2011 Euro Auto Festival
December 1, 2011
Porsche 1 – 356/914/912 & 911 (1965-1977)
1st Place – Bob Barton, 1965 356 Cabriolet
2nd Place – Joe Esposito, 1972 911E
3rd Place – Frank Gregg, 1970 914-6
Porsche 2 – 911 (1978-1998)
1st place – John Babinski, 1998 993 C2S
2nd place – Terry Williams 1985, 911 Carrera
Porsche 3 – 911 (1999-Present)
1st place – Mike Jones, 2008 997 C4S
2nd place – John Malmgren, 2007 997 S
Porsche 4 – 924/944/968/928
1st place – Tracy Gentry, 1983 944
Porsche 5 – Boxster/Cayman
1st place – Ed Coon, 2008 Cayman S
2nd place – Doug McKee, 2010 Boxster RS
3rd place – Mike Rich, 2006 Boxster S
Porsche 6 – Specialty & Limited Production
1st place – Paul Dengler, 1988 930 Turbo
2nd place – Robert Andrews, 2007 997 Turbo
3rd place – Sandy Shirley 1984 930S Turbo
Crowd Pleaser Award Bob Barton
1965 356 Cabriolet
The 16th Annual EURO Auto Festival was held the weekend of October 14 - 15 - 16 in the Greenville area of South Carolina. The event covers the entire weekend with a welcome dinner at the Embassy Suites hotel on Friday, the awards dinner on Saturday night, an autocross event Sunday morning and a rally through the surrounding area on Sunday as well. The main event of the weekend though was the car show held on Saturday, October 15th at the BMW Manufacturing Facility in Greer, SC.

The morning started off with a chill in the air but by late morning the temperatures were in the low 70s. By 10:30 in the morning there were 363 of Europe’s finest, representing 26 marques in 61 classes spread out across the lawns surrounding the BMW Zentrum museum and the entrance to the BMW Manufacturing plant. The featured marque for the show was the Austin Healey Sprite/MG Midget models affectionately known as “Spridgets”. The honorary marque was the Jaguar XKE on the 50th anniversary of its introduction. It was especially impressive to see 41 E-Types in two long lines wrapping alongside the south face of the Zentrum.

The Porsche crowd was out in force for the show. There were 47 Porsches entered for judging, ranging from early 356s to a new Panamera and some new 911s. The Porsche marque represented the second largest turnout of the entire show. The only marquee to exceed Porsche was Jaguar with 63 cars in attendance. While most of the Porsches entered were members of the Carolina’s 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. Matt Stone, noted automotive journalist, Speed TV Barrett-Jackson broadcaster and former editor of Motor Trend Classics was on hand for the event as an honored guest and guest judge. He was also the keynote speaker at the awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites Hotel later that evening. Matt was very approachable and he commented on both the quality of the cars and the friendliness of the people in attendance.

At 3:30 the votes had been counted and the winners were announced. The overall winner for Best of the Best along with Best Fit & Finish, People’s Choice and Mercedes Crowd Pleaser awards was a beautiful, original 1954 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. The car looked stunning as it drove down the walkway to pick up its awards with the gullwing doors fully open for all to admire. Second place in People’s Choice and Porsche Crowd Pleaser award winner was the 1965 Porsche 356 C Cabriolet presented by Bob and Dolores Barton of Lenoir, NC. This fully restored example is one of the cleanest cars I have ever seen. Between the shiny green paint, the immaculate beige top & upholstery and the spotless engine compartment, the car was a great representative of Porsche’s finest. Congratulations to Bob and Dolores and we hope to see more of this great car at future shows.

We had a varied selection of Porsches on hand and took home 16 awards for our efforts. Awards were given out to 6 classes plus a Crowd Pleaser Award. Winners were:

The EURO Auto Festival is a great event to end the summer show season and welcome in fall. BMW Manufacturing was again a gracious host. The facilities are a beautiful backdrop for all of the vehicles on display and their support in putting on this show is invaluable. Barry Harms, event chairman, his staff and all the volunteers put on a great show and had everything went off without a hitch. In addition to the car show, they put on plant tours, a reception, the awards banquet and various tech sessions.

The 2012 show will be on Saturday, October 20th so mark your calendar now. The featured marque for 2012 will be Mercedes Benz. If you happen to be in the Upstate area of South Carolina the second 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...