Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pictures from the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours

For better or worse the Pebble Beach Concours is the premier event of this nature in the world. As such the organizers feel justified in charging those who wish to go $175 per ($200 at the door) to attend. Enough of the socialist ranting, I, and thousands of others want to see this caliber of automobiles so that despite the economy's supposed sorry state, the place was jammed. Believe me getting some of the shots was papparazian in effort, and having the instinct and experience to know just when to shoot (usually).  As I've said often, I can justify this expenditure because most of these magnificent works of art will disappear into private collections never to be seen again by most of us. 

All the week leading up to the event there have been about six world class auctions. Notably, between them all, well over 100 million dollars have changed hands. One Duesenberg went for over 10 Mil and a particularly rare and desirable Ferrari "Testa Rossas went for over 16 Mil. An auction world record, I'm told.  Perhaps it demonstrates what some economists have been saying about the theory that the very, very rich are getting even richer as the rest of us go down the drain. It's somewhat ironic that this phenomenon seems to mimic the fact that the automotive "classic" era occurred during the world's greatest depression  in the 30's. Some folks were spending 20, 30 thousand or more for these fine coach built Duesenbergs, Hispano-Suizas, Rolls Royces, etal when the best Ford or Chevy could be purchased for around $600 "loaded." Of course, one needed a job and at least 25% were unemployed so the "bargain" prices didn't mean much. Does that sound familiar?

I should add that many of the big names in classics did succumb to the depression. 
One reason was that it was somewhat dangerous to be out in a $20thousand car when driving by people in bread lines.
But why complain? I was able to see these iconic autos and rub elbows with highest strata of society. I should also humbly thank them for often spending literally hundreds of thousands to restore these machines to their original (often better) splendor after paying millions to acquire them in the first place.  

I'll see you there next August!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Welcome to Der Gutie's Auto Blog

Welcome to my own blog. It is the thing that older, retired folks can do with their spare time, and perhaps, do something useful and be out of the hair of one’s significant other. In this case my tireless and tactful young Ms Trudy.

For openers, I understand that this will be one of hundreds such efforts by auto enthusiasts worldwide. I know that many of them have encyclopedic memories about a manner of automotive details. If you want to know what colors were available for the headliner in ‘57 Chevys, I’m not the one who could help you. But if you want discussions about the joy and beauty of cars through the ages, that’s an area I’d love to take on. In this regard, by now, through the miracle of digital photography, I must have about 5000 photos of autos and related matters, that I’m more than glad to share, inflict, or otherwise annoy you with.

These were obtained from visits to hundreds of car shows, museums and miscellaneous encounters over the last 10 years that I’ve had a digital camera. Indeed, I even have some predigital shots that I’ve managed to hang on to from almost 50 years ago. Memorably, I have some amazingly good B/W Polaroids from my first Pebble Beach Concours in 1964!
My late wife, Connie at Pebble 1964 posing with a Cord Phaeton.
Note how few people  were there.
 I think it cost less than $10 to get in,
and you could park right in front of the clubhouse!

In addition to pictures of cars and discourse about them I may from time to time invite discussions about a wide range of automotive topics including views about the social implications of  automotive phenomena.

I hope that this will leave me enough latitude to opine upon a wide array of topics.

Your views will always be welcomed.

More soon!