Final day and beyond
Well, we did it ! And in fine style in the mighty Sunbeam. Another rally where it has needed no mechanical attention at all.
I am writing this sitting in my complimentary folding chair ( two per entrant) on the lawn at Quail Lodge. We are surrounded by some fabulous cars and lots of free restaurants and bars. Lfie can be hell!
Now , winding back a bit , we had a rest day in the Sonoma Valley before our final day run down to Pebble Beach. Our event organiser, Al McEwan had a special treat for us– a visit to Arturo Keller’s collection at his winery. As Al said, it’s a collection of the best of the best. There are about 200 cars in five buildings, one each for British, German, French, Italian and American cars. Each car is perfect. There is wonderful memorabilia. Strictly no photos.
The Bugatti line up comprised about half a dozen 57s in various forms, a Brescia, a 51 and a 37A with touring bodywork
One of Keller’s staff told me that fewer than 100 people a year get to see the cars. It does seem a shame to me that this astounding collection is reserved for the pleasure of one man, now well into his eighties. But, they are his and I guess he can do what he likes with them. At least they are being loved and nurtured.
Our final dinner at the Kenwood Inn was the usual semi riotous affair, with Al and Sandy McEwan making very funny speeches.
Our final day was a drive to Pebble Beach over the Golden Gate Bridge, which was pretty special. Al had worked out a route which minimised traffic and he had a final surprise for us– lunch at the home and car collection of Larry Carter. Larry has about 60 cars, all immaculate. His passion is Ferraris and he has a dozen or so. The rest of the collection is idiosyncratic, just stuff he loves. Lots of muscle cars and hotrods.
After lunch the caravan moved on to our Rally finish at the lodge at Pebble Beach. More speeches and red wine and some goodbyes. We won an award for bon vivantism I think.
Then Reg and I had an adventure collecting our rental car and finding our apartment. But it all ended well.
You really have to be here to see what a huge event Pebble Beach has become. The traffic is chaotic, yesterday it took me an hour to drive the seven miles from Monterey to Quail Lodge.
The Organisation behind the event is really slick, the amount of corporate sponsorship is amazing.
Yesterday was the Pebble Beach Tour. This is only open to cars which have done Al’s event from Seattle or which are entered in the PBConcours. The latter get extra points in the Concours if they do the Tour.
We had to get up before 6 to get our to PB before the traffic got too terrible. The Tour started at 8 and was very slow. We did a lap at Laguna Seca where they were setting up for this weekend’s historic races and wound up in Carmel for lunch. The crowds were astounding! Thousands of people milling everywhere, lunch in the park with a string quartet serenading us. Then off to Quail Lodge to leave the Sunbeam overnight.
More to come.