On Sunday, September 23, 2012 the City of Boston woke up to the inaugural Boston Cup Classic Car Show. Held on Boston Common, the oldest city park in the country, the show attracted dozens of vendors, hundreds of VIPs, and thousands of spectators. For Sunday morning park-goers, the Boston Cup was a very pleasant and unusual surprise. For car enthusiasts, though, it was a small slice of heaven.
The Boston Cup Classic Car Show 2012 was the culmination of several years of efforts by New England car enthusiasts Rich Doucette, Ed Owen, Tom Larsen and Ken Lemoine. The goal of the Boston Cup was to combine elements of a Concours-style event with elements of the “Speed, Style and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection” exhibit featured at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2005, as well as to provide the city with a widely-publicized and well-attended annual classic car show. If this inaugural event was any indication, the Boston Cup is here to stay and has the makings of something fantastic.
What the event lacked in the quantity of cars and almost overwhelming scale of some car shows it made up for in quality of exhibition and interesting setup. As cars arrived starting at around 7:00 am, they were arranged in a large circle, two to three rows deep, around and facing away from the Common’s Parkman Bandstand. Now celebrating its hundredth birthday, the Parkman Bandstand is a large gazebo that has often been often the site of concerts, rallies and speeches. For the Boston Cup, the Bandstand served as DJ booth and the site for the awards ceremony.
Because the event was invitation only, setup progressed smoothly as a wide and balanced range of around one hundred important automobiles lined up to form the wide, picturesque circle around the iconic gazebo in the middle. The exhibition was a true celebration of the automobile, as featured cars ranged from a 1902 Stanley Steamer to a brand-new McLaren MP4-12C, with so much more in between.
Other highlights of the Boston Cup 2012 included Andy Rooney’s Sunbeam Tiger, an ex-Peter Gregg Porsche 906 that raced at Le Mans in 1966, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, a 1915 Duesenberg that finished second at the Indianapolis 500, a Ferrari 500 Superfast, a 1949 Maserati A6GCS, an unrestored 1935 Bugatti, and a 1948 Delahaye 135 M. Cars were divided and judged by country of origin (United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy), while additional awards were given out for best pre-war car, as well as a “Best in Show” Award each for best American car and best European car. Collectively, these large glass trophies are referred to as the “Boston Cups”.
Being in a public park, the cars of this year’s Boston Cup were free for viewing to anyone who happened to be passing by. Thousands of people, many of whom probably had no idea the show was taking place, stopped to stare, snap pictures, or chat with owners who were still near their cars. The cars were separated from the general spectators by a fence while the inner circle, both literally and figuratively, was reserved for car owners and other VIPs. This gave the event a distinct “two worlds” kind of feeling, but displaying such valuable automobiles in such an urban setting makes these kinds of precautions necessary.
Outside the fence, there was still plenty for spectators to do, since vendors and sponsors had tents with raffle prizes and friendly staff set up under the trees that surrounded the show field. New cars from Cadillac, Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford, and Nissan dotted the field outside the show. Since the Boston Cup also served as the site for the city’s celebration of “National Plug-In Day”, many of the manufacturers displayed their greener cars, like Nissan’s Leaf or Ford’s C-Max. Other tents included Racemaker Press, Guardian Angel, Volante Classics, European Auto Solutions, Northeast Insurance Agency, Admirals Banking, Team Fox Parkinson’s Research, and the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.
The hustle and bustle continued right up until the announcement of the awards at 2:00 pm sharp. Even as the event was still going on, people were talking about next year. The organization of this inaugural New England classic car event seems like a great formula for a successful annual car show. Fingers crossed, we may all get to enjoy bigger and better Boston Cups for years to come.
Boston Cup Classic Car Show 2012 – Photo Gallery
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Boston Cup Classic Car Show 2012 – Award Winners
Best in Show, American
1953 Cunningham C3, Dudley Cunningham
Best in Show, European
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, Elliot Hillback
1967 Corvette Coupe, Arthur Gutierrez
1949 Maserati A6GCS Barchetta, Nick Fonte
1966 Porsche 906, Robert Kurtz
1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Shooting Brake by Radford, Larz Anderson Auto Museum