Driven is unlike any other car show on television. Eight-time Emmy award-winning host Tom Gregory doesn’t just take viewers under the hood and on the road. Behind every car featured is an interesting character with a story to tell, and each episode takes viewers on a storybook adventure.
“We’re telling car stories about the people who love their cars and how those cars and experiences move them,” Gregory said.
The first episode of Driven’s second season takes viewers back in time while looking toward the future at Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week in Newport, Rhode Island. The Audrain Automobile Museum sponsored the spectacular, four-day experience that made its inaugural debut this past October.
“Newport is such a friendly, fun town where everybody is so inviting,” Gregory said. “Here you kind of go back to where it all started, to where in Newport the seeds of auto racing and self-tinkering with cars actually started.”
Newport is considered the birthplace of motor racing in America and it’s also the perfect backdrop for Driven’s return to the small screen. Gregory and his team covered every inch of this New England gem while featuring the classic cars and latest technology car enthusiasts love.
“I have never seen so many different types of vehicles in my entire life, many of which I cannot pronounce.” Gregory joked.
The event schedule ran from Thursday through Sunday and was packed with unique experiences, friendly people and extravagant cars. The Concours d’Elegance capped off the long weekend on Sunday and was considered the crown jewel of Audrain Newport Concours and Motor Week.
“As amazing as the collection of automobiles was, the people there also made it incredibly special because they all had various types of interests,” Gregory said. “We hope to bring that to light. It’s an event called the Concours d’Elegance, but it’s an event for everybody.”
It’s where the Great Gatsby meets the Average Joe, on the lawn of a Newport mansion. Add to that the crisp feel of a fall day on the New England coast and Gregory has the makings of a great American novel – well okay, television show. We want the visuals when these kinds of cars are part of the story.
“You had all of these luxuries and these amazing vehicles, and then the people there were from all walks of life,” Gregory said. “There was nothing as vast and immense and elegant as the Concours d’Elegance, yet still down to Earth.”
Speaking of that, Gregory had the chance to catch up with famous car enthusiast Jay Leno.
“There was a man who was just enjoying being around other car lovers,” Gregory said. “If you didn’t love cars, you would by the end of the weekend.”
Like the other people who were proud to share their cars with the public, Leno was open to talking with everyone at the event and happy to be there.
Other highlights from Audrain Newport Concours and Motor Week featured a 30 Under 30 Class, which highlighted hobbyists under thirty years of age who have not invested more than $30,000 on their car projects. It was an opportunity to reward and support the next generation of car enthusiasts.
“It was just an amazing week,” Gregory said. “We will not be able to do it justice in our show, but we are going to try.”
While there are some events that come in and take over a host city in a way that doesn’t garner support from the surrounding region, this was different. Newport embraced the opportunity to house some of the coolest and classic cars around while showing off its own natural appeal.
“Add to that the backdrop of the mansions and the Atlantic coast, and it’s pretty breathtaking.” Gregory said.
He predicts Audrain Newport Concours and Motor Week may grow to become one of those special events that defines the seasons in Newport.
“We were just glad to be part of it,” He said. “We can say we were at the first one.”
Watch the season 2 premiere of Driven on Sunday, February 9th on YurView, with new episodes weekly. Check local listings for times and channel information in your region.