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2019 New York International Auto Show

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane interviews Holly Hulfish, Exhibit & Collections Director, Bill Windham, Auction Director and Leah Finn, Auction Client Liason at the 2019 New York International Auto Show

This year I attended the 2019 New York International Auto Show and interviewed Staff Members of The Saratoga Automobile Museum.

I was happy to sit down and chat with their new Auction Director Bill Windham.

Windham, an auction industry veteran, comes to Saratoga Springs with a 35-plus year track record in the automotive and racing worlds, most recently as sales and marketing manager for Auctions America and vice president of the automotive division for Morphy’s Auctions. Windham will manage overall auction operations, with a focus on attracting bidders and consigners for the Sept. 2019 auction.

Windham is a car enthusiast himself, holding memberships with Indycar, IMSA, NASCAR, and the Ferrari and Porsche Clubs of America. He has also driven competitively in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic classes.

With the auction now heading into its third year, Windham will lead the auction into its most significant year since its inaugural year in 2017. Windham’s background and diverse experience is anticipated to strengthen and expand the auction experience. This will create new opportunities and experiences for consigners, bidders, and spectators alike.

“Bill brings a lot to the table from his many years in management, partnership positions with luxury car dealerships, his connections in the racing industry, and his friendships with other classic car collectors. We know that Bill will be a great asset to our team this year and for the future,” said Kevin Biebel, chairman of the board of trustees. “2019 is the year that the Saratoga Auto Auction pulls out the all the stops. With the incredible opportunities to raise awareness for the auction, we’re confident under Bill’s leadership, the auction will reach new heights.”

“The Saratoga Auto Auction is more than a celebration and appreciation of the automobile and I’m thrilled to be part of it for its next great chapter,” said Windham. “In just two years, the auction has become a premiere auction and I look forward to building upon previous successes to grow this into a top-destination event for Upstate New York.”

Windham graduated from Montana State University (B.S., Pre-Law). He previously held management and partnership posts at other top automotive dealerships. Early in his career, he worked for both Penske Racing in Reading, Pa., and the Reading Stock Car Association.

The 2019 Saratoga Auto Auction will take place on Sept. 20 and 21, 2019 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. To consign a vehicle for the 2019 auction, contact Bill Windham at or by phone at (518) 587-1935 ext. 22.

I also had a chance to talk to Holly Hulfish, Exhibit & Collections Director who announced their special upcoming Exhibit: Wheels: Women and Independence, 1900 – 1920

Celebrate the Suffrage Centennials at the Saratoga Automobile Museum with us this year!

This groundbreaking exhibit showcases the experiences of seven pioneer female automobile enthusiasts, with New York State as the starting point for their adventures.

At the time, women represented less than 10% of licensed drivers, and “autoing” was definitely not for the faint of heart.

Each woman has her own unique story to tell, with a passion for motoring at center.

Afterwards Leah Finn, Auction Client Liason talked about

The Saratoga Automobile Museum (“SAM”) will be presenting a new exhibit entitled Wheels of Change: Cars and Culture of the Sixties beginning on Saturday, March 30, 2019.

The exhibit will run through Sunday, Oct. 27 and showcases cars that were part of the decade when dynamic changes in design and safety innovations occurred. After the post-war decade of the Fifties, cars became smaller, sleeker, agile, and more fun. This spurred car makers to reimagine what automobiles were and what they could be.

“The Saratoga Automobile Museum is honored to showcase these iconic cars to the region. We are sure that many of these cars will reignite memories for those who visit the museum to see the exhibit and inspire an automotive passion for others,” said Carly Connors, executive director.

A main draw for Museum visitors will be a gold 1967 Toyota 2000GT, on loan courtesy of Toyota Motor North America. This car has a unique history, as it was once owned by Twiggy, a fashion icon of the Sixties. Twiggy was on hand when the car was unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1967. Toyota re-acquired the car in the mid-Eighties, and it underwent a complete restoration to bring the car back to its original condition.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum was organized in 1999, and opened to the public in 2002. The Museum’s mission is to preserve, interpret and exhibit automobiles and automotive artifacts. We celebrate the automobile and educate the general public, students and enthusiasts regarding the role of the automobile in New York State and in the wider world. In addition to technical and design aspects, our educational focus is on the past, present and future social and economic impact of the automobile.

The Museum is located within the 2,500 acre Saratoga Spa State Park, in the heart of historic Saratoga Springs, New York, world famous for its legendary, much honored one-mile thoroughbred track. The museum’s facility is the totally restored and renovated Saratoga Bottling Plant, a beautiful neo-classic structure built in 1934. The Museum is adjacent to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and near the landmark Gideon Putnam Hotel. Within walking distance in the Park are the National Museum of Dance, the Spa Little Theatre and the lavish Hall of Springs banquet facility.

