Packard, Cisitalia takes best of honors at Greenwich

1935 Packard 1201 convertible wins best of show among American cars at Greenwich | Andy Reid photos 1935 Packard 1201 convertible wins best of show among American cars at Greenwich | Andy Reid photos

This year marked the 20th anniversary for the Greenwich Concours and event founder Bruce Wennerstrom was on hand all weekend to help usher in his baby’s next decade. The classic car hobby owes him a debt of gratitude for starting this event and keeping it going for these many years. It is the only concours of its stature in New England.

One thing that sets Greenwich apart from the typical concours in the United States is that the majority of owners actually drive their cars here from home, some traveling as far as 300 miles to attend. This is a nice point of difference, because shile you are traveling to the event it is not unusual to see a caravan of classic cars making their way as well to the show.

This concours also is unusual in that it is staged as a two-day event with American cars on Saturday and European cars on Sunday.

The Saturday cars again were fantastic with a large number of Brass-era vehicles including classic Packards, a great display of Cadillacs, as well as groups for Ford, Chevrolet and a nice selection of significant muscle cars.

At the end of Saturday, the best of show winner was practically a unanimous decision (this year I was among the concours’ judges), with the top honor going to a stunning 1935 Packard 1201 Convertible owned by collector Ralph Marano. The car is one of only two Packards bodied by Graber and had stunning alloy bodywork including an all-aluminum cowl that was built as a single piece. The restoration on the car was beyond reproach.

1951 Cisitalia 202C judged best of show among European cars
1951 Cisitalia 202C judged best of show among European cars

Despite the possibility or rain, car owners took the chance on Sunday and took out their cars for the European car day. A highlight was a Soviet-era Russian Zil Presidential Limousine joining the usual Porsches Ferraris, Rolls-Royce, MGs and Aston Martins, among others.

The best of show honors for European cars went to an achingly beautiful 1951 Cisitalia 202C cabriolet owned by Andrew Benenson. This car had so much appeal and seemed to glow on the show field. It is finished in its original color of light green metallic that the owner said was supposed to resemble the color of the edge of a pane of glass.

Of all the cars it is the one most of us would have wanted to take home and park in our garage and again the decision was close to unanimous.

Other standout cars to me were a very rare 1930 Aston Martin International, which competed in at Brooklands in 1930, an AC Frua that my judging team awarded as best in class, and a tremendous collection of vintage BMW and other European motorcycles.

 

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