We Gathered and We Celebrated
November 2, 2021
Time and again during the months leading up to and through the 70th Pebble Beach Concours, I found myself saying, “Yes, we’re happening. Yes, we’re once again gathering to celebrate cars.”
Many times I said it aloud in response to queries or comments from others. Sometimes I whispered it with wonderment to friends. Most often, I mouthed it silently to myself, like a mantra of sorts or a magical incantation.
Even now, two months after the event, I find myself affirming the obvious: “Yes, we were together. And we brought together a great group of cars—one of the best in years.”
The truth is, a small part of me still can’t quite believe it.
A much bigger part of me feels immensely fortunate and extremely grateful to know that it’s true. And I want to thank everyone who stood by us and supported us as one year of planning turned to two, even the best of plans were often upended, and everything required both extra effort and immeasurable patience.
Working together, we made it happen.
I can still see the images in my mind’s eye: 38 elegant Best of Show cars and all 5 overall Road Race winners lined up along the water, myriad Ferraris (well over 100!) covering both the eighteenth and first fairways, 13 storied Porsche 917s and 9 Lamborghini Countach Berlinettas wrapping around the seventeenth green, the magnificent Millers making their own mighty statement, the Early Electrics posed near to the cart path—and proving that old technology can sometimes be the coolest current thing (pun intended). And, oh, so much more.
Many people have said to me, and I tend to agree, that this field of cars ranked among our best ever.
Of course, I also know what we were missing: about six additional Best of Show cars, two more 917s, two very special E-types to pair with the one that made it as part of an intended trio paying tribute to that model, a whole class of Talbot-Lago Grand Sports (next year!). . . . And so much more.
We missed those cars, but even more so we missed many of our friends from overseas.
The reduced but ongoing threat of the pandemic and a host of related logistical problems in terms of supplies and shipping upended many careful preparations. Strangely, several cars made it here without their owners—and the reverse was also true. Entrants (and judges and other enthusiasts too) were prohibited from travelling—and cars shipped from abroad were unable to make it to port, even weeks and months past their date dues.
I am grateful for the car experts who stepped forward to show cars on behalf of others when asked, or who stepped into suddenly vacant judging positions. I am grateful to the new entrant who did not give up but went in search of a car to suit our show field when his did not arrive. I am grateful to the sponsors who stood firmly by us, and to those who joined us for the first time. And I am grateful to everyone who did their utmost to make it here—even if they didn’t succeed.
I am thankful for all of you.
Next year, when they and their owners can get here, we will showcase those Talbot Lago Grand Sports, I promise! We will also feature some of Lincoln’s most stylish creations, a host of Le Mans winners are headed our way, and we will soon be announcing additional special classes.
We can’t wait to celebrate great cars with you all. Each and every one of you.