I spent the day at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the ultimate vintage car show. I had paid to take the shuttle from Carmel but the wait was more than an hour. I decided to walk. This was faster than driving by car.
Today’s photos are here.
On the way in, I came upon eight Bugatti Veyrons in a parking lot. I couldn’t find the owner of this one; I wanted to find out if he was a Princeton alum:
This is one of the $3 million carbon-fiber Bugattis, unlike those old fuddy-duddy $2 million Veyrons. Mind you, I hadn’t gotten to the main event yet.
Smack dab in the middle of the concept cars exhibit was this concept Mercedes. This year the Concours is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the original car, a Benz. Are they going back to the original wheels, I wondered.
We’re not even to the Concours yet, and I’m coming unglued, seeing cars like this BMW 328:
This 300SLR is this year’s poster child. Sterling Moss raced in this car. I saw Sir Sterling today. He has attended the last 15 Pebbles!
This Lambo grabbed me. It’s a hunk of carbon-fiber with traditional frame bolted on fore and aft:
Stunning, take-your-breath-away cars are the norm here. Down on the competition field, this one-of-a-kind roader Edsel Ford concocted in 1934 was awesome:
How sleek is that?
Not only automobiles, but motorcycles. A Rumi. I remember hearing Rumi scooters racing in 1960. 10,000 rpm. A fantastic, high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you could hear from a kilometer away.
The car in which John Surtees won the world championship. Also on display, the bike on which he won the world motorcycle championship. And I didn’t get a photo of Surtees receiving an award for his accomplishment.
Here’s the bike:
This little Bugatti won my heart. It’s my person best in show.
The car people (richer than you and I by a factor of 50+), know how to live right.
I got up close and personal with more dream cars than Road and Track could cover in a decade. Lagonda, Siata, Duesenberg…
After seeing eight 300SLs lined up and a dozen pre-WWII Mercedes and a dozen Stutz’s and even more pristine Packards etc., etc., etc., I was becoming car-fatigued. I wandered up to the vendors’ exhibits. They Stryker/Saab was the sleepiest thing imaginable. No smiling faces. No hand shaking. No eye contact. They don’t get it. By contrast, the Infiniti people were hosting a wine tasting, an assortment of cheese, a cooking demonstration, and, later, champagne with absinthe “pearls”, flavored depth charges that come alive at the end of the drink.
Finding a Vincent Black Lightning 52 was a treat. Actually, this is one of two that were up for sale here.
Mercedes had the classiest pavilion I visited. Beautiful cars, both historic and futuristic. Friendly hostesses. Free champagne. Angela Merkel praising Mercedes on the big screen. Great vista of the bay.
MB made me feel good. I wandered back to the road home and stuck out my thumb. The Carmel shuttle I’d paid for was a 1/2 mile up the hill and probably entailed an hour wait. Better to walk home or try my luck. I stuck out my thumb and a very nice couple in a 40-year old Mercedes convertible pulled over to give me a ride.
They’d planned on driving by my cottage anyway, so they left me at my door.