Business & Real Estate

Packard, Maserati in spotlight at Niello Concours at Serrano

Rick Niello, president of the Sacramento-based company that oversees more than a dozen mostly high-end car dealerships throughout Northern California, said he considers the Niello Concours at Serrano the “second-best” automotive gathering in the region.

But considering that his No. 1 is the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held each summer on the Monterey Peninsula, he has no complaints.

“Pebble is the finest automotive event in the world. If we’re second place to those guys, that certainly makes us happy,” he said.

The 11th annual Niello Concours at Serrano will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of the Serrano Visitors Center, 4525 Serrano Parkway in El Dorado Hills. Award presentations are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

This year’s featured marque is Packard. The event, hosted by The Niello Co., also will celebrate 100 years of the Maserati brand.

When the inaugural Niello Concours at Serrano was launched in 2004, Rick Niello envisioned it becoming the local equivalent of the mega-opulent Pebble Beach gathering.

Now, 10 years later, he says the local concours has “grown in stature, grown in attendance and grown in the quality of cars.”

Niello said value of all the cars at last year’s concours topped $100 million, and this year’s lineup includes internationally known vehicles that have been appraised at super-high values and have won numerous top-tier auto show awards.

Vehicles being displayed on the Serrano grounds this year include a 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C Speciale Teardrop Coupe, a big-fender supercar with a current estimated value of around $5 million, and a 1939 Maserati 4CL, a classic racing machine driven over the years by a Hall of Fame group of motor sports pilots.

The Packard contingent includes “woodies” from the 1930s and 1940s, plus an award-laden 1934 Packard Super 8 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton.

Contemporary hardware also gets its due, including a BMW i8, a sleek plug-in hybrid coupe with high-performance sports car capabilities. It starts at nearly $140,000.

Food, beverages and multiple activities also are part of Sunday’s event. Adult tickets are $55 at the gate. That includes parking, shuttle use and an event program. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

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