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Thursday, 06 April 2017 19:47

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance April 7-9

By Dr. Cy Conrad

It is fitting that when translated into Spanish, La Jolla means “the jewel,” because La Jolla truly is the diamond of the West Coast.

Friday, 01 April 2016 14:25

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance Set

1956 maserati a6g 2000 allemano Picmonkey1956 Maserati a6g 2000 AllemanoTASTE News Service, April 1, 2016 - Named as one of the top three most anticipated Concours in the world by the prestigious British automotive magazine, Octane, La Jolla Concours d'Elegance has become a must-have "Save The Date" for automobile aficionados internationally.

Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show 2015 PicmonkeyPhoto of winning Isotta Fraschini Cabriolet courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

TASTE News Service, August 17, 2015 -- An Italian Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet that once turned heads and garnered top prizes in the classic era glided to victory at the 65th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on Sunday.

The competition drew 219 cars from 16 countries and 29 U.S. states to the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. It also raised over $1.8 million to help people in need. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, these charitable funds will benefit 100 local charities.

The winning car is built on an extremely long 145-inch 1924 Tipo 8A chassis, which was acquired in the early 1930s by Swiss Carrosserie Worblaufen to be used as the basis for a new sport cabriolet. The finished car was displayed at the 1932 Geneva Auto Show and won the Grand-Prix d'Honneur at Cannes in 1933. After being shown, the car passed through the hands of just three owners prior to being purchased by current owner Jim Patterson of Louisville, Kentucky.

Asked what he loved most about the massive cabriolet, Patterson chose to focus on its small details. "I love the cigarette lighters," he said. "You should see them! I wondered a while ago if they worked, and I've got a blister on my finger to show they do."

The car's win at Pebble Beach marked the second win for Patterson. His 1933 Delahaye D8S De Villars Roadster was named Best of Show in 2010. "I won here in 2010 with an all-white car, and now I've won with an all-black car. I don't know if I've run out of colors or what," he joked.

There were many strong contenders for Best of Show this year, including a 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Kellner Torpedo Phaeton owned by Doug Magee Jr. of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; a 1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet owned by Sam & Emily Mann of Englewood, New Jersey; and a 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Ghia Coupé owned by Grant Kinzel of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Concours Chairman Sandra Button said the win by the Isotta Fraschini wasn't a surprise given its provenance: "From the moment that Cesare Isotta and the Fraschini brothers founded their company, they were known for building prestigious cars, and this particular car is very stylish and very powerful. Even when resting on the stage, it seems to be in motion, and it is filled with emotion. There is a lot of passion in this car."

Ferraris were featured in great numbers this year, along with classic era duPonts, antique Popes, British prewar sports cars and postwar Cunninghams. Special classes celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 and the 75th anniversary of the Lincoln Continental, and Mercury Customs were displayed for the first time.

Editor’s note: The complete list or winners is available at www.pebblebeachconcours.net. If you’re thinking of visiting anywhere on the Monterey Peninsula, first check Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory. There you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to the sites of Monterey County Wineries and Craft Beer purveyors.

Ferrari 1949 Touring Barchetta Picmonkey1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta. The first Ferrari to race in the Pebble Beach Road Races when it competed in 1951. photo: Steve Burton/Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

TASTE News Service, August 8, 2015 - Ferraris return to compete on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links this August 16 when the marque of the Prancing Horse takes center stage at the 65th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

"Our plans to feature Ferrari have been many years in the making," said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. "But it seems particularly appropriate to be showcasing this marque now, since a Ferrari earned our top award this past year." That car, Jon Shirley's 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe, was not only the first Ferrari to be named Best of Show at the event, but it was also the first postwar car to win in nearly 50 years.

Some of the special Ferrari classes at the forthcoming event will focus on Preservation Ferraris and Ferraris that Raced in the Pebble Beach Road Races in the 1950s.

Additional Features at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours include the following:

duPont: The duPont family played a major role in establishing General Motors as we now know it, and their chemical company's fast-drying paints paved the way for the use of vivid color schemes on factory-produced cars. The 2015 Concours will focus on the marque that bears the duPont name. Just over 30 of these American classics are known to exist.

Designs by Carrozzeria Touring: This Italian coachbuilder, dating from 1928 to the present, has a reputation for elegance and innovation. It was the chosen carrozzeria for many significant marques and models, including the very collectable Alfa Romeo 8C, Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta and Ferrari 212 Inter/Export.

Pope: At one point, the world's largest bicycle manufacturer, Colonel Albert Augustus Pope built automobiles from 1903 to 1915 in many configurations, including some early electric vehicles. Pope also founded the Good Roads Movement, which paved the way to small towns all over the United States.

