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Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2014 for the not-so-elegant

Ferrari's first turbo, the California T, is the company's kowtow to governmental restrictions on emissions.
Ferrari's first turbo, the California T, is the company's kowtow to governmental restrictions on emissions.
Lorraine Yapps Cohen

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2014 occurred with its usual elegance. As might be expected, the New York Times covered the elitist winners. Fortune covered the record-high selling bid at the auction. Green Car Reports covered the exciting hybrids, and, yes, there actually were some. Here, Examiner is pleased to cover the less elegant aspects of the renowned elegant event.

As a mere attendee to the grand celebration of cars, I was neither an exhibitor nor show competitor at the Concours. Like the thousands of others with that status, I plunked down my hard earned $275 to see the show and arrived in my economy rental car, for which there was a place to park exactly 3.5 miles away from the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach golf links. Okay, there was a bus that shuttled us for one of those miles, but I left a lot of shoe rubber on the road while getting to the entrance.

Inside the show, my first stop was Ferrari. I am a ferrarista from way back and seeing the La Ferrari constituted my raison d’etre at the show. The innovative, daringly exotic, obscenely fast, first Ferrari hybrid was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Ferrari chose to exhibit the new 12-cylinder FF, the California T, a 250 GT California from 1957, and an old 4-seater, the identity of which escapes me. Okay I’m 0-for-1 inside the gate.

With my trusty digital pocket camera in tow but not my Examiner credentials, I vowed to take well executed, aesthetically pleasing photographs of the marvelous autos on exhibit, choosing only the ones that interested me. My choices obviously interested others as it was impossible to snap the shot without some fat guy or errant kids wandering into the picture. Photographers with haute couture cameras and prominently displayed press credentials always achieved the pole position.

Speaking of haute couture, I never saw so many Hermes handbags as there were at the show. Car owners and competitors, especially the ladies, donned their finest for Pebble. Precious gem necklaces, extravagant hats, luxuriously flowing dresses captured the attention of women while guys ogled at what was beneath them. And me, well, I carried my black nylon survival bag, which carried my sandwich, bottled water, and pain killers.

For the not-so-elegant:

  • There were few places for food unless one was lucky enough to be the guest of an exotic car maker with an exhibit on site. Not being one of those lucky ones meant I carried lunch from home in my nylon bag.
  • There were few places to sit down. For those who find it hard to get up from sitting on the ground, we carried our three-legged folding seat, unfolded it to sit, and folded it back up for use as a cane for the 3.5-mile trek back to the car.
  • The worst was that there were precious few places to relieve one's self. Port-a-potties could be counted on less than the fingers on one's hand. Even the elegant need an occasional bathroom.

Well, there you have it: the Pebble Beach experience for the not-so-elegant. Perhaps when I earn my next million, win the lottery, or marry nobility or a winner at Le Mans will I participate in the elegance of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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