Here they come, parking guaranteed: some six dozen Ferraris are due to assemble on Broad Street Sunday as part of a private event hosted by Hamilton Jewelers.
By TOM CHESEK
It’s a delicate dance, this business of securing a primo parking space on the busiest blocks of downtown Red Bank. And at some point, chances are good it’s had you seeing red.
Make that Italian racing red the primary color on display around the borough business district this Sunday afternoon, as upwards of 75 that’s right, seventy-five Ferrari “supercars” are scheduled to take part in an event the likes of which have never before been seen, even here in ever-upmarket Monmouth County.
With a 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti retailing for as much as $312,000, the “Raduno D’Eleganza” rally puts tens of millions of dollars’ worth of extreme high-end Continental carcraft all of it sporting the legendary marque’s distinctive “Cavallino Rampante” stallion insignia out for display along Broad and Monmouth streets.
It’s a sight guaranteed to make your Caddy Escalade look like the overweight Chevy Tahoe you always kind of suspected it was.
Looks like we’ve got ourselves a convoy.
Hosted by Hamilton Jewelers and presented in concert with Edison-based Ferrari-Maserati of Central New Jersey, the Red Bank line-up is the highly visible public portion of a private function, in which a number of invited guests from around the region most of them clients of the state’s exclusive Ferrari dealership will attend a fundraising reception inside the Hamilton store at 19 Broad Street.
The reception is highlighted by an “eleganza raffle” to benefit the National Transplant Assistance Fund and its work on behalf of those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.
And to see the Cavallino convoy safely into Red Bank from the rally start point of Montvale in Bergen County, the event organizers are working with Red Bank RiverCenter, as well as state and local law enforcement, to roll out the red carpet for our thoroughbred European visitors.
According to RiverCenter director Nancy Adams, between 75 and 85 Ferrari owners are expected to travel from Montvale (not far from Ferrari USA’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs) and convene at the Edison dealership from which point a State Police contingent will escort them down the Garden State Parkway to exit 109.
From there, borough police will guide the distinguished out-of-towners east on Newman Springs Road, then northbound to the parking spaces designated for the event. Estimated time of arrival: about 12:30p.
Between 12:30 and 5p, Ferrari-only parking will be made available on the east side of Broad Street from Front Street to about Canal Street; and on the west side of the street between Front and Monmouth streets. That first block of Monmouth will also be made available as needed.
The event organizers emphasize that, while there may be momentary delays as rally drivers are guided in and out of the designated spaces, all downtown streets will remain open to two-way traffic for the duration of the event.
As Alycia Alves of the Lawrenceville-based Hamilton Jewelers chain explains, “The event was created not only as a chance for the Ferrari owners to see Hamilton Jewelers, but to experience all that Red Bank has to offer.” The non-Ferarri owning element of the greater Red Bank area will, in turn, be able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime parade of showy sheetmetal, as well as to speak with reps from the Ferrari franchise and chat it up with fellow enthusiasts of these most fabulous of flivvers.
Adams, whose organization has worked to provide invited participants with high-end gift bags featuring coupons and merchandise from many of the borough’s top merchants, recommends that the public favor the earlier side of the event for the best car-ogling opportunities.
The private event raffle will offer attendees a chance to win some $70,000 worth of prizes, including a “smart car,” jewelry and watches, and a luxury travel package to the Athenaeum Hotel in London. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the National Transplant Assistance Fund.
In an attempt to get the owners’ perspective on the event, the oRBit desk contacted the only Ferrari driver in our circle of acquaintance longtime Red Banker Danny Sanchez only to find out that the sought-after photographer recently sold his beloved 1982 308 GTSi in order to finance his self-published d.Tour Magazine.
“It felt like I lost a limb,” says Sanchez in reference to the day he parted with his favorite ride. “But I had it for twelve years, and enjoyed every minute.”
As to the prospect of the Ferrari owners’ favored status and its potential impact upon the already-tense parking landscape downtown, Sanchez advised with his customary Zen cool that “people should relax when they do things like this. It’s just a once in a while event; something different, and it’s a big thing for kids who are into cars, like I was when I first dreamed of owning a car like that.”
For the now-former member of the exclusive Ferrari fraternity, there are ultimately no regrets.
“I’m gonna be putting on my Ferrari hat, which I still have, and participate,” says Sanchez. “I’ll be taking it all in, and having a look at some new cars that I’ve never seen in person.”