“I think it rained once for an hour five years ago,” remarked one showgoer. Others claimed it had never happened before in the nearly three-decade history of the event. Regardless, among the faithful who attend every January, the 2019 Cavallino Classic, the all-Ferrari concours in Palm Beach, Florida, will be remembered primarily for its wet, lousy weather. The slogan from a period Michigan license plate on one of the cars summed the event up best: “Water Wonderland.”
Race cars were the focus of this year’s Saturday concours, which made the rain even more challenging, as a number of the star cars were open-top spyders, which lacked even convertible tops for protection. Still, it was a testament to the event and its organizers that all but eight of the roughly 140 entrants showed up.
For those who did attend, the gathering at this year’s Cavallino was perhaps the best assemblage of important Ferraris in America since the marque’s 70th anniversary celebration at Pebble Beach in 2017. In the center of the show field were three Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti Spyders, surrounded by the most desirable variants of the Ferrari’s legendary 250 series, including Testa Rossas, SWBs, TdFs, and a single GTO. The only Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale, the personal car of coachbuilder Battista Pininfarina, also attracted a great deal of attention.
Enjoy this in-depth look at the cars of Cavallino Classic 28:
The cars line up before dawn to enter the show. The Breakers Palm Beach hotel, which hosts the show, lights the building in red in honor of the event. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Three generations of the fastest road-going Ferraris: the F40, the 250 GTO, and the F50. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
250 GT TdF s/n 0903GT patiently waits in the rain to enter the show. Photo: Johnny Miles
Ferrari 250 GT SWB s/n 2291GT leads a Ferrari Dino into the show. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
This Ferrari 290MM s/n 0606 has a convoluted but fascinating history. It raced as a Ferrari works car in 1956, and in 1959 its original engine was replaced with a new V12 Testa Rossa engine. The car was subsequently sold as a “new” 250 TR in Brazil, where it was raced for years until a horrific accident in 1962. After much research, 0606 was restored by Neil Twyman Ltd. to the specification in which it left the factory in 1959, and the dramatic livery it sported in Brazil in the early Sixties. Photo: Johnny Miles
Ferrari’s first hypercar, the 288 GTO, was produced from 1984-87, long before the term hypercar was coined. Photo: Johnny Miles
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossas offer little in the way of rain protection.
The Cavallino Cup for Best of Show was given to the 1958 Ferrari 355 S s/n 0764 of Andreas Mohringer, which was restored by Paul Russell. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Ferrari 250 GT TdF s/n 1141GT. Photo: Johnny Miles
This Ferrari 250 TR, s/n 0742TR, was restored by Ferrari Classiche to its original Scuderia Askolin livery it had when it was campaigned as a new car by Carl-Johan Askolin of Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Johnny Miles
The eighth Ferrari road car built, Ferrari 166 Inter Touring Coupe s/n 015S, presents quite a contrast to the fastback designs of the later 250 GT SWB and 275 GTB/4 in front of it. Photo: Johnny Miles
Not one but two of the 36 Single-Louver examples of the Ferrari 250 GT TdF built. The car with the red racing stripe is s/n 0903GT, while the all-silver example is s/n 1141GT. Photo: Johnny Miles
Proof that rain doesn’t melt vintage Ferraris. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Ferrari 250 TR59/60 s/n 0770TR, one of two Ferrari works Testa Rossas built in this body style. This example raced at Le Mans in 1959 and 1960, and has been restored to its 1960 Le Mans configuration. Photo: Johnny Miles
The 1957 Ferrari 335 S that placed second in the 1957 Mille Miglia and won the 1958 Cuba Grand Prix. This car, owned for decades by legendary collector Pierre Bardinon, made headlines in 2016 when Artcurial auctioned the car for $35.7 million. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Winner of the Chief Judge Emeritus Cup for the finest Ferrari, as chosen by the Cavallino Chief Judge Emeritus, Ed Gilbertson: the 1957 Ferrari 335 S s/n 0700. Photo: Johnny Miles
Resembling the more plentiful Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, this one-off 1958 335 Sport Scaglietti Spyder with pontoon fenders was dubbed the “Super Testa Rossa,” and was raced in the late 1950s at Road America, Watkins Glen, and Daytona, among others. Photo: Johnny Miles
The three Ferrari 335 Ss together — not something you see at your everyday car show. Photo: Johnny Miles