It's nearly impossible to gauge the number of car junkies who dashed to Highland Village for another pageant of very expensive local Italian beauties Sunday. The turnout was definitely up from previous years, evident by sponsoring neighborhood restaurants racing to stay ahead of demand from guests that meandered about 75 exquisite samples of European style and raw high performance.
In the driver's seat of the Ferrari Festival were Franco Valobra and Paul Cox, who organized this rare opportunity for anyone to touch and feel the opulence of vintage and current Fezza models, some for leisure, some legal only for the professional racing circuit.
Like a black Ferrari FXX straight from the factory in Maranello — with an estimated value of $2.4 million, according to Randy Nester of Ferrari Maserati of Houston. Connoisseurs of the brand recognized the exceptional specimen, choosing to pose for photo ops to post on social media — surely to make their networks green with envy.
Under the big Texas blue sky, Up Restaurant, Escalante's and Sprinkles Cupcakes dished out their own fuel. For children, a booth with a toy track offered hours of competitive fun.
Through participants' registration fees, T-shirt sales and cash donations, it was Texas Children's Cancer Center that crossed the finish line with flying colors when a check for $25,000 was presented to hospital officials, alongside festival winners Andy Fish for best in show for his mint condition 1969 246 Dino prototype, Troy Scott for best custom, Marcel Bakker for best modern and Carlos Ramirez for best vintage Ferrari.
Enjoying the most perfect autumn afternoon were Carlos and Karina Barbieri, Nancy Valobra, Haidar Barbouti, Joan and Jon Pillow, Lucy McCollum, Anastasia Molodtsova, Uliana Maslovskaya, Kim Shoemaker, Dana Kervin, Angie Gutierrez, Steve Wirtes, Alexia and Andres van der Dys, Sheila and Keith Owen and Bob Weiner.