The Bridge Is Quickly Becoming One Of America’s Finest Car Shows
Photography by Kieran Buttrick
Say what you will about invite-only events and how exclusivity is the bane of a good car show, but when there are so many free cars & coffees (including the one hosted by the same organizers of this event on the following day), what’s the problem with adding something else to the calendar that’s a little less populous? I’ve been lucky to attend The Bridge in the past, and this past weekend’s edition of the curated car show proved its aesthetic excellence once again.
A combination of beautiful scenery and world-class cars is the gist of it. With over 150 vehicles (from GTs, beautiful pre-war metal, ‘70s sports cars, out-and-out race cars, modern supercars, to motorcycles) strewn along the venue’s 18th hole adjacent to the club house. This used to be the home of one of America’s oldest racing circuits, Bridgehampton, and though the asphalt has turned to links, there are still a few patches of the old place that have been preserved.
As someone who is primarily photographer and secondarily a writer, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to shoot, and I hope the photos pick up any slack in my words. I woke up early on the morning of to drive out to Long Island and try to capture a few shots in the morning light before the harsh noon sun and other guests arrived. The Bridge greeted me with its iconic Chevron Gasoline sign that stands in homage to the old track, and the patina’d scene would be revisited later in the evening as the cars packed up to head home.
As the day began, cars were rolled onto the lawn and neatly arranged along the green, with a few of the more capable ones taking up the day’s residence in the sand traps instead. As busy as everyone was getting prepared for the show, it was nice to see the enthusiasm in the faces of the kids putting the final polishes on the dewy cars. The show didn’t formally begin until 3:00PM though, so I had plenty of time to walk around and take it in at my own pace before the games of patience begun with trying to get clear shots through the crowds. If it had been a public event, this wouldn’t even be close to possible.
Looking out into the distance one gets a sense of vastness, of the grounds and of what they’ve been filled with. There were reportedly 164 vehicles in attendance last weekend, and among that group you had everything from vintage haulers to modern supercars. A gauntlet of Singer-modified Porsches next to RSes in one direction, a gang of American muscle and pony cars huddled off nearby, a Countach with doors up nearby a more humble but no less worthy 356. It was a nice mix, with the common thread between the otherwise disparate groups being one of high quality. A favorite of mine—a hard proposition—was the 959SC that Canepa brought out for the event. We’ve written about the “next step” in the 959 trajectory before, but it was nice to see one up close in person.
Other notable cars in the crowd included an ex-Donahue Shelby Mustang GT350R, a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C, and the rare Jaguar quasi-race car XJR-15. I’ll admit to being smitten with a few cars I’d not known existed prior to this day, and the day was characterized by the simple pleasure of spending quality time with things that you only typically see from afar. After a full day of photographing them I hope some of my good time can come through the screen.