I’m sitting in a pickup truck headed west on Interstate 10, headed to the Pima Air & Space Museum. After a day fawning over the first-rate automobiles at the inaugural Arizona Concours, I expect seeing acres of mothballed F-16s to be something completely different.
Just four days ago, I went to the tony Bonhams world headquarters on New Bond Street in London for a private dinner with journalists from Europe and Robert Brooks, Philip Kantor and James Knight. The occasion was to announce that Bonhams will be offering a 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus at their Goodwood auction in June.
While the history of this ex-Works car (S/N 0834 AM) is undisputed, the ownership of it, with different parties having engine, chassis and so forth, has been a complicated legal web (as discussed in John Draneas’ “Legal Files” column here), now finally untangled. Spares include an engine, a nearly complete body and other parts.
The 375-Plus was a brutally fast car, with a 4.9-liter, 330-horsepower engine. The sister cars to this one (there were only five cars built, of which four were competition models) were outright winners of Le Mans, Silverstone and the Carrera Panamericana.
According to auction-company founder Brooks, “Authenticity is everything” with important cars today, and he believes that noted automotive historian Doug Nye has researched and verified the history of this car to an exacting detail.
It was a dramatic unveiling, and Brooks said that there is more to come concerning the goodies that will be offered at their Goodwood sale.
From London it was off to Arizona, where I was the emcee of the inaugurual Arizona Concours d’Elegance, held at the architecturally significant Arizona Biltmore.
We’ll have a complete report in the next issue of SCM, but the concours was a complete success in every way. Director Kevin Cornish has created a team and a plan that put all the pieces together brilliantly — especially impressive for a first-time event.
The combination of the stunning location, first-rate cars and fantastic weather meant that the more than 2,000 attendees had a perfect day. Even better, more than $22,500 was raised for Make-A-Wish Arizona, an organization that benefits children with terminal cancer.
I was honored to be asked to be a part of this event, and was pleased to see it deliver to the audience, the entrants and the judges. Mark your calendars: the second annual Arizona Concours will take place Sunday, January 11, 2015.