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2006 Cavallino Classic
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Introduction
Over the last few years the anything-Ferrari-celebration Cavallino Classic has grown to be a mini version of the annual August historic car extravaganza in and around Monterey. Of course the main event remains as the Cavallino Classic with a concours d’elegance in Palm Beach and track days with historic races at nearby Moroso Motorsports Park. The recent addition of the Palm Beach International, a Concours d'Elegance, and a Gooding & Co. auction to round off proceedings offer the public a great conclusion to the action packed four days. To celebrate the event’s 15th anniversary, all previous best of shows winners of the past fourteen years were invited, so it looked set to be a classic ‘Classic.’ We captured all three days of action in a full report and two 150 shot slideshows; one for the Moroso track days and the other showcasing the concours d'elegance at the Breakers.

Cavallino Classic at Moroso
Click here to open the slideshowKicking off on Tuesday, the track action consists of four days with the first two days being completely private. On the two public days four different groups were let loose; two with competitive historic racers and two with modern road and track cars. In good Ferrari/Maserati challenge fashion the racing cars were divided in drum and disc brake groups. For the modern cars the expected pace was used as a divider.

Highlight of the non-competing outings was the North American track debut of the Ferrari FXX. Flown in directly from its NA unveiling in chilly Detroit, the 800 bhp was driven around both by its owner Lawrence Stroll and professional driver, Nick Longhi. With its wild body and screaming engine it was welcomed with big smiles throughout the paddock. Painted in his Falcon Racing white, silver and blue colours Stroll also premiered the brand new F430 Challenge on track. ‘Odd balls’ among the various F355 and 360 Modena variants were two single seaters of the 1960s and 1970s; the Ferrari 166 Dino F2 and the ex-Niki Lauda 312 T2. The finest tunes of the week’s soundtrack were produced by three 333 SPs, which included the 1998 Watkins Glen winner livered in striking Momo colours.

Drums:
Although Ferrari’s recent split up with Maserati had an effect on Saturday’s concours, there was still room in the drum brake race for four of the Trident’s finest. Enzo Ferrari’s pre-War racing efforts with Alfa Romeo also opens up space in the series for these Italian thoroughbreds. Built to take on the German Silver Arrows, the Alfa Romeo 8C35 packed a twin supercharged version of Vittorio Jano’s legendary straight eight. Although it proved to be insufficient to return to winning form, the car’s excellent design was showcased by its owner who managed to keep up with racers of the 1950s. At the head of the field it was Stroll in his 250 TR who managed to keep ahead of locals Ed and Leslie Davies in their 375 MM and 250 TR respectively. The race came to a premature end when a 250 GT Tour de France rolled at the tight chicane before landing on a tire wall. First at the scene, Maserati racer Bill Noon was quickly out of his car to offer assistance. He later explained that the driver was mainly angry because it was not his own car. After being removed from the car and airlifted to the hospital he was fortunately released the same night with only minor injuries.

Discs:
Covering three decades of Ferrari racing cars, the disc brake field was slightly larger than the drum brake grid. Among the usual suspects two very rare examples caught our eye. First up was a unique 206 SP rebodied in the early 1970s with a body similar to a 312 PBs and equipped with a 2.4 litre Tasman version of the Dino V6. The second was the most modern car entered; the first of three Michelotto prepared 308 GT/Ms. It was a pleasure to see Chuck Wegner’s time warp 1961 196 SP in action again. He is currently offering it for sale and hopefully the new owner will keep the car in its remarkable original condition. Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal was present to showcase his skills in his 250 GT SWB and he baffled his fellow competitors with his car control. Lawrence Stroll and Ed Davies were battling it out yet again, now in their very loud and equally fast 512 Ms. This time Davies took top honours. In the opening laps of the race a spirited drive saw Jim Fuchs in his BB LM taking on Stroll, but ignition problems threw him back in the second half of the race.

Cavallino Classic at the Breakers

Click here to open the slideshowAfter the busy and often loud schedule of the track days it was time for some peace and quiet at the concours d’elegance. It's traditionally held on the tenth hole of the Ocean Drive golf course and the croquet lawn at the exclusive Breakers Resort on the shores of Palm Beach. The silence was occasionally interrupted by a screaming symphony produced by the second FXX of the weekend. Although we were told that the owners were not allowed to even run the cars without the factory’s assistance, both owners showed that Ferrari intervention was not required. The small croquet lawn is commonly reserved for the most exceptional cars of the event, but in this anniversary year it hosted the best of the previous editions complimented by a few ‘new’ examples. With this being only our second year in attendance, we gratefully accepted the chance to make up for what we missed in the earlier editions. Some of the previous winners were not seen in public for several years.

Old school
Headlining the trio of cars displayed at the entrance of the lawn was Jim Clark’s immaculate Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa, which is the second oldest Ferrari still in existence. It is also the current Cavallino Magazine cover car, which coincidentally celebrated its 150th issue this month. Sharing Colombo’s short block V12 with ‘004C’ were five other very early Ferraris on the field. The most remarkable was a Fontana bodied 212 Export s/n 086E, which was displayed in pretty much the same condition as it was retrieved from a barn in November 2005. The new owner had a ‘first right of refusal’ on the car since the 1960s and when the previous owner decided to sell it last year, he was more than happy to take it off him. In the car’s early life a variety of bodies were fitted, including a unique Vignale ‘Shooting Brake’ style and it is still uncertain to which configuration it will be restored. Supposedly the completely original and very rare tachometer, gearstick and steering wheel alone are worth close to $100,000. The fully restored 166 MM Touring Barchetta and 166 MM Vignale Barchetta it was placed between offered a great contrast.

Lampredi power
On the other side of the lawn, five competition and road cars equipped with Lampredi's long block V12 were lined up. Used exclusively in the fastest of competition cars and in a very small number of usually one-off road cars, the Lampredi engine is a guarantee for desirability. Four of the five cars had already clinched a best of show prize and at the end of the day the owner of the fifth car, the Pebble Beach class winning 410 S, received the award for Best of Show Competition cars. Of the other four, the Scaglietti bodied 375 MM especially caught our attention both because of its unusual design and of its rare public outings. First owned by Roberto Rosselini, the car’s original Pinin Farina body was replaced by Scaglietti after it was damaged in an accident. The striking design features a remarkable greenhouse with a large curved rear window.

Best of show
Unlike most other concours, there is no awards ceremony on the field to conclude the event, but at an exclusive dinner at the Breakers later that evening. After winning at Pebble the 410 S was an obvious candidate for the Competition class and at the end of the day we were pretty certain Sam Mann’s freshly restored 1956 250 GT TdF would take top honours in the Road Car class. Our keen insight led us to reposition this silver beauty for the proposed Best of Show shot. Fortunately the judges agreed with us and Mann was given his second major award in 6 months after receiving the much-coveted Pebble Beach Best of Show with his similarly silver Delage D8-120.

Conclusion
Three days of Florida weather, screaming engines and shining cars; what more could a Ferrari enthusiast want? Not much is the most accurate answer. In its fifteenth running the Cavallino Classic has only strengthened its position as the must-visit Ferrari event in North America. The event manages to attract enough interesting and new vehicles to please even the most objective visitor.

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Report by and images by Rob Clements and Wouter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com.