A Look Back At One Of Our Favorite Motoring Events of 2019
There are plenty of great reasons to visit Newport, Rhode Island, but last year, one of the main draws, was Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week. It was chaired by Jay Leno and included events such as a live concert from John Legend, a Concours d’Elegance car show, and “The Gathering,” a lawn party at Rough Point, the former home of Doris Duke, that brought together 70 rare cars. The setting was equally as magnificent as Pebble Beach earlier in the year, if not more so. If you’re planning your motoring event list, this should be on it.
The combination of history, architecture, and automobiles made for an impressive experience. Newport’s history is unmatched when it comes to luxury and elegance as some of the country’s most elite families from the ‘Gilded Age’ like the Vanderbilts, Astors, Belmonts, Goelets, and Dukes vacationed here during summer months. The locations selected are nationally recognized, such as The Breakers, Rough Point, The Redwood Library, and the National Museum of American Illustration.
There was also a first-ever “30 Under 30 Concours d’Elegance”. This was a division for car enthusiasts 30 years of age and younger to showcase their cars that have been built with $30,000or less. Jay Leno, with a group of other car experts, judged the cars and it proved to be one of the highlights of the car week. This class brought in a younger crowd, and some fresh new faces to the world of classic cars. Their stories were just as engaging as anything else on the lawn. The winner? Carter Kramer’s 1976 BMW 2002.
After the event, we had a chance to catch up with Donald Osborne, who, as of November 2019, is the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Audrain LLC.
What were some highlights for you from Year One of Audrain’s Motor Week & Concours?
What’s not to highlight at this brand new event where everything seemed to dazzle against the backdrop of Newport, Rhode Island, and its grand “summer cottages”? Our expectations for this show were high, but as I’ve said before the reception exceeded them in every way, which was really satisfying after many hard-working months for the whole team. One of my personal highlights of the week would be the Styling the Future exhibition of GM concept cars, a concurrent exhibition doors away from the Concours Village on Bellevue Avenue and therefore a fantastic gathering and ‘ooohing and aaahing’ place for friends and attendees. Then I would have to say the seminar I moderated with Jay Leno on Automotive Design and Its Impact on the Public, which featured a great conversation with GM’s Michael Simcoe, Pixar’s Jay Ward and the ArtCenter College of Design’s Stewart Reed. All this aside from the actual Concours, which I found to be stupendous! The cars we invited to participate this year ranged from 1899 to 1990 in our ’30 Under 30′ Class, and I can’t wait for October 1-4, 2020 to do it all again!”
This was the first time the Petrolicious Best Story Award has been used at a large Concours, what are your thoughts on the award and the winner?
“Given that our brief to our international team of judges was to consider the history and story of the car more heavily than cosmetic condition, we eagerly welcomed the participation of Petrolicious and their ‘Best Story’ award in the Concours. Speaking personally, what drives my enthusiasm for the world of collector cars is the personal connection people have with their vehicles. Like the film ‘The Yellow Rolls-Royce’, these wonderful objects pass through our lives while building their own stories. Petrolicious is all about the story of owners of their cars and how they relate to them, so it was natural to have them offer this trophy. I hope this can be a regular feature of our event going forward.”
“The choice of Bruce and Andrew Male and their wonderful Maseratis was inspired. I can think of few people in the classic car world who are more experiential collectors than Bruce and that spirit has been well and truly passed along to his son Andrew. For them, both, the lives their cars have had are central to their enjoyment and pride in them and they revel in sharing those stories with as many as they can. They were the perfect recipients of the Petrolicious ‘Best Story’ award.”