A Lifestyle Concours of Automotive Excellence. A Kentucky Derby garden party. Quail of the East. On January 30th, the inaugural Motorcar Cavalcade was held at the illustrious JW Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura. This lifestyle concours event brought together an incredibly vibrant car community in celebration of the passions we share and the automobiles we covet.
This unique Concours d’Elegance judged a specially curated and themed display of exclusive, iconic, legendary and simply awe inspiring cars – ranging from the dawn of motoring to the most advanced hypercars in the world – all in an incredible Miami-inspired garden party setting supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.
So, how unique was this event? Just to give you a flavor of the Concours, the classes were not the norm. They included classes such as “Glass”, “Cockpit”, “Dashboards”, and “Sound.” The cars were grouped into these classes based on the dominant trait of the car rather than by marque. This meant that a Pre-War Rolls Royce nestled next to a current Bugatti supercar to compete in a class of “Engine” for instance. To top it off, judges were assembled based on their own unique qualifications. A Fashion Model and a Bespoke Tailor judged “Cockpits”. Racecar Drivers judged “Engines”. Composers and Musicians judged “Sound”. The event was also well-attended by celebrities and dignitaries. The Mayor of Miami opened the event. Miami Heat great Alonzo Mourning was there to take in the activities. Live music filled the air, fabulous culinary creations and cocktail stations around the Concours grounds made the event memorable, despite a chilly 40 degree start.
While every vehicle on the field was unique and special, this writer’s eye went to a couple of favorites. Andrew and Tanya Heller’s 1921 Kissel “Gold Bug” Speedster competed in the “Paint” class. This “one of one” car, painted in glorious yellow, was originally Amelia Earhart’s. After Amelia’s parents divorce in 1924, the mother and daughters decided to move back east to Boston. Muriel went ahead on a cross-country train to Boston to set up a home. Meanwhile, Amelia had purchased the 1921 Kissel Gold Bug Speedster, the perfect car for adventuring. Which is exactly what she decided to do. The car, now painstakingly restored to perfection by Jason Wenig’s team at Creative Workshop, has made a Pebble Beach appearance and now the Motorcade. It will, sadly, go back into storage.
Meanwhile, John Layzell showed his 1925 Alvis which has been in his family an astonishing 95 years. Originally purchased by John’s great-uncle, John acquired the vehicle many years ago. To honor his great-uncle's request, John drives his prewar Alvis a little more than 500 miles annually, with some trips totaling 200 miles. As to the way it drives, John said: "Obviously, by current standards, it's slow. It's most comfortable between 45 and 50 mph, which is a challenge in modern traffic. Rather than accelerate, it slowly gathers momentum. The heavy steering, at slow speeds, plus the crash gearbox, are all designed to keep the driver on his toes. For its vintage, the Alvis handles well compared to many of its contemporaries. It's best on open-country winding and undulating roads where real music can be played on the gearbox, with its straight-cut gears. The shifting is excellent as long as the user gets the timing and the revs just right. Any hard, clunky, or noisy shifts are down to user error."
A unique experience for sure. It brought together a collection of vehicles that you wouldn’t normally see together in one venue. It combined the best of South Florida’s brilliant sunshine with a spectacular venue to produce a second-to-none motorcar experience. Can’t wait for next year!