Classics From R.i. Invade New York

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Classics from Rhode Island sport their grandeur at this year's New York International Auto Show, which runs through Sunday. The classic display includes vintage cars and motorcycles from Rhode Island as well as a hand-built prototype roadster from Long Island. Among the vintage vehicles displayed were a 1927 Bentley, a 1927 Rolls Royce, a 1931 Dusenberg Roadster and a 1950 Buick Woody wagon.

The display of classics is a promotion of Mark Hurwitz 2008 Newport Concours d'Elegance set for the Memorial Day weekend, with the public showing of the cars and awards scheduled for Monday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oceanside at Belle Mer on Goat Island, according to the Providence Journal. The event is Hurwitz third annual Newport Concours and is the only one in Newport this year.

"The original Concours were inseparable from fashion and we're going to be highlighting the marriage between the fashion industry and the coach-building industry by including fashions that match the interior of the car from that period," Hurwitz said during the press preview held last Wednesday. "There will be a number of displays that will be significant. This is a high-end, low-key Concours."

Hurwitz said the Rolls-Royce, made at the Brewster plant in Springfield, Mass., when the automaker had a manufacturing unit in the United States, was a rare Derby Open Tourer with scalloped teardrop doors with no handles on the outside. are famed for their quality and style. "Roadsters generally had no windows," he said, pointing out the long cowl with raked back windshield and second windshield.

The Bentley, a classic 4 1/2 liter with Vanden Plas' fabric coachwork, appeared tiny beside the Dusenberg. "It's a coupe that looks like a roadster," Hurwitz said of the huge Dusenberg. According to him, such a car cost about $10,000 to $15,000 for the chassis and an additional $10,000 to $15,000 for the body at a time when most cars cost about $500.

The Buick Woody wagon, also on display, is a rounder car than the classic 1930s and '40s Ford Woodies. Two vintage motorcycles, a 1905 Michl., Orion, from Europe and a 1920 Harley-Davidson with a sidecar, were also displayed at the auto show. Aside from the classics other jaw-dropping cars are on display at the motor show.

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