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Palm Beach, 25th of January, 2020

Today was the big day of the 29th Cavallino Classic with the annual Concours at the Breakers. And what a Concours it was ... Once again one could see that every event is very much dependent on the weather and it became rarely clearer than comparing last years event with today. Last year the concours featured one of the most exciting race car displays on the upper lawn but the constant rain on Saturday and Sunday kept most of the visitors from the field and so one could see a lot of covered Ferrari standing alone in the rain.

... Gallery with 550 Peter Singhof images >>>


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After the showers of the last two days the weather forecast was far from clear but as soon as the sun was out today it seemed that more people than ever entered the field to have a look on a nice Florida winter weekend. As soon as the car were set up on the field and prepared by the owners or caretakers they were surrounded by people and the stream of visitors did not get less over the day until the cars finally left. When people are asked what keeps them away from the event not seldom the price of the entry ticket is named as one of the reasons but today one could see that this does not seem to be an issue for the most interested people as well as for those having a look as an additional entertainment during their stay in their winter domicile.

And today they really got something for their money. No less than 8 of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyders were shown on the upper lawn. Keeping in mind that those are some of the most sought after collector cars on the planet with a value of about 15 million dollar each one could only be impressed to see that many comping from all over the states to the south-east. Beside two typical Ferrari reed examples including the last one as featured by Thursdays symposium already the dark colour dominated with no less than 4 examples either in dark blue or even in black. The most extravagant colour certainly was the light green metallic example that also should win its class looking very fresh contrasting the most original example that only featured a 70s repaint into white-blue but highly original interior or hood.
But this certainly was the only more preserved car on the main field as all the others looked better than new and the usual suspects in the world of Ferrari restoration competed for the awards, be it Paul Russell, MPI or David Carte together with RM Restorations. This very high quality does give the judges a very hard time and mostly very small details are deciding whether the clients leaves Cavallino satisfied or rather disappointed. Especially then cars of the same type compete eliminating the personal taste for a model or the importance for the history of Ferrari.

The California Class certainly was one of the more difficult classes just as the GTE class on the middle lawn. Over the years many of these 2+2 lost their identity to become a recreation of the more desirable GTO or SWB models but a few of them stayed with enthusiasts keeping them the way they are. With a more mortal price tag the condition of them varies a lot more than with the very expensive models where a restoration does not make that much of a difference in the purchase.

Very interesting are always the pure racing cars or the early models with a special coachwork. Especially at Ferrari not few of the models are called Speciale as they differ more or less from standard models, some of them only in details, some of them much more likethe 250 Europa Speciale on the field. Intended for a more sportive usage the car did not feature a trunk but a more sportive back including fins. Contrasting the more sportive body was a lot of chrome work in the front and after a recent restoration the dark blue body attracted a lot of interest. The car was awarded the price for the restoration that required the most research to get it done right.

One of the oldest cars on the field featured a Ghia body, one of the coachbuilder of the early Ferrari days before the collaboration of Ferrari and Pininfarina started. Although rather unimposing it still convinced the judges as this car won the Best of Show award in the category GT cars.

Less surprising wasthe Best of Show victory of the Ferrari 735S of Tom Peck. After being one of the symposium car the spectacular restoration to the Carrera Panamericana specification including wonderful handpainted logos and race numbers was one of the stars in the field. The black racer made its post restoration debute in Pebble Beach last year and took the laurels here in Palm Beach.
Tomorrow will be the final chapter of Cavallino Classic 29 with the annual Sport Sunday in Mar-a-Lago, the multi marque concours in the country club of POTUS. Today we already saw a small glimpse of what to expect as the imposing Cadillac V16 of the Patterson collection made it to the field at the Breakers after staying in the truck last year due to the heavy rain. It will be joined by  couple of Alfa Romeo including an 8C 2300 with unique Figoni body as well as the well patinated P3 of the late Hugh Taylor collection.


Report & images Peter Singhof
www.ClassicCarPhotography.de



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