The Boston Cup Classic Car Show

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Posted September 25, 2013 by Tony McMillen in Downtown Boston
Classic cars adorn the lawn at Boston Common.

I went to the Boston Cup classic car show this past Sunday. I got to meet Batman and talk to him about his car. I also scored a free pulled-pork sandwich (sadly, not given by Batman). So, how was your weekend?

This momentous, life-changing event (I’ve been a fan of free pulled-pork sandwiches for a long time) took place at the Second Annual Boston Cup, a car show open to the public and held at Boston Common. The original O.G. Batmobile that Adam West used to tool around in the 1960s TV show Batman wasn’t the only piece of automotive history on display, though it may have been my favorite.

Batmobile at The Boston Cup

Batman lets one lucky big kid sit in the Batmobile at The Boston Cup Classic Car Show. Photo credit: Tony McMillen.

The Boston Cup showcased a veritable metallic menagerie of different classic cars hailing from every epoch of automotive innovation. Some of the most interesting vehicles proudly being displayed at the show were the amazing old-fashioned buggies that predated the “Brass Era” of horseless carriages. I spotted a gorgeous 1893 Duryea—a car whose manufacturers, the Duryea brothers, are credited with founding the American automotive industry.

Alongside quaint but important buggies like the Duryea there was also more modern fare, such as the sleek and dead sexy 1956 Porsche 550a Spyder. This charming little silver missile looks like something Steve McQueen would have been happy to receive as a birthday present. Another crowdpleaser and personal favorite of mine was the regal 1937 BMW. It’s pretty much the Batmobile of BMWs. I could see FDR with a cape and pointed-ear cowl behind the wheel of this beauty and still getting reelected a fourth time.

The Boston Cup is the brainchild of the event’s founding chairman Rich Doucette. As quoted on the event website, Doucette describe the origins of the show: “I love beautiful, classic cars. Some would call me a car guy. When the Trustees of the Reservation discontinued the annual September Castle Hill Concours d’Elegance in 2003 after 8 years, I felt a loss.”

Boston Cup Classic Car Show

An onlooker walks past a vintage car at the Boston Cup Classic Car Show. Photo credit: Tony McMillen.

But the proverbial wheel didn’t get turning on what was to become The Boston Cup until a couple years later, Doucette explains: “When I attended ‘Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection’ at the Museum of Fine Arts in 2005, I was inspired. So were other car guys like Ed Owen and many others who agreed to help me put together a combination of these two events. It took seven years, but September 23, 2012, was the inaugural Classic Car Show on the Boston Common around the Parkman Bandstand where we captured the best of these two events with ‘People and Vehicles of Special Interest.'”

This year’s Cup was an even larger success, with more cars and more visitors to the beautiful green of the Boston Common park area. Even an overcast, gloomy morning couldn’t spoil the affair, as the sunshine crept back in around noon just as the show was beginning to rev up. A bonus for everyone involved was that the entire event also served as a benefit for Boston Parks and Recreation. No wonder Batman was showing off his wheels here.

Of course, joining the caped crusader in this altruistic spirit were numerous sponsors; some were big, corporate car manufacturers, but others were smaller local businesses (e.g., Smith & Wollensky, Boston Courant). All came together to provide time, money, volunteers, and, in one particularly nice gesture, free delicious pulled-pork sandwiches, transforming the already impressive car show into a true community event for downtown Boston.

Like I said at the top of this piece, that was my weekend. And I wouldn’t have spent it any other way. Next year, when the third annual Boston Cup comes around, I hope to see you there. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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