By Mac Cerullo
---- — AMESBURY – Two local car enthusiasts will be participating in this weekend’s Boston Cup, a premier classic car show held annually at the Boston Common that shows off some of the most spectacular cars the area has to offer.
Only about 100 cars are invited to attend every year, and this year both Bart Bailey, whose family owns an authentic 1911 Bailey Phaton electric car, and Jeff Picard, who owns a 1967 Pontiac GTO, were both invited to the exclusive event.
“It’s this Sunday, we’re going in tomorrow to trailer our cars in,” Picard said yesterday. “They’ll park all the trailers on the Boston Common, and there will be a police guard and park rangers to watch the cars overnight, and then on Sunday morning they’ll place the cars around the bandstand at the Common.”
The show will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and during that time guests will be able to view the cars around the bandstand free of charge, and at the end of the show, the car owners themselves will serve as judges and select the final award recipients.
There will be three “Best in Show” awards, one for pre-war cars, one for domestic post-war cars and another for European post-war cars. There will also be “Best of Class” awards given for each display class, which includes German, American, Italian, British and Japanese and Made in Massachusetts, which are being judged together.
Both Bailey’s electric car and Picard’s Pontiac are entered in the “Made in Massachusetts” class.
The Bailey Phaton has deep roots to the community and is well known in local car circles. It was originally manufactured in Amesbury more than a century ago and was one of the world’s first true electric cars. The car also bares a strong resemblance to a carriage, and even after all these years, it still looks brand new.
Today, the car is one of only four 1911 models known to still exist, but it only just came back to Amesbury about two years ago. Prior to that, the car was a part of a larger collection, but Bailey and his cousin Jonathan bought the car in 2011 when they found out that the man who owned the car had passed away and his collection was being sold off at auction in Texas.
“This guy dropped the magazine off at my office and I was like ‘holy mackerel!’” Bailey said. “Because I was saying maybe there’s another car out there that I knew of, but it happened to be one of the four that I knew existed.”
Though Picard’s 1967 Pontiac GTO wasn’t manufactured in Amesbury, it does have local connections. The car was originally manufactured at a General Motors plant in Framingham, and since Picard first bought it from his cousin about 17 years ago, he has kept it and several other cars in a private garage he owns on Clinton Street, where he works to keep them in as nice condition as possible.
“Wayne Barbaro and his family own this whole complex, and Wayne and I have owned this private car shop for about 15 years now,” Picard said, referring to the owner of Amesbury Chair on Clinton Street. “We enjoy it, it’s our outlet to get away from things and just do the things we really enjoy doing.” While Picard recently moved to New Hampshire, he still owns a business in Amesbury.
While Picard and Bailey have trophy cases filled with awards, neither is expecting to take home any hardware this weekend. Both said they are looking forward to the chance to spend the weekend surrounded by people who share their passion for classic cars.
“My wife Doris and are going in, along with Bart and his wife,” Picard said. “It’s going to be quite a day, we’re looking forward to it.”