For more than 30 years the Lamborghini Club America has hosted a dinner party in Monterey during the famous car week, with the first being in the early 1980s. The event has evolved and grown, maturing throughout the years with the brand that it celebrates. Unmatched, exclusive, and usually the largest gathering of Lamborghini owners in the world year to year, the only steps to being there are Lamborghini Club membership, purchasing your tickets before they sell out, and getting to Monterey for the famous Car Week. Bringing your Lamborghini isn’t required, and since half of the guests live out of state, they often alternate years in bringing or not bringing their Lamborghini. Guests were greeted this year with a variety of very special guests, and generous gifts from Swissvax USA and Monster Products. This year’s event was special again with generous contributions to worthy charity causes that fellow club members support, and the celebration of the 50th year of the Lamborghini Miura.
For the fifth year the event was hosted at the Pasadera Country Club (now known as Nicklaus Club) which is a quite scenic location inside of a gated Monterey community, a perfect courtyard for display of featured Lamborghinis, and an elegant club house for the dinner and presentations. This location has become the new home of the Lamborghini Club Gala, and formed a good relationship with the Lamborghini Club that resulted in well planned and executed event year after year.
Due to the generous donation from Egidio Reali of MR Collection Models Italy and design director at Automobili Lamborghini, Mitja Borkert, we were able to create two very unique pieces for the awards presentation during dinner. These pieces were Lamborghini scale models personalized by Mitja Borkert for the Lamborghini Club event—they will never be duplicated for another event or entity. We presented one to Alfonso Zaza, a club member from Texas who organizes an annual Lamborghini event that benefits children who are critically ill by purchasing them their own Build-A-Bear. These bears are more than just stuffed animals, they are a 24/7 friend to a child and a symbol that someone is thinking about them. Alfonso’s support of this charity, Bennett’s Bears, earned him recognition at the gala, and the receipt of one of the two special edition MR Collection scale models.
The second scale model was up for grabs to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to Bennett’s Bears. So, club president Andrew Romanowski opened the bidding while Alfonso Zaza stood on stage to represent the charity with Egidio Reali of MR Collection Models and Mitja Borkert of Automobili Lamborghini standing close by. The bidding was competitive and quickly reached several thousand dollars. In the moment before Andrew called the winning bid, a new Lambo club member at her first club event, Debbie Ann Combs, stood up and extended a bid that silenced the room and closed the deal. (Debbie Ann certainly knows how to make an entrance!) Her generous donation to the Bennett’s Bears charity brought tears to the eyes of many, and was heartfelt by everyone.
After our charity presentation, chief Lamborghini Club Concours judges Michael Palmieri and Roger Wiersema took the stage and presented the People’s Choice Award to Jan Johnson (aka Lamborghini Rose) for her 1972 Jarama and the Bull Award to Michael Weinreb for his 1967 Miura P400 which won its class, and then won best of marque for Lamborghini at Concorso Italiano. Awards were also presented for the Lamborghini Club America judging at the Quail where Michael Weinreb again topped the class with his Miura.
Our celebration for the Miura 50th year anniversary drew the attention of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s son, Tonino Lamborghini, who came to town for the Car Week and attended many events. The Lamborghini Club Gala was certainly on his list where he stopped by to meet people that loved the brand that his father created, as well as sharing stories of his childhood when the Miura was in production. Tonino still owns his father’s Miura SV, which is the only SV from the factory with the iconic Miura eyelashes around the headlights. (This was a detail only the P400 and P400 S had, the eyelashes were not used on the P400 SV model.)
In addition to Mitja Borkert, much of the leadership from Automobili Lamborghini was in attendance at the event, and generously spent time with Lamborghini owners, taking photos, and enjoying the evening. For many, this was the first time they had the opportunity to meet the brand’s new president and CEO Stefano Domenicali, who was welcomed by the entire community throughout the week in Monterey. As a special welcome from the Lamborghini Club America and MR Collection Models Italy, a special model was organized for Stefano Domenicali which was personalized just for him and presented at the gala by club president Andrew Romanowski.
This event was again made possible for the Lamborghini Club by the generous support of Lamborghini Las Vegas, Lamborghini Newport Beach, Automobili Lamborghini, MR Collection Models, Swissvax, MACarbon, Xpel Protective Films, Monster Products, LGM Sports automotive transport, The Nicklaus Club Monterey, and event organizers Caitlin O’Brien, Ian Ray, and Joy Loo.
For full 2016 gallery visit