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Boston in January is generally not a hot destination, but this year’s New England International Auto Show has some of the world’s finest and most exciting cars on exhibit, and is well worth the price of admission. All of the major manufacturers including Audi, Bentley and Cadillac displayed their latest offerings.

The auto industry in general is coming off one of their strongest sales periods in recent memory, which not only increases budgets to develop new vehicles, but gives auto makers greater confidence to produce more exciting vehicles.

My first stop was to the Audi display and I was not disappointed. One of the fastest growing brands in the world, Audi produces some of the best cars anywhere. This year several RS models, Audi’s premium badge, were on display including an RS5 and RS7. These vehicles feature enhanced design, larger wheels, and premium interior trim with greatly enhanced horsepower.

Audi also displayed the new S3, a high performance four door sedan with great looks and all-wheel drive, and the All Road Wagon, a great blend of style, performance and functionality.

Next was the Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Maserati booth. Wow, I could barely control myself when I saw a Lamborghini Aventador with its guillotine doors opened, displaying its jet fighter cockpit like interior.  This is the closest thing to a race car that you can legally drive on the street and are very rare.

Parked alongside was a fleet of Bentleys, including Coupes and Convertibles. It was like Palm Beach comes to Boston. Also, making its Boston debut was a Rolls Royce Phantom Limousine, an extremely rare, $600k plus motorcar.

I then strolled over to Cadillac, General Motors Flagship Brand. On display were a pair of Escalades, new for 2015. These vehicles are based on the great success of the previous model but enhanced in all areas. They feature a more elegant design and greatly updated interiors with fine leather seating and real wood trim. I ride in these on a regular basis and can report that they are the finest, large SUV on the market.

Cadillac also displayed the newly updated CTS and ATS sedans. These cars share a similar design language and engine options. They can be equipped from mild to wild with both offering V Series engines derived from the Chevrolet Corvette.

I continued my walk and saw the latest from Mercedes (S Class Coupe), Porsche (Macan SUV), BMW (I3/I8), Mini Cooper, Chevrolet (Corvette ZO6) and Ford (Mustang GT).  Also on display were new technologies from Toyota (Mirai – Hydrogen Power) and a range of diesel powered cars.

Lastly, the new Dodge Charger Hellcat with its 707 horsepower, supercharged V-8 was there in its full glory. Long live the muscle car!

The New England International Auto Show is at the Boston Convention Center in South Boston from January 15 to 19, 2015. It is by far the best way to see over 600 new cars to compare features in a low key, fun atmosphere. I mark it on my calendar every year as it is one of the hottest tickets in cold Boston in January.

Photography: Shannon Hawkins

The end of summer and the start of fall are arguably Boston’s best seasons. People are back in town and the city has a great buzz. Now through November, there are a plethora of outdoor activities, each with their own flavor. One of the new ones is The Boston Cup, part car show and mostly a social experience that has become a “not to miss” event.

BMW 507

962 Porsche-the last to win Lemans

The Boston Cup was held on Sunday, 21 September on the Boston Common displaying 100 of the world’s finest cars in America’s oldest park. The event is unique and has the atmosphere of a private party, housed in a large tent with great food and drink supplied by Jacob Wirth, one of Boston’s oldest restaurants. The organizers even set up a man cave with couches and a large screen television to watch the Patriots game!

The vehicles displayed were all pre-selected and represented marquees from the Brass Era to modern day. Entrants included a 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, a 1937 Cadillac 4 door Convertible and a range of 1960’s Muscle Cars. Also displayed was a 1962 Ferrari 250GTO valued at over 40 Million Dollars!

The Boston Cup, now in its third year, was created by Rich Doucette, a long time car enthusiast and advertising executive. The event was inspired by the nation’s two leading automotive events; Pebble Beach and Amelia Island. Additionally, by a former event held at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Rich and fellow car enthusiasts saw the opportunity for Boston to host a world class event and started to work with city leaders seven years ago. A plan was developed and the permits were granted to launch the first car show of this scale in downtown Boston.

The organizers also realized that there were a large number of truly outstanding collector cars in the New England Area. Automotive professionals including Paul Russell, Bob Hatch, Ed Owen and Stuart Carpenter were contacted and agreed to display their prime vehicles. Private collectors also agreed to show their cars, many of which are rarely entered in car shows.

This year, a large number of sponsors were added including Direct Tire, BMW, J.P. Morgan, The Ritz-Carlton and Shreve, Crump & Low.

The format of this show is unique as it is staged in a public park. Guests can tour the show free of charge. To see the cars up close and attend the luncheon, there is a paid admission with proceeds benefiting the Boston Parks Department.

The Boston Cup benefited from warm summer weather and a large crowd of over 20,000 people was in force throughout the day. Many well know Bostonians attended the luncheon including Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Rocker J Geils.

The Show has selected its date for next year, Sunday, September 20, 2015. Mark your calendar for this truly entertaining event.


PHOTOGRAPHY | Joshua Sweeney –