HomeNews and EventsPost-war Ghia-designed Abarth wins Best of Show at Audrain Newport

Post-war Ghia-designed Abarth wins Best of Show at Audrain Newport

Our weekly roundup of car show and vintage racing news and notes


After a pandemic-forced year off, the Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week returned this past weekend and crowned a post-war car — the 1953 Abarth 1100 SS Ghia coupe — as its Best of Show. 

Winning car at The Breakers

The car, now owned by Bradley Calkins, had been unveiled at the 1953 Turin Salon, and remains stunning for its one-off coachwork, unusual dove-gray exterior and blue interior. The car originally had a sister vehicle, a Simca, which reportedly no longer exists.

Also honored by the judges as the “Most Elegant” car at the concours was a 1968 Lamborghini Espada owned by Doug Cohen.

Much was made in the lead up to the concours of its 30 Under 30 classes for collectors aged 30 or younger who had spent $30,000 or less on their vehicles and their restoration. The winners were Matthew Goist’s 1922 Franklin Series 10-A and, in a special class for 10 Porsche 944s, the 1987 model owned by Joseph Cesavo.

Chaparrals featured at speed festival

A quartet of Jim Hall’s Chaparrals at the M1 Concourse | Festival photo

More than 100 race cars spanning 120 years on the track were featured during the inaugural American Speed Festival held October 1-3 at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, where Jim Hall was honored as the first Master of Motorsports for his vehicle design innovations.

While unable to attend in person, Hall took part in a live video feed and sent four of his Chaparral cars. 

Pebble Beach… Amelia Island… Fort Lauderdale?

Exotics on Las Olas ready for its 4th annual event | Exotics photo

The South Florida community of Fort Lauderdale will be the site of a pair of big collector car events in the next few weeks, with the inaugural Fort Lauderdale Concours scheduled for October 29 and the fourth annual Exotics on Las Olas set for November 7.

The Fort Lauderdale Concours, with sponsorship from Lotus Cars USA, is the latest production by Maria Jannace, founder of the New York Concours and the second in her “Rooftop Concours” series. 

“Showcasing an elegant display of classic cars, lifestyle curations, fine art, and live music,” the concours is scheduled to take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the rooftop of the Las Olas Parking Garage at the Intracoastal Waterway, thus, we’re told, offering a 360-degree view of the beach, waterway, marina and downtown skyline.

“The FTLC is creating a bold, electric event that speaks directly to our audience of passionate car enthusiasts and we just had to be a part of it,” explains Geoff Dowding, Executive Director, Sales and Aftersales of Group Lotus. 

“Maria’s rooftop concours series is at the forefront of re-imaging a new standard for classic car exhibitions for future generations,” Group Lotus executive Geoff Dowding is quoted in the concours announcement.

While the concours may be a relatively intimate event on the rooftop, organizers of Exotics on Las Olas note that more than 40,000 spectators are expected to see more than 250 vehicles displayed on Las Olas Boulevard between S.E. 6th Avenue and S.E. 11th Avenue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 7.

Featured groupings for the event include a race car row, a classic car row, a million-dollar row, a Supercar row and a dealer row.

Guitars N’ Cars show in Houston

Guitars N’ Cars ready for its 11th annual event | Event photo

The 11th annual Guitars N’ Cars show is scheduled for October 9-10 at the Ellington Airport in Houston, Texas, and is a fundraiser for U.S. Vets-Houston and its services. The event features classic cars, vintage guitars, and aircraft since it takes place during the 37th annual Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Houston airshow. 

Vegas concours celebrates Back to the Future Day

In the movie Back to the Future, Marty McFly takes the DeLorean DMC-12 turned time machine back to October 21, 2015. In 2011, October 21 was declared Back to the Future Day and Nike tweaked it as “Back 4 the Future” with an auction of 1,500 pairs of limited-edition shoes to benefit movie star Michael J. Fox’s foundation and its battle against Parkinson’s Disease.

With the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance scheduled this year for October 23, event organizers plan to get an early start with a free Concours d’Avant Kick-Off event on October 21 at the Carroll Shelby Heritage Center and Museum just off The Strip, where local car clubs are invited to display their vehicles and where a DeLorean time machine will be featured. The event runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Speaking of the formal concours d’elegance, it takes place October 23 at the Las Vegas Ballpark, with cars on the baseball field beginning at noon and with an awards presentation under the lights that evening.

Hilton Head lands Historic Register quartet

The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival has announced that the Hagerty Drivers Foundation will display four vehicles from the National Historic Vehicle Register at the concours scheduled for November 5-7 in South Carolina.

The cars are the 1921 “Castle” Duesenberg, the 1940 Ford Pilot-Model military “Jeep,” the 1970 “Black Ghost” Dodge Challenger, and the 1979 Cannonball Run Lamborghini Countach LP400S.

Judges get bowlers for Zoute event

Judges get John Sneed bowlers | Zoute photo

Belgian fashion designer and Butch Tailors owner Dominique Vindevogel, aka Mr. Blue, is creating clothing for the upcoming Zoute Grand Prix vintage car gathering, with judges to be dressed in the style of John Steed, complete with special ties and bowler hats, the later inspired by that worn by actor Patrick Macnee as he portrayed Sneed in the 1960s television series The Avengers.

Vindevogel also will create the red bodywarmers worn by Zoute event staff and smoking suits for event organizers for the October 9 gala. The Zoute Grand Prix takes place October 7-10 in Belgium.

Road America sets 2022 vintage racing plans

The historic Road American road racing circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, has announced its 2022 vintage racing schedule. Those events include the SVREA Vintage Festival May 20-22, the WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman — featuring the AAR Eagles — July 14-17, and the Ariens Art on Wheels vintage weekend September 16-18.

2021 car show and concours calendar

The following are dates currently set (but subject to change) for a variety of concours d’elegance, car shows and driving tours scheduled during 2021:


6-9 — AACA Eastern Fall Nationals & Flea Market, Hershey, Pennsylvania; 6-10 – Zoute concours, Belgium; 8-9 – Z Nationals, Road Atlanta; 9 – RADwood, Austin, Texas; DesutscheMarques Oktoberfest, Hickory Corners, Michigan; 9-10 – Guitars N’ Cars, Houston; 13-14 – Goodguys Get-Together, Pleasanton, California; 16 – Gilmore Fall Color Tour, Hickory Corners, Michigan; 17 — Packard Proving Grounds fall open house, Michigan; 19-21 – Goodguys Southwest Nationals, Scottsdale; 21-24 – Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance, Nevada; Auto e Moto d’Epoca, Padua, Italy; 22-25 – Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Connecticut; 23 – RADwood, Greenwich, Connecticut; 29 – Fort Lauderdale Concours, Florida


2-5 – SEMA Show, Las Vegas; 7 – Exotics on Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Simply Smart, Beaulieu, UK; 11-15, AACA Southeastern Fall Tour, North Carolina; 11-13 – AACA Special Western Nationals, Phoenix; 12-13 — Carlisle Events at Lakeland, Florida; 14-17 – AACA Western Divisional Tour, Arizona; 15-17,  Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, Chattanooga, Tennessee; RADwood, Los Angeles; 28 – VW Santa Run, Beaulieu, UK

Have an event to add? Email details to [email protected].

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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