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The Good Life

Italian Masterpiece Wins Best In Show At Newport Car Competition

Oct 5, 2021 | By Chris Esposito
Italian Masterpiece Wins Best In Show At Newport Car Competition
Photos/Tom Gibson Communications

Car enthusiasts recently gathered in Newport, Rhode Island to gaze upon auto masterpieces, and what better place than former Vanderbilt home The Breakers. The show, called the Audrain Newport Concours and Motor Week, ran from Wednesday to Sunday and featured 180 of the finest cars from collections across the United States.

The 2021 event lineup included 20 different class competitions and a host of extravagant events, such as a cocktail hour at the Tennis Hall of Fame, Wine by the Water gathering, autograph signings and of course the main event—the Concours d'Elegance car show. Of course, premium smokes were also available onsite with a selection of Ashton cigars.

Best In Show

Taking home the ultimate prize of Best in Show was an elegant and unique Italian machine: a 1953 Abarth 1100 SS Ghia Coupe owned by Bradley Calkins. The rare car features lightweight, aerodynamic bodywork, a graceful dove grey paint job and stunning blue leather interior. With a grill resembling that of an airplane, squared-off wheel wells and a relatively extensive front for such a small car, the somewhat forgotten vehicle reminded attendees of its simple beauty.

Other notable winners included a 1968 Lamborghini Espada, 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Spider Vignale, 1959 Porsche RSK Spyder, 1963 Corvette Z06 and the 1922 Franklin Series 10-A, which won chairman Jay Leno’s 30 Under 30 class. The 30 Under 30 is an interesting one, open solely to car owners under 30 years of age who have spent less than $30,000 on their automobiles.

Best In Show

“I am proud to say we exceeded even our own expectations for this year’s event and are thrilled with the outcome,” said event chief executive Donald Osborne. “It is all about bringing car people together to share their stories and create new memories that will last a lifetime. We are delighted that we could share the island we love with everyone and continue to establish our place in the global concours world.”

The Breakers, previous home of the famously rich Vanderbilts, was chosen for its charm as well as the family’s past history with luxury vehicles. Next year’s ultimate Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, October 2nd as part of the 2022 Concours & Motor Week beginning on September 28th.

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