By Chuck Gilchrest
The winter car event season kicked off on Sunday, January 15 in Miami, with enough Florida sunshine on a chilly day to draw cars ranging from elegant classics to modern supercars.
In its second year at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort in trendy Aventura, Florida, the Motorcar Cavalcade has taken the basic form of an automobile concours and added enough flair and unique components to set it apart from other traditional luxury car events.
Most importantly, show creator and restorer Jason Wenig understands the car culture of South Florida, interjecting and combining the beauty of the automobile — including examples both young and old — with fun and flamboyant Miami fashion statements.
Here, cars are not judged in the traditional pre-war, British, Italian, sport and touring categories. Instead, they are presented in classes for lights, grilles, fins and other styling factors, along with categories for utility, etc. There’s even a beach segment.
The elements of each class are not to be considered independently of the entire automobile, but as focal points that make the car outstanding and interesting, not only as a conveyance but also as a work of art.
With no age limitation on vehicle entries, it wasn’t unusual to see a new McLaren Speedtail situated on the lush lawn next to an E-Type Jaguar and a late ’50s Lincoln Premiere.
With the new cars came a much younger spectator crowd, many of whom heeded the call for high fashion lawn party attire all while enjoying the all-inclusive gourmet offerings of food and beverages. In the spirit of Miami events, celebrity sightings were plenty, with an all-star and VIP judge line-up that included former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, Indy Car Racer Lynn St James and hip hop master and auto buff Wyclef Jean.
The real eye candy was on the lawn. There, Texas-based Hennessey Automotive entertained the crowd by unveiling its new Venom F5 Revolution track-focused hypercar, unleashing its unmuffled 1,800+ horsepower engine to the delight of many onlookers.
There was a good representation of both muscle and pony cars from the ’60s, but the real focus of the event leaned more towards exotic offerings. The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum brought a fine selection of vehicles as well, many of which were class winners. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and a few boutique super cars could be seen in most every part of the show field.
The one area in which cars were separated by age was the overall Best of Show Awards, won this year by an owner-restored 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster in Classics and by a 2020 AMG GT Mercedes in the Modern award. While both cars represented speed and style in their respective eras, they defined the automotive art statements that the Motorcar Cavalcade has made its prime, unique focus.
Look for more about this event in Linkage #011, out this spring.