For the last few years, I’ve been attempting to put a writing plan into action, somehow ending up in
May August without that goal being reached. Excuses come along much easier than flowing sentences, apparently.
Trying to be a writer as a parent of a toddler, I’ve come to experience, is a lot like being on perpetual deadline with your editor taking up permanent residence on your couch. You’re scrambling to pen your clever one-liners between naps, scribbling down ideas in crayon during arts and crafts, and fighting the never-ending war of distraction from the babbling 25” human that calls you ‘dada’ on occasion. Even this paragraph itself took four months to complete. I regret nothing.
So here were are, nearly on the eve of Lime Rock’s 37th Historic Festival, and my blog is still peddling calendars for a year that’s three quarters through. How embarrassing, especially when I look back on the last eight months and the events I’ve been privileged to.
In January, my schedule aligned and I was finally in Florida for Cavallino Classic. Friday’s track action was a blast, with Palm Beach International Raceway filled with Ferraris, both on and off the course. Saturday’s concours at The Breakers showcased a collection of Ferraris like I’ve never seen before. From dawn, the cars queued up in the long driveway, waiting for the gates to open. Despite it raining all day, at times heavier than my wet weather gear appreciated, it was still a great way to start off a new year of shows.
During some downtime at Cavallino, I struck up a conversation with Bill Warner, founder of the Amelia Island Concours. Bill, unbeknownst to me, is also a diehard Volkswagen fan and our chat turned towards a special class he was presenting at Amelia - coachbuilt VWs. It was at that point a new goal was created - get to Amelia.
I was able to cajole my better half into agreeing it would be a great idea for me to drive to Amelia to see in person some old Volkswagens I’d mostly never heard of. My reasoning was solid: Amelia was at the top of the state, so it wasn’t that far. I would leave Friday night and return Sunday night, limiting the time spent away from home to just 60 hours or so, depending on traffic of course. And best of all, I would be on assignment for Collier AutoMedia. It was a slam dunk argument I handily won (at least that’s my point of view).
Next up was the New York International Auto Show, an event I’ve attended for more than half of my life. While auto shows themselves no longer possess the regal sense of occasion they once had, with debuts of new models many times being done beyond the walls of a convention hall, it is still something I look forward to every year for that one display or car that makes the whole trip across the Hudson worth it. This year, Nissan once again wowed with their collection of Skylines - a Calsonic-liveried R32 GT-R, an R33 GT-R LM and my favorite, the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show car, a second-get C110 ‘Kenmeri’ Skyline, the race car that almost was.
The third installment of Festival Italiano took place in May, preceded by a Caffeine & Carburetors in mid-April and the deGarmo Spring Tour in the first week of the month. And if that wasn’t enough, there were a few local Cars & Croissants I was able to attend with my daughter and her little pink push car in tow. Those were fun.
For me, June is defined as the Greenwich Concours, a prestigious event I’ve been fortunate to shoot in official capacity for the last three years. It starts on Friday, with the Grand Tour, followed by two long days of Concours. This year, the featured class was Zagato, as they were celebrating their centennial. Andrea Zagato and his wife, Marella Rivolta, an automotive power couple if I’d ever see one. Despite the thousands of images captured over three full days, it always feel like the weekend goes by too quick, with a bit of “did I get that” anxiety setting in as I begin to sift through my photos. I did, by the way, ‘get that.’
After Greenwich, I ventured out to the chocolate capital of Pennsylvania to partake in a delicious event entitled ‘The Elegance at Hershey.’ I usually like to arrive early to capture the cars entering the show field, disturbing the dew as they’re perfectly parked. This time, I was a bit too early, allowing more than enough time to wander the empty gardens awaiting the arrival of the stars. Despite that, a sunrise shot through the hood ornament of a Roll-Royce made it all worth it. It usually takes just one shot to call the day a success.
One last event I must mention before wrapping up this unofficial recap is the Domenico & Tindara Spadaro Memorial Drive Against Cancer. This is my fourth time attending, and it seems to get better each year. A wholesome event put on the honor the memory of the Spadaro parents, it combined classic cars and winding roads through NY countryside, piloted by longtime pals and instant friends. Unfortunately, a huge component of the event, Mike Bruno, suddenly passed away a few weeks back. His impact on the drive will be felt forever and his memory will certainly live on in future events.
I’ve intentionally not expounded on any of these trips/events because they truly need their own post at some point. Preferably before 2020 rolls around.
Although the Internet feasts on images at a voracious pace, its main caloric intake are the words that fill the countless blogs, articles, and other fruits of the fanciful word farmers. Day in and day out, keyboard robots tepidly tap out mindless content to keep the working folk distracted. It’s tough trying to accomplish anything in this 21st century stimulus orgy.