Postcards from Pebble Beach (and other Car Week locales)

Monterey Car Week 2017 is now in the books, and it was pretty memorable for a lot of reasons.  I need to recheck the math, but this was something like my 30th car week.  It used to be called “The Weekend” but some years ago, it became “The Week” with so many new events, shows, club meets, and other happenings leading up to the vintage sports car races at Mazda Raceway Laguna-Seca, and of course the grand dame of car shows, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  There’s so much going on, so many cars, so many great people, that to encompass it all is about impossible, but I thought I would at least share with you some of my happy snaps.

I drove up on the Thursday before the two main events, and my first order of business was to meet up with, drive, and photograph two fabulously yellow Ferraris belonging to mega collector David Lee.  They were a brand new, built to order Ferrari F12 Tour de France, paint color matched to his Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso competizione.  I connected with them both at a fabulous house right across the street from the golf links of Pebble Beach (you know, giant house, garage/guest house complex) and ocean view.  Here are a couple quick phone snaps from that gathering, which also featured many more Ferraris (three Enzos parked next to each other), a gaggle of McLarens, and lots of other fast and dangerous.  All thanks to my friend Andy Cohen and his

The tour de France I mentioned above, parked in the most fabulous forecourt you can imagine. Yum….

…and the Lusso….

Now this is what I call a vroom with a view.

Friday’s main event for me was the Porsche Werks Reunion, an all Porsche gathering hosted by the Porsche Club of America.  The photos tell the stories better than I can…

Fields of Porsches, everywhere you looked.

Everybody still loves barnfind looking cars, real or faked. No matter, this one crew lots of attention.

This 991 RS and 964 RS drew lots of drool.

Among my favorites of current gen Porsches is this “911 50th Anniversary” model, looking fine in Slate Gray.

Uber rare Sauter bodied 356 roadster, said to be only the second Porsche Roadster built. Notice America Roadster like fenders, and suicide doors.

Michelin hosted this dazzling display of 911 rally racers, all driven by Porsche icon Jeff Zwart.

Rare and elegant is this 1955 Porsche 356 Continental Roadster owned and shown by the Petersen Automotive Museum.

My next order of business on Friday was a quick visit to the Inn at Spanish Bay for a quick meeting.  This is my favorite Pebble Beach hotel for its perfect on the beach layout, immaculate condition, great restaurants, and unbeatable front parking area which ends up being a car show all its own…

Perhaps the best parking lot car show you’ll ever find is at Spanish Bay.

Not the colors I’d chose for my Rolls cabriolets, but to itch their own.

Make sure to tell the valet dude which red Ferrari is yours…

Great study in contrasts.

This elegant pair of pure custom, hot rods by Rick Dore drew lots of admiration from the Spanish Bay crowd.

Saturday morning it was again my please to act as morning emcee at Concorso Italiano.  During the morning awards presentation, we did live interviews with two aspiring young racing drivers, and a special tribute to the 50th Anniverary of the original Maserati Ghibli.

Walking through the rows of cars at Concorso Italiano is like “parting the Red See” pun intended.

Lots of winged things wherever you looked.

2017 marking Ferrari’s 70th birthday, the Ferrari fields at every show, particularly Concorso Italiano, were overflowing.

My buddy Jeff scored a primo front row parking spot with his ’74 Alfa Spider.

More great Alfas than you could count!

DeTomaso Pantera designer Tom Tjaarda passed away June 1, he was a friend, and often guest at Concorso, and I’ll miss him and his talent a ton.

My next order of business Saturday afternoon was to participate in a Pebble Beach Collector Car Forum panel discussion discussing the early days of hot rodding.  The panel was hosted by my friend Wayne Carini, and featured a roster of hot rodding experts and legends.  Plus a large and very appreciative crowd.

As centerpieces for our vintage hot rodding discussion, we had on hand two of the best. At left, John Athan’s seminal AV8; acknowledged to be the first mating of a Model A body atop a ’32 frame running flathead V-8 power. And at right is Ed Iskenderian’s flatty powered Model T turtle deck rod. Both come up for auction sale next year.

From left: major Packard collector and hot rodder Ralph Murano, retired Chrysler design chief Tom Gale, Wayne Carini, Rick Dore (wearing shades) Ed The Camfather Isky Iskenderian (wearing at), me, Ken Gross, and master carbuilder Steve Moal. Legends, Heroes and Friends, for sure.

My weekend finished up with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the grandaddy of concours; the 250 or best cars you are likely to see at any one place anywhere in the world on a given day.  This year’s special classes were dedicated to Ferrari’s 70th (duh) and Isotta Fraschini — two of my favorite subjects to I couldn’t have been happier.

another vroom with a view; Ferraris on the water at Pebble Beach.

Among the finest 289 Cobras I’ve ever seen. Period.

It was my honor to judge again, this my 23rd year (yes I’m that old) and the competition was mighty.  Luckily I had a roster of talented, experienced, and smart judges who worked very hard and made great selections in our various classes, but it was tough, some of the differences between a first and a second or a second and a third coming down to quarters of a point.  That’s how high the quality was.

Check out this fabulous Barker bodied Rolls tourer

The restoration on this 1952 Reutter bodied 356 Cabriolet was eyewateringly perfect. And check those elegant colors — first place in class? You betcha.

This completely over the top DiDia customized 1960 Cadillac was ultimately owned by the incomparable Bobby Darin.

“And along came a Spyder” in this case a fabulous triple black Ferrri LWB 250 GT Spyder California. I only cried a little…

The Wee Scot, at the wheel of a Ferrari? Maybe not back then but he was this day. Yes that’s three time F1 champ Jackie Stewart at the wheel of this big Testa Rossa (the plaid cap should have been the giveaway) on his way to drive the car over the presentation ramp, stopping to sign an autograph and do a selfie or two. Heroes, legends, and friends…

Now these folks know how to picnic. I’m sure a few neighboring picnics contributed to this firing squad of bubbly empties…

And I already can’t wait until next year.