Palm Beach is known around the world for attracting the affluent, whether it’s to purchase a grand estate on the water, or to relax at resorts like Mar-a-Lago and The Breakers. Palm Beach has also become known for attracting some of the most beautiful Ferrari’s in the world every January.
For sixteen years now Cavallino Magazine has invited Ferrari owners and enthusiasts to the warmth of Florida for five days of excitement on track, and beauty on the show field. This year’s edition celebrated three special models from the Prancing Horse. The 250 TR, 166, and 20 year old F40 were all well represented on the pristine lawns of The Breakers resort.
The cold and wet weather on the first of two track days at Moroso Motorsports Park meant for noticeably fewer racers on track but increased the sales of warm Ferrari clothing in the paddock. As noted by many drivers in attendance the track condition doesn’t help to attract the best historic racers in the world either. That will all change over the next year, as Moroso currently has new owners who are planning $20 million in upgrades.
As usual, all practice, qualifying and racing entries were segregated into groups dependent on their age, engine and brake configuration. In addition, many event-registered Ferrari owners were permitted to drive their modern road-going machines on track for a few hot laps. The selection naturally included several 360’s, a few F40’s and two FXX’s to name a few. Furthermore, owners of modern Ferrari Challenge cars take every opportunity to use their possessions for what they were meant, to go fast. This included the usual suspects from previous 360, 355, and 308 Challenge Series, and this year also saw a newly retired 575 GTC.
The drum brake qualifiers and race was dominated by Maseratis, beginning with an ex-Grand Prix-racing 250F from the 1950’s. Peter Giddings easily qualified for the pole and drove the nimble open-wheeler to victory without much competition. The pack of Maserati 200’s, 300’s and an A6G battled for the remaining top podium spots with positions swapping several times throughout the 12-lap race.
The disc brake group was clearly overrun by Ferrari 512’s. The top three qualifying positions were held by the screaming BB’s of the early 1980’s. Following behind were a couple of GTO’s and two 365 GTB’s. While still driving hard, the Historic Challenge drivers understandably take some measure of caution while piloting their pricy cars around an aging old track with little room for error. A 250 GT SWB and 275 GTB met front quarters in a minor accident entering the first corner at the end of the very fast main straight, about halfway through the race. Both cars were able to remove themselves from the track without assistance. After 13 laps, Todd Morici’s BB received the checkered flag 25 seconds ahead of the next 512 BB of Jim Fuchs.
|DRUM BRAKE RACE|
Class 1 (PreWar)
1st: Ned Spieker, Alfa Romeo Tipo B Class 8B (Guest Driver)
1. Gregor Fisken, Maserati A6GCS
Class 2 (Early Post War)
1st. Charlie Arnott, 250 GT/TdF
2nd: Tony Schwartz, 250 GT Boano
3rd: Steve Dudley, 166/195 Inter Berlinetta
Class 2A (Four Cylinder cars)
1st: Chuck Wegner, Maserati 200 SI
2nd: Tom Price, Maserati 200 SI
3rd: Nick Colonna, Maserati 200 SI
Class 3 (Mid '50s cars)
1st: Peter Giddings, Maserati 250 F (GP Car)
2nd: Jon Shirley, Maserati 300 S
3rd: Peter LeSaffre, Maserati 300 S
Overall winner, presented with the Trofeo di Florida: Peter Giddings
|DISC BRAKE RACE |
Class 4 (250/275 Berlinettas)
1st Peter Sachs, 250 GTO/64
2nd Tom Price, 250 GTO
3rd: Nick Soprano, 250 SWB Comp/61
Class 4A (365 GTB/4s)
1st Charlie Arnott, Comp Daytona
2nd John Giordano, Comp Daytona
Class 5 (Rear-engined Sports Racers)
1st: Chuck Wegner, 196 SP
Class 7 (308 Michelottos)
2nd: Bob Benedict, 308 GT/M
1st: Steve Dudley, 308 GTB/M
Class 6A: 512 BB/LMs
1st: Todd Morici 512 BB/LM
2nd: Jim Fuchs, 512 BB/LM
3rd: John Goodman, 512 BB/LM
Overall winner, presented with the Trofeo di Florida: Todd Morici
The poor weather on the Thursday didn’t however affect the seminar series held at The Breakers, where an impressive example of each of the feature models was present for discussion. The 166 seminar example in particular came with some interesting history as depicted by the current owner of #0052M, Manny Del Arroz. Del Arroz pointed out several interesting features on his historic “little boat” such as the gear driven camshafts and closed bonnet scoop, intact from its last race in the desert. This barn-find has received plenty of discussion since its re-discovery almost two years ago, but very few photos. We were privileged enough to work with Del Arroz personally to depict the patina as best we could with our digital cameras. An F40 and Jon Shirley’s unique 250TR were also discussed in the informative seminars.
