26th Cavallino Classic: A celebration of Ferrari, and much more

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Dino was the featured model at the 26th Cavallino Classic | Jim McCraw photos
Dino was the featured model at the 26th Cavallino Classic | Jim McCraw photos
Dino was the featured model at the 26th Cavallino Classic | Jim McCraw photos

The 26th running of the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic was a combination of ingredients that would be hard to top: a huge gathering of Ferraris and other classics hosted by Cavallino magazine’s publisher, John Barnes, and his staff of volunteers on the lawns of one of the greatest hotels in America, The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, with a side order of laps at Palm Beach International Raceway and a visit to Mar-A-Lago, the Marjorie Merriweather Post mansion currently owned by the President of the United States.

After a lazy afternoon of laps around the track on Friday, competing in Pre-War, Postwar Drum Brake and Postwar Disc Brake divisions, the handful of track competitors washed off the track crud and tire rubber and whisked their beautiful cars over to The Breakers for the Saturday concorso d’eleganza, where the cars were arranged by model classes for the judging – all the 275s, all the Daytonas, all the Mondials, all the TRs, etc.

The featured marque for the 2017 event was the Ferrari Dino, the treasured V6-engined cars and other cars named after Alfredino Ferrari, the son of Enzo Ferrari who died in 1956. The Dinos on hand included the 206, the 246, and the later, revived 308 series in all of the various incarnations. The famous Swiss Scuderia Filipinetti 206 S Dino Spider No. 34 that was raced at Sebring and Nurburgring in 1967 was the cherry on top of the Dino sundae.

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The weather was Palm Beach perfect, with a light breeze going all day long to cool off the huge crowd, most of them dressed in Palm Beach casual, with lots of ladies in big hats, lots of pastel colors on display, and lots of men wearing slip-on shoes without socks, a sort of Italian/Ferrari tradition. As much Italian as English was heard during our wanderings through the field of cars.

Although the majority of the cars on the field were factory production versions, there were plenty of coachworks cars on hand from the distinguished Italian firms of Pininfarina, Ghia, Vignale, Boano, and others, adding spice to the already hot mix.

The inclusive nature of the Cavallino event meant that we were able to see Maseratis, Lancias, Packards, a Delage, even an American Cunningham, whose birthplace was right here in West Palm Beach, sprinkled among the Ferraris. A very impressive event, from start to finish.

Photos by Jim McCraw

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Jim McCraw has been writing about cars, motorcycles, design, technology, car people and racing for 50 years, in such publications as Hot Rod Deluxe, Super Chevy, Muscle Mustangs, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Penthouse, Winding Road, The Mercedes-Benz Star, AutoWeek, The New York Times, and a number of European publications. He was executive editor of Motor Trend, editor of Hot Rod and Super Stock. He co-holds the record for the drive from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, 96:22, and has run in major events such as the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy, Goodwood, the California Mille, the Colorado Grand, the New England 1000, Forza Mille, and four One Lap Of America competitions He owns a pristine Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.