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Italian steeds stampede in Arizona as national Ferrari club hosts concours

The Ferrari Club of America holds its international meet in Scottsdale

A broad, grassy field filled with a couple hundred Ferrari sports cars is an inspiring sight, especially under the blue skies of a warm Arizona day in November.

The Ferrari Club of America held its annual international meet in Scottsdale, Arizona, this year, with tours, rallies, race track driving, get-togethers and its open-to-the-public Concours d’Elegance and Coppa Bella Macchina.

Ferrari

Ferrari Daytonas competing for awards | Bob Golfen photos

At the concours, Ferraris were spread out in a brightly colored array (mostly red, or rosso) on adjoining north Scottsdale soccer fields with the jagged McDowell Mountains forming a scenic backdrop to the east.  The show was not just for the eyes but for the ears, as the vibrant roar of high-performance engines punctuated the display.

The exotic and valuable collection was divided into classes based on era and type, ranging from a pair of 1952 models to the latest of high-tech supercars.

“We don’t have an exact count, but we think about 200 cars were in the concours,” said Peter Volny, one of the organizers of the Ferrari Experience and well-known in Arizona as a Ferrari booster and promoter of collector car events. He credited another FCA member, Ross Lack, for putting together the concours.

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A beautifully blue 1952 Ferrari 340 America, one of the earliest cars at the show

More than 700 collectors and appassionatos of the Italian performance icon attended the five-day “Experience” hosted by the FCA Desert Region contingent.

“This was the second largest Ferrari Club meet ever held,” Volny added. “The largest was in 2015, but it was held in Monterey in conjunction with the Monterey Car Week.  That’s a pretty hard nut to crack, but we came pretty close.”

The concours was split between Ferrari models that are at least 5 years old and those built after November 2014, which were part of the Futuro Classico judging. There was a Preservation Class for cars more than 30 years old and kept as original as possible.

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Judges examine a 2008 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta

The Coppa Bella Machina judging is a special general category in which cars are admitted after passing a rigorous inspection, sort of like the Bloomington Gold honors for the best of Chevrolet Corvettes. There were 22 Ferraris admitted during the concours.

The Enzo Ferrari Memorial Award for Best of Show went to a 1958 Ferrari 250 TdF Berlinetta, which was the consistent focus of admiring crowds during the event.

The TdF is owned by David MacNeil, a well-known car collector and racer, owner of WeatherTech and sponsor of the Laguna Seca race track.  MacNeil brought several fine Ferraris for the concours, with a few of them winning awards.

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The 1958 Ferrari 250 TdF Berlinetta owned by David MacNeil was named Best of Show

Another top prize, unique to FCA events, was the Coppa GT Award presented to Jody Stewart, who won not only for the fine presentation of a 2007 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta but for demonstrating exceptional driving skills during track time at the private Apex Motor Club in nearby Maricopa.

One of the familiar faces at the concours was that of Drew Alcazar, who co-owns the Russo and Steele collector car auction company with his wife, Josephine.  He and Josephine brought two Ferraris.

“We are exhibiting a 1963 250 GTL, better known as the Lusso Ferrari, as well as the very-first Ferrari that Josephine and I bought together, our humble 412 that has been with us for 22 years,” Alcazar said.  “We’re chasing the Coppa (Bella Machina) with that car.”

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Drew Alcazar’s 1963 Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso

While the Lusso came away empty handed, the 412 received two honors at the concours, winning for best-preserved Ferrari, 1980-89, and being awarded a Coppa Bella Machina.

Alcazar said he was impressed with the quality of the Scottsdale concours.

“I should hope that the entire FCA is really, really pleased,” he said.  “Peter (Volny) and his team and the whole local Ferrari club here from the Southwest region, they worked so hard to put this together. The classes are extremely strong.”

A 1999 Ferrari F333 SP Michelotto competition car

He did note that there were a relatively small number of earlier “Enzo-era” cars on the field, relative to the vast group of later cars.  That probably has something to do with the booming value of those cars and owners’ reluctance to risk them on public display, he said.

“Those cars are so coveted now, with them being in the multiple millions, that rarely do people bring them out,” Alcazar said.

But the ones that were there were spectacular examples, led by a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB owned by Michael Angus, which won the Forza Ferrari Award for best car built in the 1950s and ’60s.

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