Thursday, August 27, 2015

Calling All Cars!

We're moving again - still in California but east from Pleasanton about 30 miles to Tracy. Right now we have two cars, Nadine's '02 Focus and my '64 Ranchero. I'm going to need another car, a commuter as I'm keeping my part-time job in Dublin (again about 30 miles from Tracy). So I'm putting the word out to all in my general area to let me know of a good, inexpensive, reliable, fuel efficient car. How inexpensive? I'd like to keep it around $2,000 if possible.

We've considered getting a new car and I take over the Focus and this is still a possibility but for now we're not sure we want to get into payments.

So if you know of something let me know. Thanks.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Monterey - Wow What A Week!

The Monterey Automobile Week is over. Every year that I go (I missed last year) I think it can't get any better (or more expensive) but every year it just seems that all the events out do themselves.

I had a truncated week this year; instead of going from Monday to Monday I went down on Wednesday and came home Sunday evening. I hit all the auctions to see some of their offerings, drove the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, went to Concorso Italiano and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. I missed one event that I had planned on attending because of extreme brain fade.

Some pundits said they didn't expect the auctions to equal last year's results but seems to me they did very well. Total sales were $378,302,598. This figure doesn't include Rick Cole Auctions; they haven't release their numbers yet, or JR Auctions who won't report their sales although they did report that they sold 35-40% of the vehicles and boats offered. The top in sales dollars was RM Sotheby's with over $172 million.

One of the things that amazes me at the auctions is to see cars that not that long ago could be picked up for a relative song going for "wow" money. Yet at the same time I saw cars that went for way less than I would have expected. Like a '99 Ferrari 456 M GTA that sold for a mere $36,000. Admittedly not the most sought after Ferrari but a Ferrari no less.
Not the Ferrari but a similar 456.

I was impressed by the overall quality of the offereings. It seems that every auction has upped their game. I expect to see the high quality vehicles at Bonhams, Gooding and RM Sotheby's but some of the others had a spotty past. Not any more. I saw some cars that weren't to my taste but I really didn't see any dogs.

Although I wrote a short article on the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider I have to mention it again. I see great things for Alfa once again. The 4C Spider is an exciting car that will put a smile on your face every time you drive it.

Concorso Italiano moved to Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course last year and was there again this year. They were there a few years ago. If you love Italian cars this is the place to go. The outstanding Italian car was a black - yes black - 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS.

The Pebble Beach Concour d'Elegance is the cornerstone of the week. You only see the absolute best of the best here. The downside to Pebble are the crowds. If you don't get your viewing done before 10 a.m. you have to contend with wall-to-wall people. Ever since I've been attending the ticket prices have gone up and up yet they still come. This year's tickets were $300 in advance and $350 at the gate.

This year's Best of Show was a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F.

I have to give a special thanks to Meguiar's Car Care Products for allowing me into their hospitality patio. Barry and Karen Meguiar are two of the nicest, most gracious people I have ever met. Thank you for your kindness.

Almost every event during the week benefits a charity and for that I am thankful as well. The inhabitants of the Monterey Peninsula deserve a big thank you as well. Many visitors during the week forget that there are thousands of people who have to go to work every day while we enjoy the good life. The massive traffic jams are an inconvenience for us; for the residents it is hell. If you go next year be kind to those who live there.

There are many events that I did not get to this year and I am sorry. Time will tell what I do next year.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the premier Concours in the USA, one of the best in the world. It is a must see for every car person on the face of the earth.

Every year I think they cannot keep it going at that year's level, both in the quality of the cars and the number of attendees. When I first started going I think the tickets were just under $100. This year the advance ticket was $300 ($350 at the gate). And the crowds never get smaller. 

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show Winner
1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F
(photo property of Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance)
1951 Mercury Fred Rowe Custom Convertible
1950 Mercury Leo Lyons Custom Coupe
1963 Harcraft Special Mickey Thompson Indianapolis Race Car
Cunningham w/Chrysler Hemi
1955 Cunningham C-6R
1953 Cunningham C-3 Vignale Covertible
1955 Porsche 550RS Spyder
1956 Jaguar D-type Sports Racer
1957 Fiat Stanguellini Bertone Spider
1955 Mercedes-Benz W196R Grand Prix
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR
1970 Mercedes-Benz C111
1903 Thomas Model 18 Shelden Rear Entrance Tonneau

1911 Inter-State Model 31-A Four Passenger Demi-Tonneau
1910 Speedwell Model 10-L Burr Landaulet Town Car
1917 Moon 6-45 Roadster
1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Hibbard & Darrin Cabriolet de Ville
1937 Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet
1937 Peugeot 402 Pourtout Cabriolet
1931 Invicta LS Carbodies Coupe
1939 Atalanta Abbott Drophead Coupe engine
1939 Atalanta Abbott Drophead Coupe
1956 Lincoln Continental Mk II Coupe
1938 Graham Model 97 Saoutchik Convertible

1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Frua Coupe
1952 Ferrari 340 Mexico Vignale Spyder


Bonhams Quail Auction always has some fantastic cars. Their sales topped $46 mil. These are some that caught my eye.

1950 Steve McQueen Hudson Custom Commodore Six Convertible - $71,500
1958 Fiat 600 Multipla -$60,500

1950 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet Atlas - $363,000

1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America - $1,952,500
1948 Aston-Martin 2-Litre Works Team Car
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic - $1,815,000
1949 Veritas Scorpian Cabriolet - $907,500
1910 Pope-Hartford Model T 40HP Tourer - $192,500
1910 Pope-Hartford Model T 40HP Tourer - $192,500
1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I 40/50HP Skiff