by Bernard Martin, Managing Director, Cortile Italian Car Show
The 2017 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance exemplified grace under pressure. With a 100% chance of heavy precipitation forecast for Sunday for the scheduled Concours d'Elegance and a sunshine-filled Saturday in the mix, Bill Warner and his team chose to move Sunday’s award-winning Concours to Saturday. No small undertaking.
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.
Warner and his staff, according to rumor, had to make it all happen with 40% less volunteers who where only scheduled for a Sunday event. No small undertaking. It went off gracefully. It was a tremendous show. Warner and his team pulled a rabbit out of their hat while herding cats and looked great doing it!
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:
Our Cortile Cup winners for 2017 proved once again to be some of the most unique cars to grace our showfield!
The Best in Show, Cortile Cup Winner was a wonderful De Tomaso Mangusta. An original unrestored 1986, purchased new by the owner, Alfa Romeo Graduate took the Alfa Romeo Class and for the first time the judges just could reach a conclusive decision for the Fiat Class and there where two winners chosen: a wonderful original condition Fiat X-19 and a lovely restoration of a
In the Best Italian Speciality Car category that Stanguellini race car took top honors. Our Proiettore Macchina feature winner was a gorgeous white Pantera.
The Ferrari and Lamborghini winners added the iconic Italian sports car colors to the Winners Circle and a very very unique Maserati joined us from Erie, PA to take the final spot in the Winners Circle!
For the Friday Dinner presentation Jeff Mahl took us back to the legendary 1908 New York to Paris Race.
This international competition pitted the best of European automotive technology against the one American entry bold enough to take on the challenge of circumnavigating the globe in horseless carriages. Germany, France and Italy had national honor at stake. The Americans had Teddy Roosevelt!
Jeff is the Great Grandson of George Schuster, driver of the American Thomas Flyer and winner of the 1908 New York to Paris Race.
For his victory, George was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame beside other racing greats including Andretti, Bugatti, Ferrari, and Shelby.
Since the inception of the Cortile in 2009 we've been searching for Italian Race Cars for display on our showfield. However, since this is the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix more often than not those cars racing on the track. This year, however, we were very pleased to feature a 1959 Stanguellini Monoposto Formula Junior on the showfield at the Cortile.
This car was first sold to Peter Carpenter and he raced it extensively throughout Europe during the 1959 series of Formula Junior, placing 5th place at Monza and 2nd at Di Salerno.
This car was partially restored in 1970s and spent approximately 20 years in a private museum of an Italian car collector in Miami, Florida.
The current owner purchased the car in 1994 and has spent the last 8 years restoring it to the original racing condition. This was it's first showing since coming out of the garage!
Next month we are featuring a story on Rob Straw and sharing some of his great night photography from the Cortile
Rob also has some great photography of the Italian Race Cars in the paddock.
You are really going to want to see his work!
Be sure to check back!
Here's a sample of what's in store for you!
According to Rob:
"The final gallery of "night" images is complete! Included is this beautiful 1959 Stanguellini Monoposto from the #PVGP Cortile Italian Car Show, as well as numerous race cars from the Schenley Paddock and the Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Thanks to all those that brought their cars out for the races and car shows. I hope you all enjoy the images I stayed up late to shoot!!!!
It was originally unveiled at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show on Bertone's stand, the car was truly a one-off, carrying over parts from the previous Miura S and introducing new features that would be seen on later SVs.
"This is the year in which the Lamborghini Miura celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.
This car not only illustrates the iconic appeal of the Miura, widely acknowledged as the forerunner of modern super sports models, but is also a perfect example of the expertise available in Lamborghini PoloStorico in providing the most authentic Lamborghini restorations."
1971 Lamborghini Miura SV PoloStorico Restroration
Lamborghini PoloStorico was appointed a year ago to fully restore chassis #4846 to its perfect original state. The subject of exhaustive research, each detail of the Geneva show car has been respected rather than adopting later production SV parts.
Shown in metallic green Verde Metallizata with tan leather, the restoration of #4846 by PoloStorico has included a complete restrip of the chassis and engine.
Using photos and other archived historic documentation, every panel on the Miura has been returned to its original lines and angles and, following the original production sheet and records held by Automobili Lamborghini, every component restored or replaced.
