February 1, 2023: Over 120 Ferraris competing, 3 extraordinary Best of Show winners, and a spectacular class celebrating the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans: these were the main ingredients that made the 32nd Palm Beach Cavallino Classic absolutely unforgettable.
This edition, the 32nd, included a special class celebrating the Centenary since the first ever 24 Hours of Le Mans, and open to Ferraris that have competed in the marathon French car race. This year, for the first time at the Cavallino Classic, 3 Best of Show awards were assigned. The prize for Overall Outstanding Ferrari Granturismo went to the 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica s/n 0483 SA. The 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0258 MM was chosen as the Overall Outstanding Ferrari Competition car, while the Overall Outstanding Ferrari with the “Red Book” was assigned to the 1971 Ferrari 512 M s/n 1020.
Palm Beach, February 1, 2023
Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, staged by Canossa at The Breakers in Palm Beach (Florida) and open to classic Ferraris, proved to be an unforgettable event. The turnout was unprecedented with numerous people coming along to admire the 125 cars entered in the competition. They included several unique pieces, specimens that have helped to create and consolidate the Ferrari legend.
The tricolor ribbon cutting, symbolically opening the event, was performed by Luigi Orlandini, Chairman and CEO of Canossa and Cavallino, who was flanked by Danielle H. Moore, Mayor of Palm Beach, and Eva Alvino, Deputy Consul General of Italy in Miami.
The Concours was actually preceded by the Track Day at The Concours Club on Thursday 26, which gave the owners of the racing Ferraris a chance to “stretch their wheels”, and a Tour d’Eleganza on Friday 27. The Tour route took the cars along some of the most spectacular highways in Florida, including the A1A from Deerfield Beach all the way to Palm Beach.
Coinciding with the Concorso, there was also a themed symposium called “Great Ferraris at Le Mans”. This event featured exceptional guests, including Luigi Chinetti Jr. who recounted how, as a child, he had personally witnessed the victory of his father, at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first international success for the then very young house of Maranello. He stood just a few meters from the winning car itself, the 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta Touring s/n 0008 M. A truly extraordinary moment for car enthusiasts, the kind of moment only to be experienced at a Cavallino Classic.
“It’s been wonderful to have the chance to celebrate the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with so many collectors,” said Luigi Orlandini. “It’s such a fascinating topic, as well as a hugely important chapter in automotive history and in the history of Ferrari in particular. We managed to bring together, in Palm Beach, numerous beautiful cars and many of the people who helped to create the Ferrari legend, both on the Circuit de la Sarthe and elsewhere. Special thanks to Anne Brockinton Lee for bringing along two extraordinary vehicles. She won one of the Best in Show awards for her 410 Superamerica, becoming, I believe, the first woman to achieve this in a Cavallino Classic. Her beautifully elegant show car illustrates perfectly how the Ferrari legend is based not just on racing cars, but also on wonderful granturismos that can be used on normal roads. Finally, as organizer of the event, I am naturally delighted to point out that there was a great turnout of visitors, undoubtedly attracted by both the quality and the number of vehicles present. So, now it’s goodbye until next time, which will be the Cavallino Classic Modena, due to take place from 12 to 14 May.”
On the charitable side, Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, through the Cavallino Classic Foundation (which last year donated a total of USD 120,000 raised by the 2022 edition), continued its tradition of supporting the American Council of the Blind, the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, whose students sang the National Anthem at the start of the show, and the Piston Foundation, in this case to fund Motor Valley internships for young people wanting to learn how to restore cars. Support was also offered to the local community in the form of a donation to the Palm Beach Police and Fire Department Foundation.
The award for the Overall Outstanding Ferrari Granturismo went to the 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica s/n 0483 SA owned by American collector Anne Brockinton Lee. Exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in 1956, this specimen boasts a spectacular shape complemented by the high rear fins that were to become a particular feature of the cars, especially (but not only) the American ones, produced over the following years. This specimen, featuring many special parts, is based on the type 514 chassis, with a wheelbase of 2600 mm. This is combined with the 126/c engine delivering 340 HP, which was the higher-power 12-cylinder, 5-liter unit supplied by Ferrari at the time. The car is equipped with dual ignition, and therefore has a remarkable 24 spark plugs. Named Superfast I, to distinguish it from the later series of Ferrari Superfasts, it has a top speed of almost 300 km/h (about 186 mph). Conceived for the American market, it was imported into the United States (destination Los Angeles) immediately after the Paris Motor Show. It has had a long series of owners, all American except for an English collector who had the car from 1980 to 1984. It joined its current collection in 2004.
The 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0258 MM, owned by American collector Brian Ross, was selected as the Overall Outstanding Ferrari Competition car. Wearing race number 627, it made its debut at the Mille Miglia on 26 April 1953, driven by Count Bruno Sterzi and Giulio Rovelli. One of the only 18 cars in the 250 MM Berlinetta series produced with the 3-liter, 240 HP engine and 2390 mm wheelbase, this version was conceived for endurance races, especially the Mille Miglia and Carrera Panamericana. Its racing vocation is immediately obvious: you can’t help but notice that the bodywork and passenger compartment are devoid of any esthetic adornment and equipped only with the bare essentials. After the Mille Miglia, 250 MM s/n 0258 MM continued its racing career, competing in the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti (with Franco Cornacchia at the wheel) and the 12 Hours of Pescara (driven by Franco Cornacchia and Antonio Stagnoli) in July and August 1953 respectively. In the summer of 1956, the car, imported into the USA, began its American racing career with driver George Arents before being sold in early 1957. It has been in its current collection since 2013 and was recently restored in the exact configuration it had at the time of its debut Mille Miglia.
In what is a complete novelty for the Cavallino Classic, a third Best of Show prize was assigned. The Overall Outstanding Ferrari Classiche Certified prize, for the most deserving car equipped with the “Red Book”, went to the 1971 512 M s/n 1020 owned by American collector Lawrence Auriana, which ran in the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans. Representing N.A.R.T. team, it was driven by Sam Posey and Tony Adamowicz. They finished third overall, and first among the Ferraris, recording the best finish ever for a 512 in the French marathon race. This also turned out to be the best race result in the history of the car. S/n 1020 had actually made its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 1971, driven by Sam Posey and Peter Revson, and had also raced in the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, driven by Peter Revson and Swede Savage, but on both these occasions it had failed to finish. After Le Mans, s/n 1020 competed in the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, with Sam Posey and Ronnie Bucknum driving (dnf), and then in the Can-Am race, also at Watkins Glen, driven by Sam Posey, where it finished sixth overall. The highpoint for this 512 M came in September 1974 when, driven by Luigi Chinetti Jr., Paul Newman, and Graham Hill, it set the world speed record on the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats Race Track. On that occasion, it notched up 5 world record speeds, including the one over 10 miles, in which it recorded an average speed of 174.763 mph (281.254 km/h). At this year’s Palm Beach event, there was a really unforgettable moment when the current owner came on to the Cavallino Classic stage to collect the trophy accompanied by Luigi Chinetti Jr. and one of the mechanics who had looked after the car both at Le Mans and at Bonneville.
On the Sunday, the Cavallino Classic moved to the Mar-A-Lago Club for the day open also to other car brands, particularly (but not only) Motor Valley ones. United by their passion for cars, collectors of these brands joined Ferrari enthusiasts for a memorable day together.