Basking in Bentleys at Boca

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To celebrate the 100th birthday of the legendary Bentley brand, the Boca Raton organizers invited more than 20 of them to display at the top of the field, a wonderful mix of coachwork and Bentley production bodies | Jim McCraw photos

For the thirteenth time, Florida megadealer Rick Case, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County and their countless volunteers pulled together a wonderful show at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, one of Florida’s great old hotels.

Bentley, celebrating its centennial in 2019, was the featured marque this year, and there were more than 20 of them on display, from 1927 models through 1962, in four different classes, at the top of the show field.

By 10 a.m., the show field was wall-to-wall with cars and people enjoying spectacular Florida winter weather, cars, food and drink

A major difference between last year’s concours and this year’s was a general slimming-down of the number of cars on display, from more that 250 last year to 170 this year, plus 60 magnificent motorcycles in their own circle.  Officials told us that fewer cars meant far better and easier logistics, more room around each car on display, and easier transits for the paying spectators. 

One veteran official said, “Who needs six yellow Mustangs when one will do.”

Best Of Show and Most Elegant Pre-War Closed Car went to Richard Workman’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Coupe with body by Ganglof. Simply the best car on the field

The cars, from brass-era to muscle cars, were arrayed in 16 semicircles with all of the Bentleys staged at the far end of the field where the terrain rises. The weather was Florida winter perfect — sunny, with a high of 85 degrees and a light breeze blowing all day.

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Chasing Classic Cars host and presenter Wayne Carini was the grand marshal once again at Boca Raton, and guest celebrity collector Jay Leno was all over the place during the weekend, kibitzing with car owners, hanging out with the judges for breakfast, headlining the Saturday night gala, and getting some microphone time during the show on Sunday. Just so you know,

Jay’s first car was a 1934 Ford pickup truck that he got when he was only 14 years old.

Honored as Collector of the Year at Boca was 2018 Best Of Show winner Robert Jepson, of Savannah, Georgia, who brought two Stutzes, a McFarlan, a Packard, a Bugatti cabriolet, and the world’s most outrageous Isotta Fraschini, a Tipo 8 dual-cowl phaeton with a wood-trimmed body by LeBaron. 

In addition to the beautiful, and expensive machines in display, and the preserved originals, there was room for the odd and unusual, including vintage trucks and wagons, and for the rare and limited-production cars that are seldom seen at shows like this.  

Altogether, it was another wonderful event that will benefit some 12,000 underprivileged kids in Broward County, Florida.

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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.

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