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 Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo


 Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo
Photo by: Brent Jenkins/Black Tie International


The Willaim K. Vanderbilt, Jr.
Concours d’Elegance
The Newport Mansions


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 American.


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