For more information please visit

The New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo officially opened the 2019 New York International Automobile Show after arriving in a track-ready Roush Mustang. During the event, the Governor also honored US Marine veteran Corporal Olivier Bagley, who served and was wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with the donation of a 2019 Toyota RAV4; presented by Governor Cuomo and Greater New York Auto Dealers Association President Mark Schienberg along with the Wounded Warrior Project.

Actor and Comedian Tracy Morgan also added some of his signature swagger to the event, emerging from the driver's seat of a 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th anniversary edition, anchoring a parade of 15 of the hottest classic Nissan Zs ever produced. In addition the show also had an impressive lineup along 11th Avenue of 35 additional custom and classic Zs to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the vehicles launch.

On hand to entertain and excite the crowds were former the Voice contestant Staff Sgt. Jeremy Gaynor rocking with the perennial crowd favorite West Point Band as well as a show stopping solo performance from Broadway star Anna Eilinsfeld, from Pretty Woman The Musical.

During his presentation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of an Automotive Technician Task Force to develop programs for training auto technicians and enable those participants to transition directly into the automotive industry.

For more information please visit

For more information about upcoming events please Cognac's Corner Magazine.

Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

New York International Auto Show

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane Interviews Brandon Salls at the 

New York International Auto Show

For the second year the Saratoga Automobile Museum is exhibiting at the New York International Auto Show.

This year when the Saratoga Automobile Museum sets up its exhibit of antique & classic cars along with historic race cars at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, the centerpiece of the highly anticipated exhibit is the 1994 Newman/Haas Lola T9300 Indy Car piloted by American racing legend Mario Andretti in his final year of competition.

Mario is loaning SAM the K-Mart/Texaco Lola from his personal collection. The car marked the culmination of Andretti’s 12 seasons with the Newman/Haas Team and was given to him by Paul Newman and Carl Haas as a retirement gift. During his tenure with one of the Indy Car series’ premier teams, the Pennsylvanian named Driver of the Century by both the Associated Press and Racer magazine scored some 18 wins, claimed 26 pole positions and won the championship in 1984, his fourth Indy Car Championship. He remains the all-time record holder for Indy race starts with 407 and his 52 Indy Car wins rank second on the all-time list.

Additionally, Andretti’s five-decade career is highlighted by 111 race wins including the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, three wins at Americas oldest sports car endurance race The Twelve Hours of Sebring, a Pikes Peak Hill Climb win, and winning the Formula One World Championship.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum exhibit, it’s second at the world-renowned auto show is also  featuring one of SAM’s state-of-the-art Distracted Driving simulators. The simulators, which are transported to programs at high schools in the Saratoga region by museum staff, provide “real world” experiences that highlight the dangers of texting, drinking, smoking, eating and personal grooming while at the wheel of an automobile. Students see not only the crashes that may result, but other serious consequences, including interaction with law enforcement agencies.

Visitors to the Saratoga Automobile Museum exhibit at the New York International Auto Show will be able to acquire information on the second annual Saratoga Auto Auction, September 21 & 22, 2018 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center adjacent to the museum. The auction, a fund-raiser for SAM’s many educational programs, is expected to offer some 300 vehicles in an event that received rave reviews following its inaugural running.

For more information please visit

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Robert Traina from the Skip Barber Racing School at the NY International Auto Show

This year I had a chance to chat with National Sales Manager Robert Traina from the Skip Barber Racing School at the New York  Internationak Auto Show.

Celebrating forty years, Skip Barber Racing School is the world’s largest and premier racing and Driving School. We operate a fully integrated system of Racing Schools, Driving Schools, racing championships, and Corporate Events. No other organization delivers the same high quality instruction, equipment, facilities and memorable experiences.

Skip Barber’s vast training experience and industry knowledge – along with 41 years of continuous demand for Skip Barber trained drivers, has created the OEM focus: consumer, employee and dealer education and event facilitation, both on and off road, for the automotive community.

The Skip Barber Racing School is one of the largest racing schools in the world. It conducted racing schools, defensive and high-performance driving schools, amateur and professional racing championships and corporate entertainment schools. Skip Barber started the school in 1975 with two borrowed Formula Ford race cars and four students and at one time trained more motorsports winners and champions than any other organization of its kind. Skip Barber alumni race and win in every major event and championship, from NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series to Formula One, the Indy 500, American Le Mans, and the IndyCar Series. Since 1983, the Skip Barber Racing School has trained over one-third of all Indy 500 competitors and one-quarter of the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors. Skip Barber Racing alumni have won every major U.S. auto racing championship.

For more information please visit

New York International Auto Show is a motoring convention showcasing around 1,000 cars and trucks at Jacob Javits Convention Center. Highlights include shiny new models and driving simulators.

Ushering in the latest automotive trends, the 2018 New York International Auto Show will showcase an incredible collection of cutting-edge design and extraordinary innovation. More than four floors of displays from the world’s automakers will feature the newest vehicles and latest futuristic concept cars. Nearly 1,000 cars and trucks will be on display at North America’s first and largest-attended auto show dating back to 1900.

For more information please visit

For more information on red carpet events keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine.

Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

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