Expert Lamborghini craftsmanship and original Lamborghini parts have been used throughout, from bodywork to repainting the car in its original color, refurbishing the interior and overhauling the engine.
Concourso Italiano is held during the Monterey Car week in August each year.
The week of car events on the Monterey peninsula include the
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is held on the final Sunday of Monterey Car Week. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was founded in 1950 as an adjunct to the Pebble Beach Road Race, a race event sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America and conducted on a circuit of closed public roads.
- Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, formerly known as the Monterey Historics until 2010, is held the final weekend of Monterey Car Week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The three-day event has over 500 participants, and generally features a specific marque every year.
- Legends of the Autobahn show features German automobiles. It began as a BMW Car Club of America event and grew to include all German cars.
- The Porsche Werks Reunion event features Porsches and was established in 2014 after splitting off from the Legends of the Autobahn show.
- The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering (usually shortened to The Quail) is a car show limited to 200 automobiles located at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club
The 2015 Concorso Italiano featured the reunion of the Ferrari 250 GTE, the 25th anniversary of the Lamborghini Diablo, the 50th anniversary of the Iso Grifo, the “King of Spain” Maserati Quattroporte, the Touring Superleggera concept car, and Tom Meade’s Thomassima II.
About the Alfa Romeo Logo
On the left, the red cross on a white field is indeed what it seems, and dates back to the time of the crusades, when Italian soldiers from Milan would wear white tunics and carry a shield with the cross signifying that they were followers of Giovanni of Rho. Alfas were originally built in Milan in the early 1900s, so their tie to the city remains strong.
The right half of the crest is where things get a bit more interesting. The crest of a man being consumed by a dragon is actually what's known as a "Biscione," an emblem of the House of Visconti, who controlled the city of Milan from the 13th to the 15th century.
During the time of the crusades, Otone Visconti , the founder of Visconti Family and a knight, fought against a noble Saracen knight. Otone beat the Saracen knight and, following the tradition, took the symbols the Saracen carried on his shield: a snake with a human in his mouth. At first glance, it looks like the snake is eating the human. Instead, the human is coming out of the snake a "new man," purified and renewed.
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The turnout of Ferrari's was robust to say the least. The Coastal fog melted off and the cars on display presented the magnificent lines of Italian design. It would be difficult to NOT take a great photograph!
The line of Dino's was likely the best display of the cars I have seen presented. There where any number of hidden gems and completely unrestored original cars on display.
It was very easy to get caught up in conversation about any single car and the owner's where all very receptive to any questions posed.
There was also some incredible artwork on display highlighting Tazio Nuvolari and I was fortunate enough to run into a wonderful young lady who is working on a movie production about Nuvolari. I'm going to be following the project closely as it evolves.
The Muira was parked next to a special edition Gallardo prepared especially for Valentino Balboni. Few names resonate more with the Lamborghini faithful than Valentino Balboni, Lambo's long-term test driver who's honed every model to roll off the line since 1973. In an ultimate tribute to Balboni, the Italian supercar manufacturer has created the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni: a limited production run of just 250 units, each bearing a serial number and Balboni's signature on the left side window.
I had the opportunity to chat with Balboni about the Muira in front of us as I compared mental notes to the Muira that has won our Cortile Cup just a month earlier. I noted that there where some obvious design differences event down to the color of the "bull horn" doors. Bambino smiled and told me "At that time we had many labor and financial troubles. We where never sure if there was going to be a strike the next day or if someone would shut us down for back payment. We finished each car as best and as fast as we could just to get it out the door and get it sold. Each one is different"
I had been admiring several Maserati Boro's in the Maserati area of the showgrounds. I've always thought of the Bora when I hear the lyric "My Maserati does 185..." and had just moved up the field to the Fiat area.
I discovered a rather rare 1958 Fiat 1200V. As I was admiring the the olive oil container under the hood I head a voice just behind me saying "What is this? I've never seen one of these before!" I turned around saying "Nor haave I...." when I recognized that the person saying this was Cecile Canales.
Cecile and her husband Carl where two o the original group that helped to found the Cortile Italian Car Show in Pittsburgh. As I was soon to find out they where also members of the original group that helped to found Concourso Italiano! Carl and Cecile quickly adopted me into their group of Maserati owners and introduced me to some wonderful people.
