Fresh Air Home Adds Garage: Inaugural Concours d’Elegance Has Horsepower

Southampton Fresh Air Home Concours d’Elegance
The Concours d’Elegance car show raised funds for a good cause
Bill McCuddy

Adam Levine sent the green 1970 Maserati convertible from a Maroon 5 video. Sammy Davis Jr.’s Rolls Royce Camargue was nearby. Jeff Vogel of Bridgehampton stood proudly next to his 1964 Lotus Elan. Its rarity? According to him, the fact that: “It never leaked oil.”

Welcome to the first annual Southampton Fresh Air Home Concours d’Elegance. The event was held Saturday on the Southampton grounds of the Fresh Air camp. The group provides programs for children with disabilities.

Jeff Vogel and his 1964 Lotus Elan S2 at the Southampton Fresh Air Home Concours d’Elegance
Jeff Vogel and his 1964 Lotus Elan S2Bill McCuddy

“When Rome Arnold approached the SFAH with the idea of a classic car show, we met on the grounds of the campus,” says SFAH President Nicky Grant. “Even on a cold winter Saturday we saw the incredible opportunity of doing this fundraiser on the grounds of the campus. The magic of today’s event is truly Rome’s creation.”

Arnold’s 1953 Packard convertible was parked by lot of Porsches. Nearby Aston Martins looked like they’d just rolled off the set of a James Bond movie. Some brought more than one car to show off.

“This is our 1991 Nissan Figaro convertible,” says Parker O’Brien. “We also have a 1957 MGA that’s gorgeous down there,” she beamed.

Lauren Pignataro, Parker O'Brien, Julie Pignataro in front of O'Brien's 1991 Nissan at Southampton Fresh Air Home Concours d’Elegance
Lauren Pignataro, Parker O’Brien, Julie Pignataro in front of O’Brien’s 1991 NissanBill McCuddy

The “down there” was the grand lawn festooned with Ferraris, Fords, Jaguars and Bugattis. Mitch Kates brought his 1968 Corvette. Scott Simon called his 1971 Fiat Spider a “very reliable and fun driver.” Hey, it got there.

Car aficionados (and just tire kickers) paid $150 a head to stroll the lawns and sample hors d’oeuvres from Thyme & Again. There was a boutique with jewelry and clothing. Some were car related.

“This summer Southampton Fresh Air Home celebrated our 121st year of programs for children with physical disabilities,” Grant continues. “150 campers enjoyed a sleep away camp experience.”

Martin and Audrey Gruss and their 1936 Bugatti T 57 at Southampton Fresh Air Home Concours d’Elegance
Martin and Audrey Gruss and their 1936 Bugatti T 57Bill McCuddy

The program outlined the challenges for the group. A $5,000 donation brings nine campers to the facility. The Life Skill Labs program that “foster independence” is $2,500.

Clearly, many in the crowd can afford it. One Bugatti owner called his six-figure purchase an “impulse buy.” But, he added, “It gives me great pleasure to share it with the Fresh Air Home Concours patrons.”

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