As I was having lunch on Friday with several other writers, I noted that I had heard that Warner and his team had come up with a "Plan B" back in 2000 if a weather event caused the the Concours to be moved. As happenstance would have it, one to the people at the table chimed in "I'm on the Board and THIS is Plan B. We are in it. There isn't a Place C. We'll see if it works"
It's a momentous task shoehorning a full schedule of Saturday and Sunday events into one day. The Concours show would now coincide with Saturday’s "Cars & Coffee at the Concours presented by Heacock Classic Insurance". The entire Cars and Coffee show field had to be relocated to an adjoining field, transport staff had to move up plans for unloading Concours cars by a full day; with cars that where still en route! It required parking two different cars shows at the same time.
It also made the task of trying to see over 600+ cars in a short period of time just as daunting. Nevertheless, I was able to find some very nice examples of rolling Italian art on both the Concours and Cars and Coffee Showfield.
The Best of Show - Concours de Sport:
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider
In the 1930s, the 8C 2900 Alfa was not a mere sports car but was the most advanced, modern and compelling sports car money could buy. Milan's own Carrozzeria Touring patented the "Superleggera" construction which coincided with the birth of Alfa Romeo's masterpiece.
Approximately 32 of the 2.9 chassis were made and it is believed only 12 are Touring Spiders, seven of which are the long chassis like this car. This car's known history starts in 1949. In February 1949 it was raced in Sao Paulo by amateur driver Mario Tavares Leite who had the car imported from Italy to Brazil. Mario won races with the car in 1949 and 1950 after which the car disappeared.
Bonham's Auction Highlights
Amongst the auction results, of the cars pictured below, the 1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa Coupe was the top dollar car sold at the auction for a whopping $2,227,500. Bringing in the 3rd top dollar position was the 1986 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole for $335,500 while the 1968 Lamborghini Islero 400 GT, sold for $247,500, the 8th biggest sale of the show.
Gooding & Co Auction Highlights
Pictured below are some to of the examples of Italian design that went up on the block.
The little 1958 Fiat 1200 TV Trasformabile pictured at the beginning of the slide show was a car I first saw at the Concourso Italiano show in 2015 during Monterey car week. It was based upon the Turismo Veloce, or fast touring, version of Fiat’s 1100 series, the limited-production 1100 Spider delivered fine details, a luxurious cockpit with swiveling seats, excellent road manners, and a handsome body designed by Fabio Luigi Rapi. By 1957, larger engines inspired the 1200 TV designation. While more revisions came in 1959, the 1957–58 models captivate today’s collectors.
Along with a green convertible top, this sporting 1200 TV is presented with the body handsomely painted Gray Beige over upgraded green leather upholstery highlighted by white piping. It includes twin fog lamps, whitewall tires, correct spin-off hubcaps, a discreet modern radio, plus a factory-type steering wheel. As you can see in the slideshow, we opened the hood to make sure that the olive oil can was still in place. A rather humorous touch by the previous owner.
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
As you look through the slide show below, you'll find a one-ff 1930 Alfa Romeo 1750 GS Testa Fissa. Its the gray colored race car featured at the beginning of the slide show. It has a very unique body that was recreated on the original chassis. Just three months after its introduction, a 1750 driven by Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi would win the 1929 Mille Miglia. Later that year, Marinoni and Benoist won the Belgian 24 Hour Race at Spa. Alfa would take the Targa Florio, too, and one year later, the company won its second Mille Miglia, in addition to a host of other events. In short, Alfa Romeo began the 1930s as it ended the 1920s—utterly dominating Italy’s sports car and competition scene.
The Alfa 3000CM was featured in the Alfa Romeo booth again this year. If you recall from last years report, it was campaigned at the PVGP back in the early 1980's and is part of the Auriana Collection.
When you get to the end of this slide show you'll see a lovely 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300. The 8C 2300 Tipo Le Mans' was the sport version of the '8C 2300' and it had a successful debut in the 1931 Eireann Cup driven by Henry Birkin. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1931 (Howe-Birkin); 1932 (Chinetti-Sommer); 1933 (Nuvolari-Sommer) and 1934 (Chinetti-Etancelin).
Cars & Coffee at the Concours presented by Heacock Classic Insurance
Basically, the Confortevole is an updated version of the race-bred lightweight "Allegerita" Sprint Veloce but has a more comfortable interior and lacks the aluminum body panels & plastic windows of the lightweight. It still maintains all of the high-performance mechanical features of the lightweight but in a grand touring version.
As a side note, the folks pictured in the lawn chairs behind the red caravan turned out to be from Pittsburgh originally, just like the van which had a pre-insterate Pennsylvania map sitting on the dash.
We're also very excited to welcome Heacock Classic Insurance to the 2017 Cortile as a sponsor and they will be providing Coffee on both Saturday and Sunday morning July 15-17 during the arrival of the show cars!