ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE

John Gunnell |

Those attending the “Masterpiece of Style & Speed” in Milwaukee,. Wis., Aug. 22-23, probably absorbed the sense of theatre that goes into producing this ever-more-fabulous classic car show. And no wonder! Hardworking show chairman Leon Flagg is an actor by trade and a classic-car casting director by avocation. His producer, Sarah Drilias, is the person who who shapes the showcase event for the public to see in a fabulous setting.

Milwaukee’s Veteran’s Park — a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Michigan — is the stage for the automotive actors in this production. The downtown cityscape provides a fabulous scenic backdrop to an outstanding show. And the highlight of the weekend is the drive-by awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, in which the cars run a spectator gauntlet to get their awards and exit stage right to massive applause.

The fifth “Masterpiece of Style & Speed” in Milwaukee, Wis., cast the spotlight on Ferrari. The Aug. 22-23 event also decorated the Midwestern city’s lakefront with all types of vehicles from Isettas and IHCs to Indian mototcycles.

Alan Boe and Matt Backhaus chaired the featured Ferrari display. Boe writes about the gorgeous Italian cars and selects Ferraris to appear at Pebble Beach. He and Backhaus invited 15 vintage Ferraris to exhibit at the Concours. Several were one-of-a-kind racing cars.

Last year, after four years of casting calls and auditions aimed at building a show with an international reputation, The Masterpiece hit a high point thanks to better cars than ever before and great weather. The 2009 event built upon the previous success and took the car selection even further. Bentley was the Complementary Featured Marque, with Kaye and Tom Kovacs chairing this part of the show. Car owners from as far away as Switzerland and California participated in tours, drives and seminars. 

Saturday’s Club Day highlighted American Power, European Sports Cars and World-Class Exotica. Club Day has become a gathering place for local and national collector car clubs. Over 15 clubs, representing interests in everything from Jaguars to hot rods, participated with more than 150 automobiles.

The Sunday Concours d’Elegance honored history’s most beautiful vehicles, including fine antiques, flawless classics, historic racing cars and fire-breathing muscle cars. A new featured antique and vintage motorcycles. In addition to the exhibits on the show field, The Masterpiece weekend also included a historic driving tour and a Style & Speed social event.

The Masterpiece benefits JFS, Inc., (www.jfsmilw.org) a 142-year-old social services agency.

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