Newport, RI — Joseph and Margie Cassini’s 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Fleetwood received both the Most Elegant Award and the Best of Show Award at the Oct. 6 Audrain’s Concours d’Elegance, capping four days of Newport Motor Week. The success of the inaugural events prompted organizers to set Oct. 1-4 for the 2020 gathering.
Shown at the 1926 New York Auto Salon, the Tipo 8A S Roadster was commissioned by film star Rudolph Valentino, and added the Audrain’s Best of Show trophy to an extensive collection of previous honors that include two Best of Class awards from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car’s second owner was prominent and pioneering Rhode Island collector George Waterman.
With 40 prominent judges from four countries and 98 cars from across the United States, the inaugural concours featured 13 classes of vehicles from 1899 to 1970 plus the first-of-its-kind “30 Under 30” class. The brainchild of event chair Jay Leno, the 30 Under 30 class featured car owners under age 30, each of whom spent less than $30,000 on their cars. Carter Kramer’s 1976 BMW 2002 took home first in class.
Other class winners included a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost owned by Rick Brown; a rare 1931 Ballot RH3 sports car owned by Michael Howe; a charismatic 1968 Oldsmobile 442 convertible owned by Robert Fisette; and the 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso owned by James Utaski that also won the coveted “Excellence in Design” trophy, chosen and presented by Michael Simcoe, General Motors’ VP of Global Design.
Among the other special awards were the “Chairman’s Choice” prize to Stephen and Kim Bruno’s 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Pinin Farina cabriolet, an elegant Paris Show car and Nürburgring racer; the “Sporting Choice” award given to the 1939 Type 57 Aravis Roadster of Peter and Merle Mullin; and the “Founder’s Choice” trophy won by Rob Kauffman’s 1901 Panhard et Levassor Type B1, a participant in the 1902 Vanderbilt Cup race. The “People’s Choice” was a very original 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing owned by Robert and Renee Torre.