The Audrain at Newport RI
The Audrain Concours had its debut in 2019 and the buzz in the Concours Community was this was a show and venue to watch. COVID put the 2020 event on hold, but this year’s event was a go and Dave Kinney, the Chief Judge, asked me to judge the 2021. For those that know me, know that I really don’t like to judge, and I have declined for several years, but I felt this event would be a perfect opportunity to reassess my opinions on judging. I was hoping Dave would spare me some of the conflicts I had by allowing me to judge a non Ferrari class, but I knew that would be an impossibility!
The Audrain Auto Museum in Newport RI kicked off their Concours week with a welcome dinner at one of the “cottages” on a Thursday night. The setting was perfect, and it was nice to see the car community unite at this fledging show.
Before any judging duties were required, we were all treated to several events all around the Newport Island starting with “The Gathering” at Rough Point, another wonderful estate on the ocean.
Shaped in the image of a “Quail” Type event of Monterey fame, “The Gathering” is in a similar spirit. An eclectic mix of cars from hot-rods to modern supercars were on display along with good food an drink.
Although smaller than the crowded Quail event held in California, this event had the feel of how Quail felt nearly 20 years ago when it was an intimate gathering of auto enthusiasts for a reasonable ticket price.
The setting was spectacular, but that goes without saying when in Newport because nearly any waterfront property was built for the view, and inland venues are usually on a sprawling estate!
The manufacturers are also getting involved by scheduling their debuts of new models. The new GT-#, XX, Porsche, was the next fastest, better, cooler, 911 than the last one. It’s hard for me to keep track of these cars, but there was plenty of excitement!