Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-a-Lago 2020 ... Best of Show winning Cadillac V16 Series 37-90 Hartmann Cabriolet


Palm Beach, 26th of January, 2020

Yesterday the 29th edition of the annual Cavallino Classic came to an end with the Classic Sports Sunday at the Mar-a-Lago Country Club. After the two opening days on the nearby Palm Beach and the evening receptions the multi-marque concours followed the Ferrari concours at the Breakers on Saturday. Whereas the Breakers Concours is a properly IAC/PFA judged event the Sunday is more a relaxed get together with some awards then a real competition. With the lunch in the ballroom of the current presidents Southern Home the social event is far higher than the day before and the numerous restorers and caretakers of the cars are in far less pressure. Early in the morning the cars are set up on the lawn behind the club with the pre-war cars down at the pool as well as the featured marque, this year Alfa Romeo celebrating its 110th.

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After staying in the trailer last year due to the horrible weather conditions this year the Cadillac V16 with Swiss Hartmann Coachwork made it both on the field at the Breakers as well as being one of the first cars rolling down to the lawn on Sunday. Probably the most extreme cabriolet ever built apart from the Royal Esders Roadster the elegant crème white Cadillac was formerly in the Blackhawk collection (still in red) before being restored by RM Restorations for the current owner who first shown it in Pebble Beach in 2018.

Back then not few considered it a possible Best of Show because of it presence but the major award did not come with it. Here in Palm Beach the car was certainly one of the stars and unsurprisingly it won the BoS award that day, not only because of its design but probably also because of the commitment of the owner bringing it once more after the first attempts last year.

Just next to it were a couple of pre- and post-war Alfa Romeo displaying the rich history of the marque from Milano. Three pre-war 8C models could be admired in more or less sportive derivates of the supercharged straight eight. The most sportive version is the P3 Grand Prix racer followed by the 8C 2300 MM Spider as used in the popular road racing of the 1930s. Last but not least a coachbuilt example uniting Italian technology with French design was the Figoni bodied Cabriolet. A sister example was for sale in Scottsdale a few weeks ago at Bonhams.

After the war the 6C 2500 was introduced and a nice example of the Super Sport (SS) could be seen that day. Further Alfa Romeo included the Guiletta Sprint and Spyder as well as a Zagato version of the 1900 SS as well as the TZ1 racing model.

Other Italian beauties on the field included a very elegant Fiat 8V Supersonic as well as the iconic Lamborghini Miura. Fresh from the Martini Lancia Champion collection from the Max Girardo display was the Lancia Delta S4. Next to it was a great comparison of racing technology of the 1950s and the recent years. Whereas the new McLaren Senna GTR is pure downforce with numerous spoilers in the front and back the simplicity of the Jaguar C-Type even stood out more. Back then the goal of the development from the standard XK-models was a lighter and more aerodynamic version sparing any design ornaments.

A few Ferrari also made their way to the lawn although the number of cars was down compared to the last years. Most likely some of the owners decided to leave Florida early, a few where a no show in the last minute making it difficult for the hosts to set up the cars not knowing who actually shows up. Nearest to the pool area were the competition cars including the two Carrera Panamericana livered stars from the day before with the 340 Mexico as well as the Best of Show winning 735 Sport. One of David MacNeils silver Berlinettas could be seen as well as the 250 GT TdF stood next to the green 250 GT Ellena. The competition was rounded off by the 500 TR brought over from the UK by DK Engineering.

Of the street cars only a few could be seen including the pair of 410 Superamerica and one of the 8 250 SWB California Spyder of the day before.

The final day of this years Cavallino Classics certainly made up for the year before. After the torrential rain in 2019 this year not a single cloud could be seen on a beautiful day. As the show ends soon after the lunch and the award ceremony this is a relaxed epilog of the Concours days. Maybe the cars could be spread out a little bit more in the next day to give them more room. Whereas the field around the pool and the putting green looked very organised the Ferrari lin-up looked rather random, but this was the only point of criticism.

We are looking forward to the 30th edition in 2021 when again some of the most exciting Ferrari will be shown in Palm Beach. Most likely a few of the freshly restored examples might show up in Pebble Beach earlier this year as the judging at Cavallino was used as a rehearsal for the most prestigious Concours in the world, when some of the same judges will have a second look on the cars and their improvements when sorted out.


Report & images ... Peter Singhof

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