America's top car collectors and more than a dozen auto racing
celebrities came to Newport, Rhode Island, July 27 to 29, 2007
for the William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Concours d'Elegance at the
Newport Mansions. The event honored modern racing legends Dan
Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss with Lifetime Achievement Awards
for their contributions to motor sports.
The three-day celebration of all things automotive included
legendary drivers, competition cars, and grand classics. The
festivities benefited The Preservation Society of Newport
County, one of the nation's largest private custodians of
National Historic Landmarks, including The Breakers (1895),
Marble House (1892) and Chateau-sur-Mer (1852), which hosted
the various Concours events.
Included in the Concours weekend were The Legends Dinner on
Friday night, July 27th atThe Breakers, and the Black and
White Ball on Saturday, July 28th at Marble House.
The Concours was a three-day event, kicking off with a Tour
d’Elegance by about 40 cars around Aquidneck Island. About 140
cars were on display through the weekend at The Breakers and
Chateau-sur-Mer. Celebrity guests included more than a dozen
great race car drivers, who spent the weekend mingling with
Concours visitors, signing autographs and attending the
special events on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Legends Dinner was attended by about 300 people. During
cocktails guests were able to mingle among the collection of
historic race cars on display on the back lawn. After dinner,
Sir Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney were honored with the William
K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award for their
contributions to motor sports. The awards celebrated Willie K.
Vanderbilt’s motor sports accomplishments, as a world land
speed record holder in 1904 and founder of the Vanderbilt Cup
races. The other legendary drivers in attendance were also
honored for their racing feats.
The Black and White Ball was held at Marble House on Saturday,
July 28. Marble House was William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.’s
childhood summer home. More than 600 people attended, enjoying
dinner and dancing to the music of the Bob Hardwick Orchestra.
It was a black tie affair, with most women wearing black and
white as well. The black and white theme reflected the
checkered flag used at auto racing events.
The weekend was sponsored by Bentley, Breitling, Bentley
Providence, Grenon's of Newport, Maybach, Three Golden Apples,
Hotel Viking, Road and Track, Vectrix, World Energy, Brooks
Brothers, Ford, Azimut Yachts, Kimberly Pucci, Supercar Life,
ABC6, and Fireman's Fund. The Honorary Chairman of the weekend
was Debi Rahal.
More than 120 cars, from the Brass Era up to 1970 ,were
displayed on the lawn at Chateau-surMer. An exhibition class
of legendary competition cars were displayed on the lawn of
The Breakers. A highlight of that display was one of the
largest collections of Dan Gurney driven and/or built race
cars ever assembled, including the 1967 Gurney Eagle, the only
Formula One car ever built and driven to victory by an