A day of dream cars: House of Cars benefit
New Canaan native and car enthusiast Tyler Greenblatt said if he had to choose his dream car, it would be a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa. “It’s such a great mix of relatively modern technology yet it still has a vintage feel,” he said.
Perhaps Greenblatt will get to see his dream car on Sept. 12 when he attends the New Canaan Historical Society’s 125th anniversary celebration. The celebration, which is open to the public, will consist of an all-day car event called House of Cars: Curated Garage Tour and Gala Celebration.
The day will begin with a breakfast at 9 a.m., will continue with a curated tour to garages of private collectors, and end with a gala celebration dinner.
While enjoying their breakfast, which will take place at Miller Motorcars’ Stamford garage, guests will get to see a collection of exotic cars including a Rolls Royce Wraith, a McLaren 650S Spider, an Aston Martin V12S, and a Ferrari California T.
Master car restorer and collection manager Wayne Carini of Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars will host the breakfast.
Participants will then have the opportunity to tour about five private garages in the Fairfield County area to view unique automobiles and motorcycles. The owners of each vehicle will be on hand during the tour to share stories and answer questions.
One of the motorcycles that will be shown on the tour is the Brough Superior motorcycle, which was owned by actor Steve McQueen, according to Susan Bishop, co-chair of the event. Only 1,000 of these motorcycles were made, she said.
At 6 p.m. there will be a gala celebration sit-down dinner at the Collectors’ Car Garage in Bedford Hills, N.Y., which will be catered by Abigail Kirsch. Actor Patrick Dempsey, late of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and a notable Porsche racer, will be the evening’s keynote speaker. Dempsey will be interviewed by the evening's emcee David Hobbs, a multi-champion road racer.
At the gala, there will also be a live auction where guests have a chance to bid on packages including accommodations at luxury estates in Florida and out West, as well as tickets to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas car racing event.
Greenblatt said from the time he was a teenager, he knew he would have a life-long fascination with cars — especially those from past eras. “There is something in your blood, veins, and heart that you have to be drawn to. It’s a calling you have to get. Every time you look at a car, you notice something different. You approach it from a different angle.
“There’s an incredible romance with vintage automobiles made from parts that don’t exist anymore. You’ll never see a carburetor on a new car again. Older cars don’t have the instant computer controlled technology that modern-day cars have,” said Greenblatt, 27, who works as an editor for American Iron magazine.
Greenblatt said he has been going to car shows with his father Jay Greenblatt nearly every year since he turned 16 and got his driver’s license. His father owns a 1966 Corvette and he owns a 1994 Corvette. He will be traveling over six hours from his current home in Wisconsin to attend the House of Cars show.
“This is a brand new event,” said Bishop, a New Canaan resident and board member of the historical society.
According to New Canaan resident Janet Lindstrom, executive director of the historical society, the idea for it spun out of the society’s ice cream social and car show it has held every year since the society’s 100th anniversary celebration. This event attracts about 800 people every year, Lindstrom said.
According to Bishop, the House of Cars day “is exceptional because car enthusiasts and lovers of history will get a chance to view world class automotive collections that are rarely seen by the public. Unlike many car shows where collectors bring just one or two cars to display, these owners are opening up their private garages to share an entire collection. Attendees will not only view sleek, powerful vehicles — classic, vintage and novel — but have an opportunity to interact with the owners in a relaxed, casual setting as they swap stories of automotive history.”
Bishop explained the historical society will use the proceeds from the House of Cars event to help preserve its seven historic museums and buildings, support educational programs for children and adults, and care for its large collection of historic artifacts, artwork, and costumes.
“The fundraiser will also raise funds vital to the care of our library of over 5,000 books, and inventory of newspapers and historic photographs of New Canaan. The New Canaan Historical Society is a very special hidden treasure right in the middle of town,” she added.
Tickets for the House of Cars Curated Garage Tour and Gala Celebration begin at $1,500. Individual gala tickets may be purchased for $1,000. For more information, visit www.nchistory.org or call 203-966-1776, or visit the New Canaan Historical Society at 13 Oenoke Ridge.