Concorso Italiano 2008 was a disaster. We were there…and like others, we reported that while we loved the cars and people, the Marina Airport venue was a disaster of New Coke levels.
The new owner of the Concorso Italiano just sent this email to press and past exhibitors. One thing is for certain: any owner who can hit a PR home run so quickly is very capable of ensuring there are many bright days ahead for the world’s best show for Italian vehicles!!!
Dear Fellow Enthusiast,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom McDowell. I recently acquired the Concorso Italiano from Jack and Leslie Wadsworth. For many years, the Concorso has been a trend setting show with many traditional aspects that all have anticipated and enjoyed each year. From humble beginnings in the early 90s evolved a special camaraderie that most of you have shared. The founders, Frank and Janet Mandarano, brought in legendary Italian personalities who were honored to be part of the experience of being with you, their fans, in a one-on-one basis on a lush green lawn surrounded by the cars they had designed, raced, or engineered.
I understand well, that great moment when Piero Ferrari, Sergio Pininfarina and Luigi Chinetti Jr. drove up on stage with Piero driving the 3-seat Ferrari Dino Concept and the three of them began discussing their fathers and their lives in their father’s business. The huge audience gathered in and around the overflowing bleachers. Their questions were answered – all in good humor – and the cacophony from the paparazzi cameras signaled this was something very special, and it was!
We, the new Concorso owners, believe that holding the 2008 event at the Marina airport was an unfortunate decision. It will not happen again. We seek to quickly return the Concorso experience back to the one you have known in the past.
I have now been the owner of CI for two weeks and have had time to speak with several past guests, and read the letters and press reports. Clearly, many of you take a more personal interest in this gathering of fellow enthusiasts and perhaps have a “protective” and/or somewhat “territorial” feeling about it. You may even feel cheated or let down.
Like many of you, I am not pleased with this unwelcome turn of events and vow here and now to correct Concorso Italiano. It will be steered back to its core beginning-to a place we all enjoyed for the right reasons.
SO AFTER ALL THE TALKING IS DONE WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
We plan to return Concorso to a beautiful golf course on the peninsula in 2009. A classic car should always be displayed on a green lawn. The venue will be agreed upon shortly. Our goals for the provision of a wonderful dining experience at a reasonable cost and the experience you all should expect, are at the forefront of our minds.
That said, we would like to hear directly from you about your own expectations and special things you might like to see at this very special event. We want to know what you, the true enthusiasts, are thinking. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 742-0632. We are most serious about making Concorso Italiano the first-rate experience for you, your families, and your friends that it has been in the past. We will be listening. And we plan to make the 2009 gathering one to remember.
Very truly yours,
Mercer Island WA.