorrow’s Mar-a-Lago concours where Maserati will be featured marque.

On the middle lawn this year’s feature was the jubilee of the small Dino starting with the 206/246 model range as well as the 308 GT/4 including the very first example ever built.
Moving further down the lawn was dominated by cars both from the early and late 12-cylinder series ranging from the 275 GTB/GTS to the latest examples but also several 8-cylinder cars of the 308/328/348/355 and 360 series.

Especially the later one made a big surprise at the Ferrari 348 Challenge was awarded Best of Show competition both to the surprise of the public but also to the one of the owner who apparently did not think of being in the circle of candidates for the highest award as he left after receiving his platinum award. Before presenting the award an explanation of the need of being a platinum car to be considered leaving especially the numerous display-only examples out sounded a little bit like a justification of this unusual decision although it was only a question of time when such a new car would be selected.

For the Best of Show in the GT category the choice was more obvious as the small 212 Export Vignale took the trophy just as expected by many.

Tomorrow will see the final chapter of this year’s Cavallino Classic when the Ferrari and other cars move down the street to the private club of the freshly inaugurated President Trump, at the famous Mar-a-Lago. Unfortunately the weather forecast seems to be less pleasant as rain is expected for a good part of the day leaving the question how many of the cars will make their way down, especially of the featured Maserati racers. Please visit again tomorrow to be kept up to date with a final preview-gallery of CC26.

Report & images … Peter Singhof

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