The Breakers Palm Beach is home to one of the most exhilarating events of the automotive year, The Cavallino Classic, a celebration and display of some of the world’s finest Ferraris. This event holds the quintessential attraction for those who enjoy the nostalgia of finely made automotive history alongside an action-packed weekend at one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States.
After its initial postponement due to the pandemic, The Cavallino Classic came back with its illustrious three-day event schedule for enthusiasts and attendees to partake in several of the activities. The Cavallino Classic began in the early 1990s when Cavallino Magazine, the official Ferrari readership, originally planned and executed the event. Today, the event has a strong operation force produced by Canossa Events, an Italian company that hosts over 250 concours, rallies and shows in Europe and beyond.
Usually held in January, the Cavallino Classic still brought in over 100 of the most coveted Ferraris that both collectors and spectators were itching to peek their heads in. The event’s sizable crowd of attendees wanted to get back into personal viewings of the cars as opposed to seeing them online after the past year. Many of the most important US-based Ferrari collectors were in attendance; however collectors from Europe, South America and Asia (as well as their cars) were absent, for obvious reasons.
From a pair of Ferrari 250 GTOs worth between $45 and $60 million each to a fully bespoke powerboat that contains a true Ferrari F1 engine, there was nothing lacking for those who were in search for one-of-a-kind designs. The schedule also included two track days for owners to get behind the wheels of their own car and give them a little love where the rubber meets the pavement. Another day was set aside to host forums examining, in depth, the history of Ferrari and included a tour of Palm Beach with unique dining experiences, meets and rallies. Palm Beach looked like it was taken over completely by Ferrari owners. The main event of The Cavallino Classic, the historic Concours d’Elegance, is the one every guest clammers to be a part of.
Highlights attracting attention this year were the 2015 FXX-K - one of only 40 produced - the 2001 Formula 1 F2001b formerly driven by Michael Schumacher, a 1957 250 Testa Rossa and the 1952 Arno XI racing motorboat built by Cantieri Timossi and equipped with the 4.5-liter, 12-cylinder engine usually used on F1 375s. With Canossa Events estimating that it costs between $1 to $2 million on average to properly restore each car to a show-ready condition, there were still some of the more-loved vehicles that featured lovely cracked and racing-battered paintwork and more ‘enjoyed’ interiors.
Sprawled over the luscious green lawns at the Breakers, judges passed through the crowds to make their final notes for determining this year’s honors and prestigious titles. The winners of the two most important awards, the “The Scuderia Ferrari Cup” (awarded to the most important competition Ferrari was given to a 1957 250 GT TdF) and the “The Gran Turismo Ferrari Cup” for the best Ferrari GT was won by a 1952 212 Inter Cabriolet Pinin Farina. Both awards were presented by John Barnes, founder of The Cavallino Classic and Luigi Orlandini, Chairman and CEO of Canossa Events.
“The Cavallino Classic,” Orlandini said, “is the world’s most important event dedicated to vintage Ferraris. Despite having to postpone it by two months this year due to the pandemic, the turnout of participants and public has been great – all the tickets to the event were sold out.”
While creating a showcase of this size and scale might seem like a large exercise for owners, there is also a method to the madness. With the valuations given to these cars, all which hold limited production numbers, they don’t exactly trade owners often. As a result, awards provide solid documentation of condition and help to ensure the long-term stability of the owner’s investment in restoring the vehicles.
For the spectators, the excitement is really to be given a visual representation of Ferrari’s past through the present. Why else would there be over $150 million worth of cars on grass for you to look at? Because of the Cavallino passion.
Michael J. Snell Luxury Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2021