Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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!