Tom’s Corners – The Festivals of Speed

tomscorner
Last year I received a letter from Joe Sabatini, founder and president of ‘Festivals of Speed’ to enter and display my Fiero (The Rattler) at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes resort on Orlando Florida to benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. To me, this was absolutely unprecedented for my Fiero to be considered or included for that matter with such exotic automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft and watercraft for this event. The week-end started with a registration of all participants, then a fabulous cocktail party and sumptuous themed food displays, strolling musicians, luxury brand displays, live and silent auctions, prize drawings and more! Since I have not entered a formal concourse before, this would be a very unique way to learn and associate with people who have very exotic boats, cars, etc. The cars on display included: Bugatti, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati and some very fast race cars. Also on Saturday, there were ‘ride and drive’ events for qualified drivers, a wine connoisseur’s dinner at the internationally known Primo restaurant, which was closed to all but the ‘Festivals of Speed’ guests. Sunday was the grand finale with a collection of all the exotic vehicles on display with exciting culinary offerings, fine wines, fashion shows, and awards presentations. The ability to enjoy all of this while strolling in the gardens of the Ritz-Carlton is a once in a life time experience. There were class and special entry winners who received beautiful crystal trophies and gifts from Tiffany and Company. All participants who displayed their vehicles in the VIP registration received a duffle bag with sponsor gifts, two tickets to the Friday evening reception, and two tickets to the ‘Festivals of Speed’ event on Sunday as well as credentials and a unique dash plaque and a special entry to the program guide. Now… to get the Fiero down to Orlando…I would have to drive down in changing weather or have an exotic car transporter take it down, then fly down and back after the event. Obviously this would entail a considerable expense along with the hotel, food, gas, insurance, waivers and other expenses. The weather is always an important factor in doing these events. The inner workings of an event of this magnitude are worth writing about to give you an idea of what it is like to do a major concourse show, not to mention all the very intense pressure in detailing the car for the show. Again, it was an honor and privilege for my Fiero (The Rattler) to be invited to this event !

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