Category archives: Commentary

Monterey memories – concours and cars shows

A 1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D gleams at the Werks Reunion | Bob Golfen photos
A 1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D gleams at the Werks Reunion | Bob Golfen photos

So many events, so little time. That could be the marketing slogan for Monterey Classic Car Week, when a seemingly countless number of car shows, concours, exhibits, rallies, parties, dinners and, of course, auctions crowd the days leading up to the vaunted Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.

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Monterey memories

The scene at the Carmel Mission Classic car show | Larry Edsall photos
The scene at the Carmel Mission Classic car show | Larry Edsall photos

Wow, things are expensive in Monterey, from the cost for food — whether purchased at a grocery or in a restaurant — to the bumped-up — no, make that supercharged — prices for lodging, and even the admission prices charged for some of the car shows.

On the other hand, a gallon of gasoline cost less than we expected. Sure, $3.49 a gallon might be a lot more than people are paying elsewhere in the country, but it was a buck cheaper than we were charged when we refilled at various crossroads out in the Mohave Desert on our way to and from Monterey Classic Car Week.
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Eye Candy: Concours d’LeMons California

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A 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II unlike any that ever rolled off the assembly line | Larry Edsall photos

This is both an Eye Candy gallery (see below) and a Commentary on the Concours d’LeMons California, held Saturday in a portion of Laguna Grande Regional Park just southeast of the Chili’s restaurant in Seaside, a military town turned working-class community on the fringe of California’s Monterey Peninsula. Continue reading

A secret show of appreciation for behind-the-scenes heroes

There's a secret place at Pebble Beach where cars are prepped for the show | Larry Edsall photos
There’s a secret place at Pebble Beach where cars are prepped for the show | Larry Edsall photos

I was invited Friday into a secret place at Pebble Beach. Out beyond the Lodge and the famed 18th hole of the golf links, beyond the tents that house the Gooding & Company classic car auction, there is a fenced-off area full of semi tractors and their trailers. These vehicles bear the names of Reliable, Intercity, Horseless Carriage, Passport, Masten, RM and the other companies entrusted to transport expensive cars to auto shows, concours and auctions. Continue reading

Tony A-to-Z, me and the motorsports reunion that didn’t happen

The car (7) Tony A-to-Z was to drive awaits in the F5000 paddock | Larry Edsall photos
The car (7) Tony A-to-Z was to drive awaits in the F5000 paddock | Larry Edsall photos

I was looking forward to my own motorsports reunion Thursday at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was in May, 1973, that I first visited the track, a young sportswriter sent from Michigan to cover the L&M F5000 race, which ran a couple of weeks ahead of that series visiting Michigan International Speedway.

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What to do about the General Lee?

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1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee | Photography by Hans Marquez

One of the most iconic images of the Confederate flag sits atop the equally iconic car from the popular TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard. The car in the show known as the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger driven by fictional characters Bo and Luke Duke, is under fire and being defaced by some due to current controversies surrounding the Confederate flag.

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Revisiting my visit with the master of car design, Giorgetto Guigiaro

The Guigiaro-designed 1988 Aztec | Italdesign photos
The Guigiaro-designed 1988 Aztec | Italdesign photos

There are interviews that stand out in a journalist’s memory. In my case, they include boxing champion Archie Moore, Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters, and tennis star and women’s sports advocate Billie Jean King. And then, there was the day a dozen or so years ago when I was in Italy doing research on a book on automotive design.

While in Torino, my itinerary included a visit to Italdesign and an interview with Giorgetto Giugiaro, grandson of a painter of frescoes, son of an artist, and who, soon after becoming a teenager, was sent to study both art and technical drawing. Continue reading

Record-setting art auctions put classic car prices in perspective

In the world of classic and collector car auctions, we have Scottsdale in the winter and Monterey in the summer.

It’s sort of the same in the world of collectible art, except that it’s New York City in the spring and then again in the fall.

Yes, there are many other auctions of classic cars and of various genres of fine art, but except for the occasional exception, the biggest sales totals and the record prices come out of Scottsdale, Monterey and New York City. Continue reading

I hope they left my singing on the cutting room floor

Some of the cars I drove while filming the National Geographic Channel special, Driving America | Larry Edsall photos
Some of the cars I drove for the National Geographic Channel special, Driving America | Larry Edsall photos

Editor’s note: The National Geographic Channel’s two-hour special, Driving America, debuts on Memorial Day at 9 p.m. (EDT and PDT).

It was more than a year ago that Matt Bennett called to discuss his latest wonderful yet wacky idea. He wanted to put me on television. Me, the guy with a great face for radio.

Matt, whose face has appeared on TV, and several times because he also is an actor with New York theater credits, heads Silent Crow Arts, a television documentary production company in New York City. Silent Crow’s shows have included Mad Scientists, Barnwood Builders, Garbage Moguls, Deadliest Catch: The Bait, and After the Catch. It also did the live coverage of the amazing Lambrecht car auction in Nebraska.

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A visit to Ray Evernham’s racing and road car collection

Ray Evernham and the 'Lost Legend' XL-1 race car | Andy Reid photos
Ray Evernham and the ‘Lost Legend’ XL-1 race car | Andy Reid photos

While I was in Charlotte recently for the AutoFair, I had an opportunity to spend some time with Ray Evernham, the former NASCAR championship-winning crew chief, racing team owner, long-time classic car aficionado and current host of the television show AmeriCARna. That is quite a resume, but talking with Evernham, even for a few minutes, lets you know why he has been able to achieve so much. Our conversation spanned topics from the moonshine-running roots of NASCAR to 1960s Indy car design to the engineering dynamics of modern Formula 1 cars. The man is a genius and moved through these and other topics with ease and a degree of knowledge that was nothing short of astounding.

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