Postwar Cunninghams: Briggs Cunningham, who served among honorary judges at the Concours, was an American sportsman who won the America's Cup and built race cars in an attempt to win at Le Mans. In addition to his rare race cars, examples of his exceptional Vignale-built C3 sports cars will be exhibited.

Historic Mercury Customs: Mercury was the marque most popular for customizing from the late 1940s to early 1950s. It is considered by many to be the definitive custom car.

Japanese Motorcycles: Introduced to a global audience in the 1950s, Japanese motorcycles gained prominence in the 1960s and dominance in the 1970s. Now they move to the fore at the Pebble Beach Concours.

British Prewar Sports Cars, the 75th anniversary of the Lincoln Continental and the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang will also be featured.

Editor's note:  For more information about the Concours and related automotive events visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net. If you're planning a trip to this beautiful part of California first visit the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel. In the Monterey County section within the Central Coast listings you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to area Wineries.

Sunday, 13 October 2013 02:04

Celebrating a Decade at Serrano

Bruce Canepa with 21 Duesenberg PicmonkeyBruce Canepa with first Duesenberg

by Dan Clarke

Sunday was the Niello Concours at Serrano. The Serrano Country Club setting doesn't have an ocean view, but references were made to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, nonetheless. If this 10th year tradition in the El Dorado Hills area just east of Sacramento doesn't quite have the panache of Pebble, it's still a damned fine car show. The event honored Rolls Royce, as it did in its inaugural edition a decade ago. Also celebrated at this October 6th gathering were the 50 year anniversaries of Lamborghini and the Porsche 911.

This year's Grand Marshall was Bruce Canepa, famed for his racing career and, more recently, for his high-end automobile restoration business in the Santa Cruz area. It was his Scotts Valley shop that restored the entry judged 2013's Best of Show, a 1921 Duesenberg A Bender Coupe. The car was purchased new by current owner James Castle, Jr's grandfather. And it was the first production Duesenberg ever built. How's that for provenance?

XK140 Jim Perell PicmonkeyJim Perell with his heirloom JaguarI walk through the gate and see so many gorgeous vehicles it's hard to know where to start. There are some very valuable automobiles here on the lawn, but nothing is roped off. Though everything is very accessible, common sense tells me that it would be very bad form to touch these cars or drip one's drink over somebody's gleaming bodywork. I soon discover that many of the owners are in the vicinity of their cars and are friendly and happy to talk about their entries.

First to catch my eye is a 1956 Jaguar XK140. It's a convertible or drop head coupe in British parlance. It is unrestored and is entered in the Preservation Class. I ask a dapper fellow standing nearby if he is the owner. Jim Perall says he is. Turns out he is the second owner of this car. Jim remembers he was about seven or eight years old the day he and his Dad drove this Jaguar home from a Southern California dealership. Except for the new leather in the cockpit, everything else is as original as they day it was purchased. Apparently, it still runs well. We share some conversation and I learn a lot about his car. Later Jim will be seen, microphone in hand, chatting with car owners as they wait to drive their winning entries up to the reviewing stand to receive their awards.

Auburn Boattail Speedster PicmonkeySupercharged Auburn Boattail Speedster

Wandering among all this elegant machinery I meet a couple of other owners. They seem to be enjoying the day as much as I am. Everybody has his favorites, but none of the entries could really be faulted.

Some evoke good memories, like a red '62 Impala convertible—the fabled Chevy 409—and the '65 Sunbeam Tiger, a British sports car fitted with an American V8 engine, à la the AC Cobra. Others are from a time long before mine, but almost make me wish I were even older so that I might have experienced them when they were on the road—the 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster, for instance.

Bentley 1948 PicmonkeySaoutchik Bentley -- such elegance!Many are far removed from any world I ever experienced, such as the 1948 Saoutchik Bodied Bentley Mark VI (in periwinkle blue). Some newer vehicles like the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C are exotic by any definition. It looks like it should only be driven an astronaut. Driving home I admit to a little jealousy (what car guy wouldn't want to possess any of these beauties?), but console myself in the thought that I don't have spend the money to maintain such a classic or worry about that inevitable fender-bender if I chose to drive it. The Niello Concours at Serrano was a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The 2014 edition is on my calendar.

Editor's note: Photos for this article were shot with an iphone. At the Facebook page of this event we found a link to really wonderful pictures shot by Tyler Visger. It's beautiful work and is worth checking out http://tylervisger.com/2013-niello-concours-at-serrano/

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