My past three summers were spent residing in the Hamptons and documenting the interesting exotic and vintage sports car that inhabit this affluent beach enclave a mere stone’s throw away from New York City. While it is commonplace to see many exciting classics on seaside roads or parked in town for a meal or quick errand, the Hamptons have lacked more collective events like car meets or even a Concours-style show. However, The Bridge has filled the void, presenting a curated selection of the finest vintage sports cars alongside art from top contemporary galleries on a golf course situated on the former site of the famed Bridgehampton Race Circuit. Although I missed The Bridge these past two years, my close friend and car enthusiast Jordan Smith attended the event, and provided the incredible images that I am sharing with you.
At The Bridge, there was a great Porsche turnout. While a 1960s or 1970s 911 or 356 is a common sight in the Hamptons, it’s especially nice to see them grouped together, highlighting their iconoclastic design through the ages. Of the Porsche models presented at the weekend-long exhibition, a pair of 959s were on display. Manufactured solely to meet FIA regulations, Porsche needed to produce at least 200 street-legal models to compete in Group B rally racing. At its time of introduction, it set the bar for performance with 440 horsepower derived from a twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter flat six — and with a 0-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed just shy of 200 miles per hour, it remains impressive even today.
Some of Italy’s best sports cars made appearances at The Bridge, too. Pictured above is a Maserati 300S, produced between 1955 and 1958. This car is one of 26 models ever produced. Let that sink in for a second. Another incredibly rare vintage Italian sports car is this Fantuzzi–bodied Ferrari 330 Spyder. Medardo Fantuzzi was an Italian auto engineer who got his start working with Maserati in the 1950s. He helped design the Maserati 300S pictured above, later worked for Ferrari until 1966 and started his own sports car coachbuilding business afterward that exists to this day. Comparing both stunning examples of Italian design, it’s easy to see shared aerodynamic and stylistic cues that originate from Medardo Fantuzzi.
There was a strong showing of coach-built cars at The Bridge. Pictured below is a 1953 Chrysler Ghia Special (GS-1). In the early 1950s, Chrysler hired Italian coach-builder Ghia, (famously known for Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia) to build cars based on then-chief stylist’s Virgil Exner designs. The result is a beautiful grand tourer that melds Italian curves with Chrysler underpinnings that included a 331-ci HEMI V8. Only six examples were produced initially, with a total of 40 GS-1s produced over the following years.
The Dymaxion Car made an appearance, adding to the spectacle of The Bridge. This car was easily one of the strangest vehicles shown. The Dymaxion Car was a concept designed by modernist architect, inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1933. His concept was a visionary take on the future of transportation. It was fantastical and intended as a vehicle that could travel anywhere, and in concept, was capable of jet-powered flight. Three prototypes were produced, and over the years, two of them were lost. In their place, two replica prototypes were made, with this car being one of them.
The history and stories of the vehicles I mentioned are only a few of the many amazing cars presented at The Bridge. While exotic and vintage sports cars are fairly commonplace in the Hamptons, this event does a great job highlighting la crème de la crème, showing the rarest vintage sports cars on a golf course where it’s totally okay to drive on the green.