The penultimate day of the Cavallino Classic –Saturday’s Concorso d'Eleganza – once again featured an incomparable showing of Ferraris on the front lawn of the iconic Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
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My friend and I arrived at the hotel, top-down, after a high-speed run up I-95 in an Aston Martin DB9, excited for one of the best Ferrari displays in North America. One of my favorite parts of the Concorso is how many owners proudly stand with their cars all day long, eager to engage in conversation with fellow enthusiasts.
As I was admiring a 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta – one of just 80 ever built – its energetic owner rattled off a list of cars either in his garage or on the way. In addition to the SA Aperta, he brought along his new SF90 Stradale Assetto Fiorano, offering me my first chance to appreciate that model in the flesh.
The “SA” in SA Aperta is a reference to Sergio Pininfarina and his late son, Andrea. Passion for Pininfarina could be felt all across the lawn that morning, especially with an appearance by the exceptionally rare Pininfarina Sergio. This thrilling masterpiece – one of six coach-built in 2015 – featured a proper windshield (unlike other Sergio examples) and bore the name of healthcare magnate Mike Fernandez. It was phenomenal to see in person, with echoes of many other Pininfarina creations, from the Mythos to the J50.
New York real estate developer Peter Kalikow brought his award-winning 1968 330 GTS to the Concorso, but personally I would love to have seen his one-of-one Superamerica 45. That car – another spider based on the 599 – was commissioned to celebrate Kalikow’s 45th year as a Ferrari owner.
Speaking of one-offs, another highlight was having Edward Walson show me around his 2009 Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta. This custom build single-handedly ushered in the modern Special Projects era. To have one of the world’s premier carmakers personally design and build a car for you is the highest honor for any collector. However, the results are often quite…unique.
A dealer from Texas displayed Ferrari SP30 at last year’s Cavallino. Built in 2011 for Indian petrochemical tycoon Cheerag Arya, SP30 is the only Ferrari Special Project ever offered for sale on the secondary market, and its owner admitted privately that finding a buyer for a multimillion-dollar one-off Ferrari proved harder than he expected.
From design to coloring, Walson’s P540 is no less unique. While it’s not what I would want in a one-off Ferrari, as a performance car and collector’s achievement, it wins on every front. Out of all of Walson’s Ferraris – and he has many – this one is truly his own.
There were rows upon rows of beautiful cars on the lawn that morning, including a quartet of limited editions tailor-made for real estate developer Neil Fairman. His 458 Speciale, F12tdf, 488 Pista and recently delivered Monza SP2 all wore the same signature livery – bianco base, navy racing stripes and bronze wheels.
Another South Florida developer and major Ferrari collector, Tom Cabrerizo, took home three awards for his 288 GTO, F40 and 575 Superamerica.
Among the many historic cars on the top lawn were a pair of 250 GTOs, one of which drove to GT class victory in the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. This stunning example took home “The Scuderia Ferrari Cup,” which the Cavallino awards to the most important competition car on display.
Across the way, the undulating bodywork of Pinin Farina and Sergio Scaglietti’s 1957 250 Testa Rossa looked like a ghostly time capsule, with its lush patina, crackling paint and historic Prova license plate. It was almost haunting.
After several hours of gawking, connecting with owners and schoolboy levels of excitement, we hit the road back to Miami, pretending all the way that our Aston was a Prancing Horse.
Written by Christian Cipriani.