The Bridge VI: The Car Lovers’ Garden Party
The site of the Bridgehampton Racing Circuit has been closed since 1999, but, since 2016 on one Saturday in September, automotive royalty returns to its hallowed grounds.
Auto racing? In the Hamptons? Oh yes! Opened in 1957 and situated on a hill in Bridgehampton, the Bridgehampton Racing Circuit was known to be one of the most demanding racetracks a driver could compete on – and the circuit hosted the likes of champions like Dan Gurney, Richard Petty, and Swede Savage.
However, due to noise restrictions, the party came to an end – that was until architect/collector/racer Bob Rubin, luxury PR pro Shamin Abas, and attorney/car lover Jeffrey Einhorn did something about it in 2016 and created the car-event-cum-garden-party known as The Bridge.
The Bridge Golf Course Rebirth
Having been redeveloped into a world-class golf course with a Roger Ferris + Partners designed clubhouse (whose own shape pays tribute to the turbine car wheel), the legacy of The Bridgehampton Racing Circuit is omnipresent and not forgotten throughout the grounds of the golf course and The Bridge event. The entrance to the course follows the original home straight of the race course, and many landmarks of the course have been preserved including flagging posts, vintage signage, and an iconic Chevron bridge that spanned the circuit.
Don’t Call It a Concours
Let’s be clear, The Bridge is not a Concours. A Concours is generally a more formal affair steeped in tradition where awards are given for show cars. The Bridge is a party – a celebration. The cars are curated by co-founder and car enthusiast Jeffrey Einhorn, then subsequently laid out by a professional team of landscape architects so that every exquisite car is in just the right spot, and grouped into specially selected themes.
It's not an uncommon sight at The Bridge to see cars parked in the dunes, or sand traps – some even come with their own propping and staging to set the ideal mood for each car. “With vehicles selected for The Bridge, we focus to a large extent on visual impact and telling stories and creating emotion through vignettes set out along the walk from the clubhouse to the top of the 18th hole,” Einhorn says of his curation process.
Visual Fuel for the Soul
Beautiful displays that get you wandering across the lawns and up to the top of that 18th hole, socializing all the way, is the goal of The Bridge. Stops along the way, hosted by incredible food and wine sponsors, offer everything from lobster rolls to authentic Arrosticini cooked on open flames.
But, of course, like any good party – it’s the people that really make it special. The fantastic people you run into as you wander the greens are as interesting and eclectic as the cars on display. People from fashion, finance, and art – many wandering with cameras in hand. You never know who you might run into – sometimes just admiring the same car as you. Impromptu conversations abound.
The cars are, of course, spectacular, and, you can always expect a bounty of vintage Ferraris to be on display.
But one unexpected “Ferrari” took center stage this year. Presented by title sponsor Richard Mille, their gorgeous display was anchored by the RM UP-01 Ferrari, which was recently unveiled as the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced. Having had some time with the piece, I can tell you that on-the-wrist it sits incredibly well and is very comfortable. You don’t feel as though you are wearing something delicate at all.
More on Watchonista’s hands-on experience with this timepiece will arrive next week. Stay tuned.
While there were some fantastic Richard Milles in the audience, the attendees’ wrist wear left no stone unturned: Platinum Rolex Day-Dates, Cartiers, ceramic Panerais, and, of course, a Rolex Daytona or two rounded out some of the wrist wear that caught my eye.
A Perfect End to Summer
As the sun went down over the Peconic Bay, one of my personal favorite parts of The Bridge began – the parade of cars that start departing, one-by-one, lights on, engines rumbling, as they crawl out along the historic main straight of The Bridge. More than a few of us sat at the clubhouse and watched some of the all-time automotive greats drive past. The Bridge is an automotive garden party that always marks the end of summer, and I personally cannot wait to see what they bake up for 2023.
A Selection of Bridge VI Cars
(Photography by Watchonista)