An automotive best in show
Pebble Beach, California
By Michael Fiala
When I usually don cameras to shoot on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach it’s to cover what is considered one of the best finishing holes in golf. Stay an arm’s length within the ropes, work as silently as possible and don’t distract the golfers. Instead this past Sunday I weaved myself through this hallowed stretch of coastline and into the colorful automotive celebration that is the Concours d’Elegance. An annual charitable event, which was founded in 1950, of rare automobiles, competing in their class and for Best of Show.
The Pebble Beach Concours, which concludes a week of car-related festivities – much of it business related – attracts some of the world’s wealthiest car enthusiasts, industry leaders, and celebrities. The week consists of five auctions, eight concours and exhibitions, three days of racing, concept car unveilings and manufacturer displays, all culminating Sunday on the shores of the foggy Pacific.
I had a top priority knowing I was going to be within inches of rare, concept and production cars worth millions of dollars – do not accidentally bump into any of them. I very deliberately minded my gear, many times taking off bags and extra cameras before leaning over to shoot these ultra expensive machines. I’m happy to report I didn’t leave a single scuff or scratch.
I attended four of the week’s events, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering; the Concours d’LeMons, Gooding & Company’s auction preview and finally Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours. I photographed cars ranging from a Voisin Biscooter, to a 1926 Bugatti race car, Lamborghini’s $4 million Veneno supercar to finally the concour’s Best of Show winner, an immaculate 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, owned by Joseph Cassini of New Jersey. Mr. Cassini was such a gracious and photogenic winner, along with his daughter Caroline and wife Margie, all dressed impeccably in period clothing.
So if you want to experience this impressive automotive gala for yourself, restore that vintage car you may have sitting in your garage or simply start planning to attend in 2014. You won’t be disappointed.