Every classic car owner, press photographer and die-hard enthusiast knows how early these well organized events begin, and therefore the public opening time of 9:00 or 10:00 seems irrelevant. Gathering so many spectacular cars in such a magnificent setting attracts large crowds from the wee morning hours until the last car leaves the lawn in the late afternoon. The 166 feature was well attended by entries, and even better received by the spectators. Frequently visitors were found comparing subtle detail changes from the several 166 MM Touring Barchettas basking in the Palm Beach sun.
Best of Show (competition cars): s/n 0006 M, 166 MM Touring Barchetta, Brian Ross, Cortland, Ohio
Best of Show (GT cars): s/n 2033 GT, 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, Tex and Tambi Otto, West LA, Calif.
Best 12 Cylinder Car: s/n 4251 SA, 400 Superamerica, Peter McCoy, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Best 8 Cylinder Car: s/n 10364, 1975 308 GT4, Nicholas Economou, Miami, Fla.
Best 6 Cylinder Car: s/n 07414, 246 GTS Dino, Nick Colonna, Palos Verdes, Calif.
Supercar Cup: s/n 93607, 1992 F40, Phil and Martha Bachman, Greeneville, Tenn.
Outstanding 2+2: s/n 2367 GT, 250 GTE 2+2, Todd Coady, Loda, Illinois
Outstanding Comp Car: s/n 0794 TR, 250 TRI/61, Peter Sachs, Stamford, Conn.
Honorary Judges' Cup: s/n 0286 AM, 375 MM Vignale Spyder, Bruce McCaw, Bellevue, Wash.
Outstanding TR: s/n 0666 TR, 250 Testa Rossa, Jon Shirley, Medina, Wash.
Outstanding 166: s/n 0058 M, 166 MM Touring Barchetta, Lorenzo Zambrano, Monterrey, Mexico
Vintage Preservation Cup: s/n 0052 M, 166 MM Touring Barchetta, Manny del Arroz, Diablo, Calif.
Excellence Cup: s/n 0407 GT, 250 Europa GT, Lorenzo Zambrano, Monterrey, Mexico
Excellence Cup: s/n 10253, 275 GTB/4, Bill Rhodes, Concord, N.C.
Best F40 (F40 Cup) s/n 92336, Jasbir and Sanjam Dhillon, Lexington KY
Palm Beach Supercar Weekend
Unrelated to the Cavallino proceedings, another car event was taking place simultaneously over the same weekend, but of a much more modern subject. John Temerian’s enthusiastic organization of 200+ supercars was a dramatic change from the classics at The Breakers. Beginning with a VIP party Friday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon Rally and evening soiree, and concluding with a Sunday Supercar show and Polo Match, the Palm Beach Supercar Weekend was a smashing success.
The centerpiece for this event was undoubtedly the appearance of the much-talked-about Ferrari P 4/5 by Pininfarina. Its owner Jim Glickenhaus was gracious enough to transport this beauty along with its inspiration, the 330 P 3/4 which he also owns, all the way from New York. Glickenhaus treated some envious onlookers with a drive from the Moroso track into downtown Palm Beach Friday afternoon. Not wanting to create another “Diana incident” we kept our distance while shooting the P 4/5 in action down the Beeline Highway. The two P’s were shown on Sunday alongside the mighty 2005 Le Mans winning Audi R8.
While Ferrari ruled the Cavallino events, Lamborghini seemed to be the prevalent marque at this show. While there were many Murcielagos and Gallardos proudly shown, Temerian was careful not to allow two alike. Different colors, rims, and accessories made each example unique. Michael Fux of Miami brought by far the largest assortment of rolling splendor with fine examples from Lamborghini, Bentley, Ferrari and Bugatti. His brand new triple-yellow Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was especially electrifying in the afternoon sun. His amazing collection also included an ex-Schumacher Ferrari F1, an FXX, and a retired Aston Martin DBR9. Now all he needs is his own race track to give all that horsepower some room to run.
Sunday afternoons in Palm Beach are frequently spent at the Polo fields, which also made a perfect venue for the Supercar Show and integrated the two seamlessly with a match half-time parade of exotics across the field of champagne-sipping fans.
With the Cavallino Classic as the backbone, and additional events such as the Supercar Weekend coming on board, Palm Beach is steadily being compared to that other P.B., Pebble Beach. Admittedly, the Pebble Beach festivities are still considered the ultimate classic car gathering in North America, but Palm Beach can perfectly suit a January fix for the car enthusiast.