In the year marking its 30th anniversary, Cavallino Classic has been expanding its international approach. After Modena, the Classic moved on to Abu Dhabi for the eagerly awaited last F1 GP of the year.
The very first edition of the Cavallino Classic Middle East was held in Abu Dhabi. It was an extraordinary debut, as it was also the very first international event devoted to classic Ferraris ever held in a Gulf state.
1953 Ferrari 250 Europa
The Concorso d’Eleganza was dominated by the success of a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa dressed with a Coupe body by Vignale. The car (chassis #0295) was the first road Ferrari to be equipped with the 250 GT engine, namely the 12-cylinder 3L unit that, for the following 12 years, was to be the foundation of Ferrari’s production and sporting successes.
Officially unveiled at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, it was an immediate hit thanks to its refined mechanics but also the beauty of its lines, created, at the express request of Ferrari, by Carrozzeria Vignale to a design by Giovanni Michelotti. Only one other Ferrari 250 Europa, of the 21 built in total, was given the same lines as this car, and this makes it one of the most special and unusual-looking Ferraris ever built. Soon afterwards it was sold in the United States, where it has remained ever since. A few years ago, it was restored to an extremely high standard by its current owner, US collector Kevin Cogan, and in Abu Dhabi it also won “The Gran Turismo Ferrari Cup”, awarded to the best Ferrari GT.
During the gala event on the Saturday evening, as many as 15 vehicles received the “Platinum Award”.
A Spectacular “Supercars” Class
The “Supercar” class was spectacular as all the iconic Ferrari supercars from two decades (1984-2004) were represented, one specimen per model: a 288 GTO from 1984 (chassis #53297), a F40 from 1988 (chassis #84140), a F50 from 1995 (chassis #103382), and an Enzo from 2003 (chassis #131886). The latter was the only model accepted in spite of being produced after the cutoff date of 31 December 1999.
The remarkably high standard of this first Cavallino Classic Middle East event is further borne out by the fact that all the cars entered in this particular class were recipients of the “Platinum Award” for Ferraris deemed to be in top condition.
The vehicles shown included some of the finest examples of the models that have made recent car-making history in Maranello, for example a 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” from 1971, a 355 Spider “Fiorano” from 1999 — this car is one of the only 100 produced in total (and one of the only 21 with manual transmission) —, a 550 Maranello from 1999, a 412 from 1988, a Dino 246 GT from 1970, and four cars, all built in the 1990s, representing different evolutions of the Testarossa.
The First Show of Its Kind
“An extraordinary debut show, packed with cars of the highest level”, remarked Luigi Orlandini, President and CEO of Canossa Events, which took over Cavallino in 2020. “Unsurprisingly for this part of the world, where the charm of classic cars was only relatively recently discovered, many of the Ferraris entered in the event do not date back that far, and as a result the average age of the cars and entrants was lower than might usually be expected. The conditions of the cars themselves reflect the approach to car collecting typically seen in Gulf states, where collectors look for classics with very low mileage and tend to go far more for preserved than for restored vehicles. Organizing the event, an absolute first in the Gulf area, was quite a challenge”, Orlandini added, “and we are delighted that collectors were keen to take part in it, bringing along exceptional cars, also from Europe and the United States. Particular thanks go to Ferrari Middle East and to Al Tayer Motors for their fantastic collaboration, and above all to the Canossa Events team which, as always, managed to create a perfect event.”
The second day of the concours saw the public taking center stage, as they were called upon to choose their three most iconic Ferraris. These included their pick as the winner of the Ferraristi Award: the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale that had also taken home the main prize on Day One.
The two-day concours, which coincided with the Abu Dhabi F1 Gran Prix, was held at Yas Links and at the Casa Ferrari venue there.
As a special prologue to the Dubai concours, a selection of the cars taking part was exhibited at the Dubai Opera, which is overlooked by the Burj Khalifa, as part of the “Motor Valley @ Dubai Expo” exhibition, an event supported by the Region of Emilia-Romagna and organized by Canossa Events.
The new owners of Cavallino Classic have decided that promoting Italian excellence should also be part of its mission: in accordance with this, exquisite food was provided by Armani/Ristorante, and the bubbly was Ferrari Trento, the official Cavallino Classic toast around the world.
The main prize, “The Gran Turismo Ferrari Cup”, awarded by the judges to the most iconic road Ferrari, went to the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe Vignale owned by Kevin Cogan (USA).
The other prizes awarded were as follows:
The “Coppa Dodici Cilindri”, for the best 12-cylinder engine Ferrari: Ferrari 512 TR (1993, chassis #97095), owned by Pietro Meroni (CH)
The “Coppa Otto Cilindri”, for the best 8-cylinder engine Ferrari: Ferrari 328 GTS (1989, chassis #82706), owned by Rajai Kayal (HKJ)
The Preservation Vintage Cup (pre-1975): Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (1973, chassis #16393), owned by a private collector (UAE)
The Preservation Classic Cup (1976-1990): Ferrari 412 GT (1988, chassis #71949), owned by Rajai Kayal (HKJ)
The Excellence Cup, for outstanding restoration quality: Ferrari Dino 246 GT (1970, chassis #1148), owned by Saif Assam (CND)
The Elegance Cup, for the most outstanding coachbuilt Ferrari: Ferrari F40 (1988, chassis #84140), owned by Mohamed Al Nowais (UAE)
The Chairman Cup: Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pinin Farina (1959, chassis #1533), owned by Jan Sandmann (D)
People’s Choice award for the Best Ferrari Supercar: Ferrari F40 (1988, chassis #84140), owned by Mohamed Al Nowais (UAE)
People’s Choice award for the Best Ferrari Monza: Ferrari Monza SP2 (2021, chassis #263445), owned by Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim (BHR)
Ferraristi Award: 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe Vignale owned by Kevin Cogan (USA)