Last year, a new classic car show came onto the scene, and among its distinguishing features was its venue. It wasn’t on a golf course green or a lavish estate but in the middle of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, and on the grass of the oldest city park in the country, the Boston Common. The Boston Cup Classic Car Show made an impressive enough debut in 2012 that a 2013 date was booked in short order and on the morning of Sunday, September 22, the cars started rolling in for the second running of this unique Concours event.
At about 7:30 am, it wasn’t looking good. With significant rain and not a spot of blue sky in sight, it was not car show weather. It had been raining even harder when the organizers were setting up a couple of hours before, so there were plenty of concerned faces and not much in the way of cheer. Slowly but surely, though, cars kept coming and by the show’s scheduled start time of 9:00, the field was pretty much full. In fact, only a handful of cars stayed home, which is something that could have happened in any weather. The vendors and sponsors turned out in full force as well, and those who braved the stormy skies were certainly rewarded for their persistence as the day continued to get nicer by the minute. By lunchtime you would have never guessed the show almost looked like a dud only a few hours before.
Founding Chairman Rich Doucette didn’t look worried at all, but had to have breathed a sigh of relief at some point, noting that “the stars were aligned but of course the cars are the stars. I was very impressed with how many people turned out despite weather, and we only lost six or seven cars. It was just great seeing people driving million dollar cars to the park in the pouring rain.” It certainly was great, but it dried out almost completely by the time any big crowds showed up. This being a public park, there were plenty of people just stumbling across the gathering in addition to the VIPs and other enthusiasts who had been waiting for the event for months. Last year, the cars were fenced off from all angles from the general public, giving a bit of an exclusionary feel, but this year there was a path cutting straight through the circle of cars and around the Parkman Bandstand in the center. This meant you could get up close to each car, regardless of whether you bought a ticket to get on the grass or not. And just like last year, vendors and sponsors lined the outer part of the circle, only this time park-goers got the added bonus of ex-New England Patriot Matt Light’s custom Dodge Challenger and the unmistakeable original Batmobile that sold for $4.6 million earlier this year.
As for the rest of the show cars, there was very impressive range from old to brand spanking new. As before, cars were divided up by nationality, and new for 2013 was the Japanese class that included a deafeningly loud Mazda RX3 race car and a tiny but beautiful Honda S600. Other highlights included a real GT40 that was used as a promo car for both Ford and Shell Oil, a gorgeous Moretti 1200S, musician J. Geils’ Maserati Sebring, a Zagato-bodied Maserati A6G 2000, a Porsche 550A Spyder, a 1915 Stutz Bearcat, and a pleasing assortment of Ferraris, Astons, Alfas and more.
What really made the show stand out, though, was the special “Made in Massachusetts” display off to one side of the main show field. During the dawn of the motorcar, Massachusetts was a hub of automotive activity and the Boston Cup celebrated that fact with about a dozen cars, a couple of motorcycles, and even a pump wagon used for fighting fires in the city of Boston that dates all the way back to 1792. A 1896 Duryea, a 1911 Bailey Electric Phaeton (one of the earliest electric cars in existence), a Springfield Rolls and a contemporary GTM sports car from Wareham-based Factory Five were also on display. One late but very welcome arrival was one of the famous Stanley Steamers, making plenty of noise and leaving huge clouds of steam in its wake.
After a weather delay of only half an hour, awards were handed out on the iconic bandstand and a parade of classic automobiles marched its way back onto what were by then the sunny streets of Boston. Founders Rich Doucette, Ed Owen, Tom Larsen, Ed Casale, and Ken and Brett Lemoine can certainly feel proud as well as lucky. With a unique venue, solid planning and the incredibly tight-knit New England car community fully behind it, the Boston Cup has a promising future in this growing world of classic car shows. We can’t wait for next year, which, by the way, is set for September 21, 2014.
Similar to the 2012 event, Andrew Newton also documented the 2013 Boston Cup Classic Car Show. We split up Andrew’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery and event results can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs.