I went to this show with a little hesitant attitude. I wasn’t sure how big a crowd the show would draw because the admission prices were so steep. The total program lasted from Thursday to Sunday. Jay Leno was the featured host and other car notables like Donald Osborne were in attendance. There was a cocktail party Thursday, a dinner Friday, car displays in front of Bellevue Ave. Mansions, a drive over the Newport bridge and around Aquidneck island, manufactures displays from Aston Martin, seminars and a look at the new mid-engine 2020 Corvette, a Ford F40 race car and much more.
So, what would all this cost you to see? A ticket for all events went for $1,200 with about 80% of that amount going as a donation to the Audrain museum. I got the cheapest ticket I could find, $50 for a seminar moderated by jay Leno and Donald Osborne on Sat. Afternoon. The subject was about auto styling today with the current head of the GM design studio as part of the panel.
For me, the best part of the day was unexpected. All of the cars that would be in the concours show the next day (Sun) had driven over the bridge and around the island Saturday morning. At the end of the drive they were all parked in front of the museum and the Tennis Hall of Fame on Bellevue Avenue and then they blocked off the street. This was not mentioned in the program AND anybody could see them. You didn’t even need a ticket. For me this was Heaven because I could get within 6 inches of a Bugatti 57C, gull wing Mercedes, Rolls, Cord, Bentley, and Packard. If keys had been in the ignitions I was sorely tempted to try and take a spin.
As for the show, I was pleasantly impressed with the turnout. There were small crowds everywhere and lots of folks walking around with hand tag badges. How many of them were paying customers and how many industry guests I couldn’t tell but it sure looks like the show will return next year. Now, if I can just figure out how to get in while still keeping an arm and a leg it’ll be perfect.
Below are a few photos of the event. Additional photos are to be found in our Gallery section.