The October air, combined with the ocean breeze, was cool and crisp. The sun was shining and a sense of normalcy returned to Newport, Rhode Island this past weekend. It wasn't just an ordinary October afternoon, it was The Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week.
One of the top fifty car shows in the world, the Audrain Concours in Newport took a hiatus due to the pandemic, but came back stronger than ever. The remarkable tradition comes with rich history dating back to the 1900's, where the first American car race, the Vanderbilt Cup, took place in this historic area. The backdrop of the historic mansions along the Atlantic Ocean was the perfect venue to celebrate motor enthusiasts alike, witnessing some of the most historic and classical cars, as well as your state of the art Bugatti's, McLaren's, and Pagani's.
The day was jam packed, starting with a tour of the Audrain museum and a social hour at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The event staff and car owners were friendly as can be, sharing plenty of information on the detail of the cars and sharing photos and stories.
From there, the day lead us to "The Gathering", an elegant lawn party with champagne, cocktails from Newport Craft, lobster rolls, oysters, the whole nine yards. The star of the show was of course the internationally recognized Concours d’Elegance and the array of automobiles that were present on the lawn. Speaking of stars, some notable attendees included McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown, Jay Ward of Pixar Animation Studios, and of course the one and only, Jay Leno.
One of the coolest moments of the day came from under the covers. Surrounded by an excited crowd, Leno, Brown, F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen, and Audrain Museum CEO Donald Osborne, unveiled one of the most famous cars in grand prix racing history. The McLaren MP4/4. Driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost over the course of the 1988 Formula One season, the first Honda-powered McLaren, secured 15 wins and pole positions in 16 races, leading 1003 out of the 1078 laps raced that season.
The return to in person events was much needed. With beautiful weather and even more beautiful cars, Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week was 10-out-of-10. Arguably, one of the top-tier events in the Ocean State, it was an absolute treat to be able to attend this year.
Special thanks to Newport Craft CEO, Brendan O'Donnell, for the opportunity to attend!