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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on June 19th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 15

Elegance and power

The Concours d'Elegance adventure continues with some of the men behind the machines

BY JOHN READY

The week’s events kicked off with Gordon McCall’s 21st Motorsports Revival.

Bob Jacobs had gotten an extra invitation to McCall’s Motorsports Revival because he was showing his Lamborghini Aventador at the Quail on Friday.


Start your engines
Preceding the Councours d’Elegance is the Tour d’Elegance, including more than 100 of the world’s finest vintage automobiles cruising together.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN READY

Bob and I made our way to the Monterey Jet Center for the McCall Party. As soon as we entered the ramp in front of the hangar we were greeted by a Douglas Aircraft TA-4J Skyhawk that was paired with a red 63 Corvette Roadster, and a P-51D Mustang was next to a black 63 Corvette Stingray split window coupe. These are some of my favorite things to see.

I wandered over to the Lamborghini display and signed up to drive one of these raging bulls. I met Kelly again this year and he got me an appointment for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to drive a Gallardo. This is an all-wheel drive, V-10 feisty little brother to the big Bull Aventador, but it is still 570 horsepower with a paddle-shifting 6 speed. The Gallardo has great power to weight and all four wheels driving for traction.

Bright and early on Thursday morning, Rolex sponsors the Tour d’Elegance, which starts next to the Pebble Beach Polo Grounds. If you are competing in the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, and end up in a tie for a trophy, extra points are earned by completing this tour and that would be your tiebreaker.

We were allowed to walk among all of the cars on the starting grid. We were enjoying all of the joy, excitement, and anticipation that you have before a memorable drive: Maharaja cars, boat tailed V-12 Packards, Duesenbergs, Hispano-Suizas, V-16 Cadillacs, Chryslers, 300 SLs, and Mercers all driving down that Pacific Coast Highway to a turn around at the Ripplewood Resort at Big Sur. There were about 150 of these wonderful vintage machines that headed out that morning.

 The Quail Motorsports Revival combined a green lush setting of the golf course with exceptional dining and the finest examples of vintage sporting automobiles available. We chose the Cuban cuisine, mainly because they had a Cuban band playing delightful music. There was a row of current Bugatti Veyrons and a sprinkling of vintage Bugattis at the east end of the fairway.

A good-sized group of original Cobras took a back road and made it over to the Quail from Laguna Seca for a showing of Cobra and Ford power. They left early to finish prepping for the next day’s race.

Dodge was there with the new SRT. If you must have a Dodge, it should be a Viper. It’s good to see they are back and stronger than ever.

Traffic was a zoo leaving this event. I found my ’64 was every bit as fast as a silver Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss when traffic is stop and go. 

At the auction

Gooding & Company had the biggest tent complex and always has a remarkable group of cars up for auction. There was a 1935 Duesenberg JN convertible, once owned by Clark Gable with rear fender skirts and dual spare tires in the back.

I love almost every Deusey, but with those skirts it looked way too bulky to me, and the overall lines just did not come out looking right. It sold that weekend and went to a new home. They have this auction on Saturday and Sunday evening above Peter Hay Hill at Pebble Beach.

I got to meet Fillipo Perini, the head of Lamborghini design group, and compliment him on all of the fine work his group is doing. He was raised in Santa Maria, Italy and his dad and mom still live there. He said he would like to run at Bonneville some day.


A tour of elegance
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a benefit car show featuring pre- and postwar classics on Aug. 18 in Pebble Beach. More info: pebblebeachconcours.net.

The Automotive Fine Arts Society always has a large tent next to the 18th fairway adjacent to the awards pre-grid. They had invited about two-dozen automotive artists and sculptors to display their work.

As soon as I walked into the tent, I noticed there were some sculptured scale models of early racecars. A big block 1912 F.I.A.T. was featured right in front. Among the display was a scale model of the 1914 Duesenberg No. 10 Indy racecar that I had seen in the Rolex Tour d’Elegance! I mentioned this to the artist, Bruce Wheeler, of the Automotive Sketches in Metal gallery, and he was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the car was here at Pebble Beach.

I headed farther into the tent and found Art Fitzpatrick’s display area. He’s the artist who made the stunning drawings in the advertisements for the early ’60 wide-track Pontiacs. Those ads, along with “Bunkie” Knudsen’s leadership at Pontiac, moved this car company from No. 7 in sales to No. 3. I remember seeing and admiring all of the wide-track Catalinas, Venturas, GTOs, Gran Prixs, and Bonnevilles in the magazines.

We always keep Saturday night a short evening because the main event of the entire week—the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance—starts so early Sunday morning.