The Cars are the Stars

At Bugatti cocktail party with a 1936 yellow bugatti. I should have been wearing Art Deco!

At Bugatti cocktail party with a 1936 Bugatti. I should have been wearing Art Deco!

Once again, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance outdid itself with luxury, dazzle, beauty, and fun. As you may know, this is one of my favorite events of the year and 2017 was no exception.

Each year, the Concours has featured themes and special classes and marques, but every car is a star. What’s amazing is the range of vehicles – you might say they range from garage bands to symphony orchestras – and every one is someone’s personal passion, designed and polished to within an inch of its life.

Before I left for Pebble Beach, I read this fascinating BBC article on customization. It suggests that having a perfect classic vehicle is not necessarily the ultimate goal. Instead, a vehicle – whether car, yacht, or jet – perfect in every way but also uniquely identifiable as belonging to a specific owner, is even more desirable.

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McLaren FUX 720s 050 in “Fux Fuchsia”

Indeed, the unique details were much in evidence at the Concours, perhaps none quite so dazzling as the McLaren FUX 720s 050. Unveiled at Pebble Beach, this British beauty is painted and trimmed out in Michael Fux’s proprietary color, “Fux Fuchsia.” According to Digital Trends, “McLaren designed the body as conduit for air, which is why the 720S lacks the massive side vents seen on other mid-engined supercars, and why its headlights appear to be hollow sockets. The extra space is used for air intakes.”

Mercedes-Maybach 6

Mercedes-Maybach 6 – My favorite car!

One of my other favorites this year was the Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet concept car. Sleek as an otter, this convertible coach is nearly 20 feet long, but seats just two people! It definitely puts the “d’Elegance” in the Concours!

Pebble Beach is also a wonderful chance to catch up with old friends. As always, it was a pleasure to see Jay Leno and Mary Miyata. (Mary and I had an amazing lunch at the sensational Casanova in Carmel.) The ever-charming Merle and Peter Mullin were there, of course, and Peter was showing two very rare vehicles from his collection: the 1905 Léon Bollée in the Antique Class, and the 1951 Bugatti Type 101C in the Postwar Class.

 

Speaking of antiques, the gorgeous 1935 Duesenberg SJ Bohman & Schwartz Town Car, which belongs to Lee and Penny Anderson, won first in its class. It seems to embody a sort of stately elegance that is rare in today’s world.

Of course, in addition to the cars and the people, one of the major functions of the Concours is to raise money. Each year, close to $2 million in proceeds from the Pebble Beach Concours benefit 85 local charities. It’s an honor to contribute.