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European Cars on Display at Saratoga Auto Museum

By Buzz Lamb

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

“The British are coming!” says Jean Hoffman, a trustee at the Saratoga Automobile Museum (SAM).

Ms. Hoffman says the nationally renowned museum will host its 4th Annual “Invitational at Saratoga” May 18 – 20 on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park.  According to Hoffman, the gathering of exquisite automobiles from around the world is quickly becoming a premier East Coast automobile event.

First held in 2009 as a supplement to SAM’s longstanding Spring Auto Show, the “Invitational” immediately became a popular kick-off event for the Spa City’s summer season.

Just like the thoroughbred horses which come to the city in July, horsepower and speed are the buzzwords of the “Invitational.”

The three-day weekend begins with a $45 per person cocktail reception at 6 pm on Friday at SAM.  Members of the public are invited to meet special guest Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars fame.  Carini will get the weekend underway as Friday’s featured speaker.            According to a recent article written by Don Weberg, Carini is one of those guys that pretty much any car guy or gal can relate to. He’s constantly on the quest for the rarest, most sought after, most unique cars ever built, cars that he personally loves, and more to the point, cars that his clients are looking for.

Saturday’s line-up of Euro cars has historically attracted over 200 widely recognized examples of British, French, German, Italian and other European makes and models.  According to Hoffman, anyone who owns or drives a European made automobile is invited to enter their vehicle in the show.  “Saturday is not by invitation only…only Sunday,” she explained.

The “Euro Experience on the Field” will be followed by a fund-raising dinner and auction at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs.

The auction will feature items such as one-day of driving with the Sports Car Drivers Association School at Lime Rock Park or your chance to bid on a package which includes two tickets to the Tonight Show, a photograph in the Green Room with Jay Leno and a tour of Jay’s car collection in Burbank, California.

Featured guest speaker will be noted actor Ed Herrmann, best known for his Emmy-nominated portrayals of Franklin D. Roosevelt on television, and to younger generations for his role as Richard Gilmore in Gilmore Girls and as a ubiquitous narrator for historical programs on the History Channel.  Tickets are available for the 6 pm Saturday event at a cost of $150 per person.  Contact Becky Earls at 518-587-1932 ext. 16.

Rounding out the weekend’s activities, the Sunday “Invitational” should provide attendees with an up-close-and-personal look at cars from around the US and beyond.  The “Invitational”, as the name implies, is open only to select collectors with rare classic and historic automobiles.

Over 100 extraordinary vehicles and vintage motorcycles will be on display Sunday.  The featured marque for 2012 is Cadillac, one of America’s most highly respected names in automobile manufacturing.  Reportedly at least 20 vintage Caddies will be featured during the “Invitational”.

Saturday’s and Sunday’s events are open from 10 am to 3 pm each day and the cost of admission to the grounds is $15 and children under 12 are admitted free.  No pets are allowed.

As an added bonus, the Museum itself will welcome visitors without charge with paid admission to either the Euro Show on Saturday or the “Invitational” on Sunday.

According to Hoffman, all proceeds from the weekend events will benefit the Museum’s Educational programs and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York.

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