Car show on a large lawn to benefit Westhampton Beach PAC

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For some people, a car is nothing more than a transport module, designed to get them from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

But for others it’s much more: the raw speed and precise handling of a Porsche 911, the refined luxury of a Rolls Royce, or even the original design of, say, an Amphicar, which, as its name suggests, is as comfortable on the water as on land.

Examples of all three will be on display at the Westhampton Beach Concours, a car show to benefit the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, on the Village Great Lawn this Saturday, July 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The show will be run by Gerard Moringiello, the owner of Hampton Classic Motorcars in Speonk, who buys and sells vintage cars, repairs them and organizes meet-and-greets and shows like this.

This week, Moringiello said he expects 90 to 100 cars to enter the show, including a handful of last-minute arrivals.

The star attraction, he said, will likely be a Tucker 48, one of the few built by visionary automaker Preston Tucker, who was forced into bankruptcy in 1949, just a year after the launch of his futuristic car. This car is number 44 of 50 that were made, Moringiello said, and they don’t get any rarer than that.

Other cars of note expected to be on display include a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Voted 20th century sports car, the Gullwing cemented Mercedes’ post-war reputation for excellence in design and performance. Mint models are worth even more than a starter home in the East End, fetching around $1.4 million at auction, provided, of course, it has a plain steel body and not aluminum alloy, which could be worth five times. as much.

Of the approximately 1,400 Gullwings built between 1954 and 1957, approximately 1,200 remain in collections.

Moringiello said he expects a wide variety of other vehicles, from long ago to the present day, to be on display.

“There will be a handful of Corvettes, a 1970 Mustang Boss 429, a 1966 Mustang GT 350, a 1912 Ford Model T Speedster, a 1911 Cutty, a Unimog, a few Land Rover Defenders, two Amphicars and a nice selection of Ferraris.

Moringiello is a fan of British cars, particularly Jaguar, and plans to have early 1960s XKEs, as well as the XJS, the model that replaced the E-Type in the early 1970s, as well as Austin Healeys and Triumphs.

Two members of WHBPAC’s board of directors suggested he organize a fundraiser for a car show to separate it from the pack of other summer galas, said Christine Alford, director of development for the PAC.

“They thought it would be a great fundraiser for a family event and a way to do something different,” she said. (Don’t worry, if you like cocktail parties or golf tournaments, WHBPAC has some planned for next month and October.)

It didn’t hurt that comedian Jay Leno was scheduled to appear at 8 p.m. that same night. In addition to being the former host of “The Tonight Show” and current host of a “You Bet Your Life” update, Leno is also known for his television series and YouTube videos, “Jay Leno’s Garage. “, on which he shows vehicles from a collection of at least 180 cars and almost as many motorcycles.

Despite Leno’s expected performance, his appearance at the auto show is not guaranteed, although some are betting on it.

“It has to be there,” said Tim Dahlen, 49, a Westhampton Beach resident and member of Rally Point East, a motoring club for owners of high-powered supercars like Dahlen’s Lamborghini Gallardo, which he plans to race. register for the show.

He is proud that Valentino Balboni, Lamborghini’s former chief test driver, signed the vehicle after taking it to the track for a test lap.

Dahlen said he’s been obsessed with Italian speedsters since he was a little boy and first laid eyes on the Lamborghini Countach. “It’s a fighter on wheels,” he said.

Robert Bacon, 47, another member of the club, said he was around 6 or 7 years old when he encountered his first dream car: the Corvette loaned to his father by his boss.

“My dad was never a car guy,” Bacon said. “He was always very careful.” But after taking a few car rides, her son was hooked.

Bacon said he bought a 2004 Corvette shortly before his wife gave birth to their son. The car, which has only done around 5,000 miles, is now 18 years old and he said he plans to give it to his son when he turns 18 in September.

Bacon plans to show off his new Bentley GT Speed, a two-door convertible at Saturday’s show. “It’s like driving a sofa,” he said, “a very powerful sofa.”

Admission to the July 23 Westhampton Beach Concours, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Great Lawn in Westhampton Beach, is $50, which includes food and drink. Admission is free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. VIP tickets are also available for $200. Tickets can be purchased at whbpac.org.

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