Below please find some more great images from the show.... ~Bernard Martin
Editors note Feb 15, 2016: I was finally able to upload the videos to this posting. I hope you enjoy the interviews!
"Marques of Italy"
Pittsburgh, PA. The 2015 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is celebrating “The Marques of Italy”. There are so many beautiful Italian cars that it is just too difficult to select just one to recognize. What’s your favorite? Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia or maybe one of the lesser known brands like Iso, Bandini, Siata or Stangueillini. They are all welcome and we hope to see more than 400 cars!
Italian cars of all years and all will be featured throughout all ten days of our event, including an All Italian race at Schenley Park on Sunday July 19. If you own a new or vintage Italian car or are just a fan, the 2015 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix this is the place to be this summer! The PVGP is the nation’s largest vintage race event, covering ten full days that includes racing, car shows and parades.
To add to the excitement the Grand Prix and the Cortile are also hosting the Fiat Club America’s "FreakOut" Annual North American Convention during the July 17-19 Schenley Park weekend. This event typically draws 200+ Fiats and Lancia from all over North America. Combined with our Italian Marque we are expecting to fill the 18th fairway!
The Italian Cortile will host all Italian Car events this year from its location at the Pittsburgh Golf Club on the 18th hole of the golf course. The Cortile was formed by the PVGP’s Bernie Martin in 2009 in response to the overwhelming success of the 2008 Marque of the Year which also honored all Italian cars. Now in it’s 7th year the Cortile has grown into one of the PVGP's most popular car shows.
Our 2015 Race Week is slated for July 10 through 19 with July 18/19 slated as the featured Race Weekend at Schenley Park. This will be your homepage to track all Marque activities. The button below is for on-line registration.
Follow the hashtags for the most updates: #PVGP #FFO15
2015 Grand Prix Race Week Schedule
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The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to hold a world-class vintage automotive event for charity.
It is the region’s premier summer event for hundreds of thousands of automotive enthusiasts in that it combines charitable fundraising with car shows and vintage sports car racing on city streets.
Since 1983 this volunteer-driven event has raised $3.85 million for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.
I had the unique opportunity to visit The Amelia Island Concour's d' Elegance and witness the unveiling of the new Lamborghini Huracán. To say that I was very impressed would be an understatement. Was I impressed by the car? Of course. But that was not what impressed me the most. I'll explain a bit on that later, but first a bit about the Huracán.
Back in 2010 Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A President & CEO Stephan Winkelmann said that the sports car market's top design priorities were "Top speed was number One. Acceleration is number Two and then comes handling," In the future "Handling is going to be number One. Acceleration is Two and Top Speed is number three" I must say that the Huracán appears to be the embodiment of that ethos.
What's a Huracán?
The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 is the new sports car that replaces Lamborghini's sales leader and most produced car, the Gallardo. The Huracán made its Eurpean auto show debut at the 84th Geneva Motor Show that was held from 6th to the 16th March 2014 with a private press unveiling on March 4. It made it's private United States debut on Friday March 7th to VIP clients and it's public debut on March 9. Both the private and public US debuts happened at The Amelia Island Concour's d' Elegance. Note the dates. CEO Stephan Winkelmann did the unveiling in the US just a few days after Geneva unveiling. It would seem that the US is important to Lamborghini eh?
"The fighting bull Huracán of the Spanish Conte de la Patilla breed was known for his outstanding courage and strong sense of attack. He fought in Alicante in August 1879, showing his unrelenting character and remaining defiant and invincible, thus entering into the legend of fighting bulls' history."
Previous Lamborghini models have also been named after famous Bulls: The "Diablo, for example, derived its nameplate from a Spanish fighting bull bred by the Duke of Veragua that’s said to have battled the matador “El Chicorro” in a legendary 1869 fight that lasted for several hours.
