Car as Carriage, Conveyance, Sculpture, Work of Art, Batmobile and Heart’s Desire

Antique cars line the driveway of Ochre Court

A 1998 Porsche 962K8 Spyder??  They have that!  Roll Royces?  They have those. A 1963 Chevrolet Corvette “Asteroid”? They have that! A 1930 Duesenberg Model J Town Cabriolet?  They have that, too— and hundreds of others -- at Newport’s Audrain Automobile Museum. dedicated to "Preserving Newport's History One Car at a Time."

Larry Fey & Ronald Lee Fleming

And when they throw a party, what is the exterior decor, the lawn ornament?  Cars, of course.  And who is the guest of honor?  One of the best known figures of American TV, a dedicated car collector.

Yes, we are talking about the iconic Jay Leno,who delighted guests with his warmth, charm and humor at a recent event, Happy Days Are Here Again”,  held at Ochre Court in Newport. The guest traffic was bumper to bumper celebrating the end of Prohibition.


Hugh Mellor & Jean MacKinnon

It was a fabulous party (of course) from the moment of arrival ,when guests  were  greeted by actors from the Marley Bridges Company talking as if it were indeed 1933.  One claimed to be the Mayor of Newport (c. 1933), a Bill Sullivan.  Another spoke in a posh accent about his recent car experiences as his companion vamped in a period costume.

Where were we? It could’ve been film set, or an alternate reality.  Or both. We were transported.

Guests sought pictures with Mr. Leno, strolled the lawn, ladies remarking on each other’s garb. The men were decked out as gangsters or rakes or dandies. The dinner tent was vast, entertainment was by dancers in flapper dress, and a “Tonight Show” style interview was set up with author Ken Gross and Jay Leno, who told hilarious stories about the eccentricities of old cars and their owners. Best quote? “Cars are kinetic artworks.”


Bob Smith with a vintage American 1948 auto

Welcomed by Nicholas Schorsch, the founder and force behind the Audrain Automobile Museum, and David de Muzio, Museum Executive Director, guests dined, listened, and were giddy and delighted.

"Mayor" Bill Sullivan, Hannah Hale, Nicole Chandler & Ben Toradash (actors)

The party then moved back to the mansion, where the Marianne Bennett Orchestra got everyone up and dancing — (except those at the gambling tables in the next room, or in the sumptuous dessert room.)

                                                          — Linda Phillips

For information about the collection, events and Museum, go to


David Greelish & Judy Catuogno


Display at the entrance


Lauren Amicelli & Neal Leaheey, of the Marley Bridges Company


1930 Packard Custom Eight Sport Phaeton


Elizabeth, Harry & Bill Kahane arrive in vintage vehicle


Julie Warburg & Ronald Lee Fleming


Mikki Micarelli, Guest of Honor Jay Leno & Janine Atamian


Jay Leno with Newport  Seen's Linda Phillips


John Greenberg & David Ford


Robert & Lillian Chapman, Bob Smith


Brian Cunha & Bekki Schenker



Adams & Ruth Taylor


John Harris, Sherry & Mark Brice


Bill & Allison Vareika, Congressman David Cicilline & Meg Curran


Mayor Harry Winthrop & David Huberman


Becca Musyl, Jim Leach & Sydney Turk


The crowd on the back lawn


Erin & Thomas Ribeiro



Friend with Molly & Guillame de Ramel


Entering the "Speakeasy" tent


Mr. Fleming & Brenda Nienhouse


Conrad Tea & Laura Flynn


Daughter Zoey Schorsch with Nicholas Schorsch & Jay Leno and wife


Speaking to the crowd



An indoor display


The "Flappers" & Mr. Leaheey  waiting to go on





Taking the donation bids


Happy guests


Doing the end of Prohibition Charleston


John & Suzanne Laramee with Marlene Leatherbee


John Boxer and  Vince Panvini with George Moore


Mr & Mrs. Mark Horan



Mr. Schorsch speaks about the collection and its purpose


An engrossed listener


Mr. Leno answers Mr. Gross'  question


Speaking about cars!




Michael Hayes is surprised!


The Marianne Bennett Orchestra after dinner


Cranking the dance tunes


Taryn & Karl Weintz


Ms. Atamian places her bet


Bill Leatherman & Michael Semenza


A game of chance


Elizabeth Kahane in her car skirt & Kristin McMannis


Photo ops in the dessert room




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