The upcoming Palm Beach Cavallino Classic and Concorso d’Eleganza will provide support for the Piston Foundation for the second straight year, the organization announced, and will also allow students to participate in preparations and panels at the event.
Set for Jan. 26-29, the 32nd edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza will celebrate the Ferrari marque, dedicating a class to the 100 years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, event organizers said. It will be held at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, and will feature a Piston Foundation discussion panel on Jan. 28, entitled “The New Wave: Everything You Don’t Know About the Next Generation of Collector Car Technicians.”
Included on the panel, hosted by The Piston Foundation’s Manager of Development Sperry Hutchinson, will be Paul Russell, owner/manager of Paul Russell and Company in Essex, Massachusetts, which offers restoration, preservation and maintenance services; along with Jon Dega, who operates Rare Classics Restorations LLC in Boca Raton, Florida. where he and his team manage and care for four private collections and provide restoration services, organizers said. Russell and Dega will be joined on the panel by Jeff Mason, President/COO of The Piston Foundation, and three of the 10 recipients of the inaugural 2022 Piston Foundation Scholarships: Zoe Carmichael, Jacob Koehn and Sean Whetstone. All three are juniors at McPherson College and part of the Automotive Restoration Technology Program.
The students will also take part in assisting J.R. Amantea and his team from GT Motorcars of Wallingford, Connecticut, the foundation said, in preparing and placing client’s cars on the show field. The cars include an unrestored Ferrari 288 GTO, a Ferrari 512bbl and a low-mileage Ferrari F40.
“Across the industry, there is a shortage of skilled workers,” Mason said. “Every shop can tell you about the difficulty of finding qualified technicians to hire. At the same time, young people with the interest, talent, and skill to be collector car technicians are unaware of the rewarding career opportunities the industry offers. The Piston Foundation is working to solve these problems through its scholarship and apprenticeship programs.”