The Murcielago was named after a legendary fighting bull whose life was spared, as the story goes, after valiantly standing up to 24 jabs at the end of a matador’s sword in 1879. Its successor, the Aventador, was likewise named after a bull, in this case one was killed in a particularly gruesome fight in Saragossa, Spain in 1993" (Autoblog)
"LP" stands for "Longitudinale Posteriore," which is a snazzy way of saying that it's a mid engined, longitudinally mounted motor (the crankshaft is oriented along the long axis of the vehicle, front to back). The Huracán motor is a V10, naturally aspirated 5.2 L. It's tuned for 610 PS (449 kW; 602 hp). The Huracán's top speed is over 202 mph (325 km/h). It can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds and from 0 to 124 mph (200 km/h) in 9.9 seconds. With a dry weight of 3,135 lb (1,422 kg), it enables a power-to-weight ratio of 5.1 lb (2.33 kg) per horsepower. The Huracán has electronically controlled all-wheel drive, which aims to increase the traction on various surfaces and the overall performance of the car. That "all-wheel drive" part is what that last "-4" means by the way.
As anyone who's met me for the first time near your car, you'll probably recall me asking you to "Tell me about your car" or "What do you like most about this car vs that car?" I've come to the realization that the only way to really know what's good or bad about a car is by what the aficionado's of a particular marque have to say about the macchina. To become a true aficionado, in my view, is to have driven and experienced the marque in detail over many years. (Yet another reason I miss Walt Spak.) So, of course, over the course of the weekend I asked those questions a lot. It was interesting to note that the shifting and handling of the Huracán seemed to be at or near the top of Lamborghini aficionado's first comments.
The Lamborghini Doppia Frizione (LDF) is the name for the new 7-speed, dual-clutch gearbox controlled by paddle shifters under the steering wheel, The LDF got rave reviews by the aficionados!
"It's just sooo much smoother than the Gallardo"
"I even like it better than the Aventador and I love that"
"It's just a dream!"
where just some of the comments. Shifting is one of the very first things you need to do in a car after acceleration and steering, so it was noteworthy that so many spoke so very highly of this aspect. It would seem that that means that the new prospective buyers first driving experience is going to be extremely positive. That's probably going to translate into a hefty jump in sales volume as the Huracán is targeted to handle the attack on the McLaren MP4-12C and the Ferrari 458 in the marketplace.
Attitude. You can always get a flavor for a company's culture by how that culture is reflected in the employees attitudes and responsiveness. It was the first time that I had had the opportunity to meet any of the Lamborghini corporate folks. When brands become as famous and world renowned as Lamborghini, I had half expected a bit of an arrogant panache. That was not at all what I encountered. I was introduced to numerous people within the company over the course of several days and found that, when chatting, each and every one took the time to answer questions and even find me later to say that they had either found out the answer or wanted to introduce me to the person that has just arrived who could give me the answer. THAT was impressive.
It's the kind of responsiveness and nimbleness you expect from a small start up company but certainly not from a company who's parent, Audi AG, sold 1.58million cars last year.
Back in 2010 CEO Stephan Winkelmann was asked "What are the key metrics to decide on the future?" He said, "Its about design and performance. These key elements are not going to change" ...as you might have expected, but he also said "We have meetings constantly about the business, it's a constant update even on the strategy because their is nothing fixed. You always have to think again, what you thought six months ago because the world is changing fast." That's the kind of thing that a lieutenant in the German Army who was a paratrooper would say, who understands the importance of speed, responsiveness and adaption to current urgencies. Ironic that Winkelmann was indeed a lieutenant in the German Army who was a paratrooper.
I had the opportunity to introduce myself to Mr. Winkelmann and tell him about thePittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and our Cortile Car Show. He wasn't just cordial. He wasattuned. I suggested that we would like to invite him to the Cortile to do an official unveiling of the Huracán for the Pittsburgh market and the newly formed Lamborghini Club of Western Pennsyslvania. I was, of course, referring to the car being unveiled as I wouldn't have expected him to visit. What I did not expect was for him to say "Let me see what my schedule looks like" Again, the responsiveness and attention to detail. I learned later about some anecdotal conversations that had happened related to Mr. Winkelmann's attention to detail about how the reveal was going to take place related to valve cap positions. The finer details are often overlooked by large companies and their top management. It's usually delegated to the minions to "handle it" but the Lamborghini culture seems to drive precision handling of each detail from top down.
Huracán "...thus entering into the legend of fighting bulls' history"
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce
American Lancia Club
Cortile Della Corsa
Ferrari Club America
Lancia Flaminia Gtl
Little Red Racing Car
New York To Paris
Rob Straw R7 Photography
Ron Lewis Alfa Romeo
Wine On Nine