By Will Silk with Photos by Christopher WalshThe first annual Castaway Critters Exotic Car Show was held Saturday April 30, 2011 on the grounds of the Hershey AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Ninety-nine exotic cars showed up to participate in the event, with six classes being established for the participants.
The sun was out thankfully, though the day got off to a chilly start with cool temps and a slight breeze. Cars began showing up as early as eight o’clock in the morning, and the gates opened to the public at 10am sharp. Admission was only $5.00, and the money went to the Castaway Critters Foundation for homeless animals. The admission price also enabled those attending to vote for the People’s Choice Award, by donating money in favor of the car or cars that they liked best.
The show judging was handled by three judges with Concours level experience, as well as two Honorary Judges. In the role of Head Judge was Mr. Dave Olimpi, and along with Dave were Mr. Ed Warburton and Mr. Ken Visser. Honorary Judges consisted of Mr. Dayton Homes, founder of the Castaway Critters Foundation; and Sports Car Digest’s very own Will Silk. As this was not an official Concours event, the judges decided to utilize a method of judging known more commonly as “French” judging, in which the cars were being judged more for their overall appeal rather than exact details and originality. The show field was filled with intense competition in every class. The cars ranged from every part of the globe including several Acura NSXs, two Ferrari 599 GTO models, no less than three DeLoreans, a stunning Spyker C8 Spyder, and an Audi V10-powered R8 Spyder.
The awards were presented by the judges at 1:30pm and first up was the People’s Choice Award which went to Brad Beamesderfer’s red 2002 Lotus Esprit V8. The Asian Class was up next, and saw the 2010 Nissan GTR of Jeremy Rohrs take the class win. The British Class numbered near 20 entrants, and was quite a diverse category. After narrowing it down to just three cars, the judges unanimously selected the 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam of Kyle Kaulback. The recently restored vintage Lotus was superbly presented and the little car’s bright orange paint work and very original ambiance helped pull it ahead of the pack by just the narrowest of margins.
The American class was stacked with three DeLoreans, as well as a number of Corvettes, Vipers, and Mustangs. Taking home the class trophy for this year’s event was Don Silawsky and his Ford GTX-1. Gaining the honorable mention for this class was Joseph Reinford’s rare 1990 Corvette Lister. Reinford’s car is just one of four remaining, as the fifth car built was involved in a shunt and the molds for the custom-bodied Corvette were destroyed after just five cars were constructed according to the owner.
Ferrari received its own class at this inaugural event due to the high turnout of Maranello’s best. Selecting a winner in this class that consisted of 21 fast and beautiful cars was not easy, but in the end the trophy was presented to the 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO of Bernie Meyer. Incredibly, Bernie’s 599 GTO was just one of two 599 GTO models present; an amazing feat as just 599 of these cars will ever be built. Stan Richart’s 2011 Maserati Gran Turismo Cabriolet was selected to take home the trophy for best of the Other Italian Makes Class, and Dave Long’s Audi R8 V10 Spyder made good on the day by taking the German Class win.
It was decided early on by the judging panel that the best in show trophy should be given to the absolute most stunning car of the show, and that the car selected would not have to have won its class in order to be considered for best in show. The fight for the inaugural Castaway Critters Exotic Car Show trophy was intense and led to great debate amongst the judging panel. After viewing so many incredible machines, the panel was able to narrow it down to just two cars; the brilliant red Ferrari F40 of Ed Hodgen and the Spyker C8 Spyder that Brett Sokolow entered. The pressure was enormous in the board room of the Hershey AACA Museum where the judges met to make their selections. After a heated debate, it was decided that the Castaway Critters Exotic Car Show Trophy would go to the 1991 Ferrari F40 of Ed Hodgen of nearby Lititz, Pennsylvania.
While this new event may not be a top level Concours event, it indeed showed the humanity that exists in the sports and collector realm, with so many wonderful owners coming out to support a noble cause and emphasizing how great it is to have a good time amongst fellow enthusiasts and car collectors.
Castaway Critters Exotic Car Show 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)
[Source: Will Silk; photo credit: Christopher Walsh]