The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

120 Ferraris at Cavallino Classic


Report and pictures by Keith Bluemel


The 27th edition of the Cavallino Classic ran between the 24-28 January, centred on the luxury Oceanside host hotel, The Breakers, on Palm Beach Shores.

For the most part the gathering followed its well established format, apart from the loss of the Jet Party at Jet Aviation at Palm Beach International Airport. This was due to it now being President Trump’s “home airport”, and the security services banned all private vehicles from the airport tarmac. Instead Thursday saw the resurrected Tour of Palm Beach, which started with lunch on the Croquet Court at The Breakers, with stops at high end locations like the Sailfish Club, The Royal Poinciana Plaza and Tiffany & Co, concluding back at The Breakers. Here the day came to a close with a Tour Finale Party featuring live music in the HMF social club, situated in the hotel’s exquisitely decorated Florentine Room. As an aside, HMF are the initials of, and a tribute to, the resort’s founder, Henry Morrison Flagler.

There was also the regular track activity at Palm Beach International Raceway on Wednesday through to Friday, with races for pre-war, disc and drum brake cars. There was a new category “Cruise”, intended for those who wanted to exercise their steeds without the constraints of the highway and traffic, but equally weren’t in “competition” or “red mist” modes. Friday’s day of track activity culminated with the always popular Beach Club Party at The Breakers’ Beach Club.

The pinnacle of the gathering is the concours on the Saturday, where some 120 Ferraris gathered on The Breakers croquet lawn and the golf links beyond. The concours also celebrated forty years of Cavallino magazine cover cars, with a number of spectacular examples present, featuring an eclectic array of coachwork by the likes of Pinin Farina, Scaglietti, Touring, Vignale and Zagato. Some of these examples were entered for judging, and some were display only, but they provided a wide spectrum of body styles to be admired by all in attendance.

The judged cars were divided into fifteen classes dependent upon a variety of parameters, like age, type of coachwork, model, and whether it was a competition or street car, with a score of 97 points necessary in each class for a platinum award. Achieving this goal meant that the car was eligible for consideration for the Best of Show awards. The high standard of preparation, and correctness of detail, of the vast majority of entries was very high, giving the chief class judges lengthy deliberations as to which cars would take home the coveted street car and race car Best of Show trophies, along with the other major awards.

Normally the croquet lawn fronting The Breakers always features the rarer examples of the marque, but this year there were so many prime examples that a number had to be displayed on the golf links beyond the lawn. They were essentially displayed according to their maturity, with the oldest examples closest to the croquet lawn, moving through the years into the distance.

Amongst the cars on display were not just one, but two 275 GTS4 NART Spiders, a full 20% of the production,  a variety of 250 series models including 250 GT Cabriolets and Coupes, 250 GT California Spiders in both long and short wheelbase forms, 250 GT SWB Berlinettas and a pair of 250 GTOs. There were also a number of earlier examples from the fifties, including a 166 MM Touring Barchetta, a 250 MM PF Berlinetta, a 212 Inter Vigmale Coupé in its Carrera Panamericana livery, and a freshly restored 212 Inter Ghia Cabriolet looking spectacular in metallic blue with a white interior. These cars mentioned represent just the tip of the iceberg of an outstanding selection of models which graced the verdancy at The Breakers for the concours.

As is the usual practice, the results of the concours are carefully guarded and held back until the awards dinner in The Breakers wonderfully ornate Ponce de Leon Ballroom on the Saturday evening. The Cavallino Cup for the Best of Show went to the beautiful dark blue and white 1955 250 GT Zagato Coupé, chassis # 0515 GT, of David & Ginnie Sydorick, with the Finest Competition Ferrari Award going to the 1951 212 Export Touring Barchetta, chassis # 0102 E, of Thomas Peck, and the Finest GT Ferrari Award was taken by the 1957 250 GT Speciale, chassis # 0725 GT, of Lee Herrington.

The gathering concluded on the Sunday with the always immensely popular Classic Sports Sunday, at US President Donald Trump’s exclusive Mar-A-Lago Club on Palm Beach Shores. Last year this finale was blighted by light but almost incessant rain, but this year it was blessed with bright blue skies and a pleasant ambient temperature.

Each year there is a different featured marque, and for 2018 it was Mercedes-Benz, with a nice selection of ‘50s and ‘60s models, including 300 SLs in both Roadster and “Gullwing” forms, however the star of the entries was undoubtedly the imposing black  540K Cabriolet A from 1937, which won the Gentlemen’s Choice Award. The Ladies Choice award went to another pre-war entry, a deep red 1939 Lagonda V12 Drop Head Coupe called “Lipstick”.

The Best of Show award went to a splendid 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton from the Lehrman Collection, with all the awards being presented during the sell-out sumptuous lunch gathering, held in the club’s magnificent ballroom.