Audrain’s Newport Concours has big plans for expansion

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November 18, 2019 08:00 AM

Audrain’s Newport Concours has big plans for expansion

Lectures, tours, rallies and track time are all on the slate, led by collector car icon Donald Osborne.

Mark Vaughn

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Jay Ramey

This 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Fleetwood was one of the stars of Audrain’s Newport Concours d’Elegance.

Two months ago, the Audrain’s Newport Concours d’Elegance went off without a hitch, thanks to organizers Jay Leno, Donald Osborne and patron and chairman Nicholas Schorsch. The event was more than just the Concours, it was almost a week’s worth of events that included educational seminars, the unveiling of two Zagato-bodied Astons Martin, a Tour d’Elegance and even a concert by John Legend. Everything was held in the old money coastal enclave of Newport, Rhode Island with the fabulous Gatsby-era Breakers Mansion as the venue.
Well how are you going to top that? Easy – just do more of the above.
To that end the museum has founded Audrain LLC, an umbrella organization that will oversee the Audrain Automobile Museum, the Concours & Motor Week and a new division known as Audrain Motorsport. Overseeing all that will be Donald Osborne, the classic car historian, consultant, writer, popular host of the Assess and Caress segments of Jay Leno’s Garage, founder of Automotive Valuation Services and a well-known and charismatic figure in the collector car community.
“We are pleased to welcome Donald and strongly believe that his knowledge, expertise and visibility in the automotive world will go far in helping us accomplish our goal to expand our brand globally,” said Nicholas Schorsch, co-founder and chairman of the Audrain Automobile Museum.

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Osborne will oversee the direction of exhibits at the museum (which right now and through Jan. 5 is showing “Styling the Future: A History of GM Design and Concepts Cars” which Osborne co-curated with David de Muzio). He will also launch a number of outreach programs centered around the museum, its collection of over 200 cars and its fabulous Concours. Most interestingly, to that will be added Audrain Motorsport, which will offer, among other items, track time to members.
Audrain Motorsport promises, “…an exciting automotive lifestyle club offering its members collection consulting, exclusive tours, rallies, travel and driving experiences, events, presentations, appraisal and acquisition services and more,” according to a release from the museum. “As many attendees experienced in 2019, the new annual Motor Week, preceding Audrain’s Concours d’Elegance, will host several days of extraordinary, ticketed automotive events and opportunities, as an extension to Audrain Motorsport’s larger events calendar with programs to be announced.”
“I am very excited about this new challenge and opportunity to combine so much of my background and various passions into this inspired vision of creating incredible automotive experiences for other people who enjoy cars as much as I do,” said Osborne.
“Audrain Motorsport will offer services that support the experience of enjoying cars, whether it’s track days, if that’s your thing, lecture programs, event programs, as in rallies and tours, as well as visits to great automotive sites around the country and around the world,” Osborne said.
There will be an as-yet-undetermined fee to join the Audrain Motorsport club but many of the events will be open to the public as well.
“Members will get a discounted rate for all the events and preference to them, but the outside world will be able to buy into it as well,” Osborne said. “Because, what better way to build your membership than to have people who are not members experience it?”
Indeed.

Related Article

7 coolest cars from Audrain’s Newport Concours

So why do all this in the first place? It was a fortuitous meeting of Osborne and Schorsch.
“I was introduced to him three years ago and he’s been a consulting client of mine for three years,” said Osborne. “He’s enjoying working together with me and we are on the same wavelength in terms of what we think the Concours world needs. The market now is being driven by experiential ownership. So that’s what we’re really looking to maximize here. People aren’t buying cars to look at, they’re buying cars to use. They want to learn more about cars. People are more curious than ever. One of the most popular features of the (Audrain) Motor Week was our lecture series. I’ve been a part of the Pebble Beach forum lecture series for four years now and to see the enthusiasm that people have for learning new information is inspiring.”
So watch this space. And keep an eye on the Audrain Automobile Museum’s website for information about exhibitions, next year’s Concours and joining that Motorsports club. Sounds like fun!

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/concours/audrains-newport-concours-has-big-plans-expansion

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