The 18th Annual EURO Auto Festival was held the weekend of October 18 - 19 in the Greenville area of South Carolina. The event covers the entire weekend with two rallies through the surrounding area on Friday morning, a series of workshops Friday afternoon, a hospitality suite at the Embassy Suites hotel on Friday evening and the awards dinner on Saturday night. The main event of the weekend though was the car show held on Saturday, October 19th at the BMW Manufacturing Facility in Greer, South Carolina.
The morning started off with a light rain and fog, resembling Pebble Beach in some ways, but by late morning the rain ended and the temperatures were in the high 60s. By 10:30 in the morning there were 373 of Europe's finest, representing 30 marques in 55 classes spread out across the lawns surrounding the BMW Zentrum museum and the entrance to the BMW Manufacturing plant. The variety of vehicles present had something for everyone, from a 1934 Rolls Royce 20/25 up to many fine examples of 2013 machinery. The major sponsors, brought along a host of display vehicles, including representatives from Ferrari, Maserati, BMW and Lotus. There was a repeat visit by the Russian Tupolev 007 Cosmonaut Recovery Vehicle. The featured marque for the show was Ferrari. Despite the iffy weather at the start of the day, 52 of the 57 registered Ferraris made it on to the show field. It was an awesome sight seeing that many prancing horses spread out on the lawn next to the Zentrum.
The Porsche crowd was very well represented at the show. There were 52 Porsches entered for judging, ranging from early 356s to a new 911. The Porsche marque represented the second largest turnout of the entire show. The only marque to exceed Porsche was the featured Ferrari. While most of the Porsches entered were members of the Carolinas Region, there were also cars from Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and other areas of the South. All in all, the Porsche contingent was large enough to be divided into six classes for judging.
Corky Coker, noted automotive aficionado and owner of the Coker Group was on hand for the event as guest judge and keynote speaker at the awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites Hotel later that evening. He gave those in attendance an overview of his background, how he got involved with cars in general and how he has turned his passion for automobiles into an automotive empire. Corky was very approachable and he commented on both the quality of the cars and the friendliness of the people in attendance.
One of the show's sponsors, Hagerty Collector Car Insurance, conducted their "Operation Ignite! Youth Judging" program. This program gave 8 children, ranging in age from 6 to 16 the chance to get up close to collector automobiles. Led by an adult guide through the show, Youth Judges learned the basics of judging while taking a look at selected vehicles, interacting with owners and learning details, facts and the history of each vehicle. This is a great way to introduce the next generation to the car hobby and to ensure the hobby's long-term growth. The Youth Judges at this year's event again presented their award to Ralph Gresens and his 2001 Lamborghini Diablo. This was the second year in a row they presented the award to Ralph.
By 2:30 Saturday afternoon, the votes had been counted and the winners were announced. The overall winner for People's Choice was a gorgeous red 1972 Ferrari Dino 246GT presented by Dean Stribling. The car looked stunning and was a great representative of the Dino contingent.
The classes and their respective winners in the Porsche category are listed below.
|1965 Porsche 356C, Tim and Andree Herman|
|1st Place:||1965 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, Bob and Delores Barton|
|1st Place:||1973 Porsche 911 Targa, Terry Keisler|
|2nd Place:||1965 Porsche 911, Mike Duck|
|3rd Place:||1975 Porsche 911 Carrera, William Boyd|
|1st Place:||1994 Porsche RS America, Bill and Linda Funderud|
|2nd Place:||1988 Porsche 911 Turbo, Paul R. Dengler|
|3rd Place:||1998 Porsche 993, John Babinski|
|1st Place:||2008 Porsche 911 C4S, Mike Jones|
|2nd Place:||2006 Porsche 911 C4S, Matt and Leslie Motteler|
|3rd Place:||2002 Porsche 911, Peter L. Wrenn|
|1st Place:||1982 Porsche 928, Dale Moss|
|2nd Place:||1983 Porsche 944, Tracy Gentry|
|1st Place:||1970 Porsche 914-6, Frank Gregg|
|2nd Place:||2013 Porsche Boxster, Doug McKee|
|3rd Place:||2013 Porsche Boxster, Doug McKee|
The EURO Auto Festival is a great event to end the summer show season and welcome in the fall. BMW Manufacturing was again a gracious host and we received numerous positive comments on venue. The facilities are a beautiful backdrop for all of the vehicles on display and their support in putting on this show is invaluable. The EURO Board Members and all the volunteers put on a great show and everything went off without a hitch. In addition to the car show, they put on a reception, the awards banquet and various tech sessions.
Additional photos from the event can be found at http://www.euroautofestival.com/.
We are all looking forward to the 2014 event, when the featured marque will be Porsche. We are expecting the Porsche marque to be out in force as most of the 50th Anniversary events will be long past and we do not have a conflict with Petit LeMans, as they are scheduled for October 4th. If you happen to be in the Upstate area of South Carolina the third week of October or need an excuse to plan a car related vacation, the EURO Auto Festival is a great way to spend the day or the entire weekend. Until next year...