Motorcycle trip to Monterey, CA (August 2003)

(1100+ new pictures to be posted soon from the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Blackhawk Exposition)


The Pacific Ocean along PCH1 near Big Sur

Interesting. One year ago I was riding my bicycle down this same coast during my Seattle to San Diego bicycle trip (see under Adventures). This time I was covering the mileage I covered in a day in about two hours. I just had to ride this section of the coast via motorcycle to bring back the memories of my ride.

Heading out the door Tuesday from Phoenix

Last minute change in mode of transportation. Why take a car when I have a garage full of motorcycles? So stuff a small duffel bag with my clothes and laptop computer. Fill the tankbag with all my camera equipment. Air up the tires. Gas tank is full of gas. Oil levels looks good. Lights turned out at my place. Air conditioner turned off. Lock the front door. Make sure the garage door is closed. Next stop is California!

Wednesday -- PCH1 and Monterey

I roll up the Pacific Coast via the Pacific Coast Highway. Great curves, great road, colder than snot, strong winds. Catch the tail end of the American Bugatti Club as it does its Big Sur tour. Amazing seeing some of the old Bugatti's rolling down the highway. Keep on rolling though. I'm headed to Laguna Seca raceway and to catch up with old friends!

Thursday -- Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2003
50 miles through the Monterey Peninsula

A free preview of over 100 vintage automobiles of which will participate in Sunday's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. They took the road for a 50 mile long drive through the Monterey countryside. First along 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, through Cannery Row in Monterey, up to the racetrack at Laguna Seca, into downtown Carmel to be displayed before the public and then back to Pebble Beach - the participants having proved beyond a doubt that their vintage automobiles are far from being 'Trailer Queens'. (Plus the addition of one bonus point to be used in a tie breaker scenario -- the difference between winning and losing at times)

The 1931 Bugatti Dubos Coupe is perhaps the most important Bugatti to have been rediscovered in recent years. The mating of the very stylish Dubos coupe body to its original Chiron driven race winning chassis is saving and preserving one of the worlds most interesting and innovative stylish automobiles. (more details to follow soon with complete history!)

Friday -- Laguna Seca Raceway

It's time for the 2003 Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Grand marque this year is Ford -- but the automobiles I came to see were the Bugatti's as they are the honored sub-marque. I think there was actually more Bugatti's than Ford's -- but to be honest, you won't hear me complaining... I'm in heaven!

Bugatti racecars. More Bugatti racecars. Every color and configuration. I'm glad I came. (600+ pictures to be posted soon)

Saturday -- visit my brother

Late Friday night I rolled out of Laguna Seca in Monterey. Up north I go. First Salinas and onto the highway. Through Gilroy and the smell of slow roasted garlic bulbs still in the field. Up through San Jose and the start of horrible concrete slabs of freeway. Exit off to head up through the East Bay -- Pleasanton. Next destination is Fairfield and Suisun City -- I'm at my brothers place. He has to work Saturday -- but we load up Saturday night and head back to Pebble Beach for Sunday... it's the concours and who would want to miss that?!?!

Sunday -- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

It's that time of year again! For the 53rd time, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance presented the most prestigious classic car event in the world. This years' featured marque was Bugatti, with a total of over 40 examples of this great marque displayed in several classes. Attendance is by invitation only for competitors -- only the very best of the best gets invited here. I love this event -- stumbling between the Bugatti's, Duesenbergs, Hispano Suiza's, Delahaye's, Delage's, Talbot Lago's, Rolls Royce's, Ferrari's, Maserati's -- and all are the best of each! (500+ more pictures to be posted soon)

Even with the million dollar examples of flamboyant showcars throughout the lawn, it was great this year to see the diminutive Austin Seven's from England make an appearance. Most were mundane economy cars for the lower class -- but even a lot of these had great coachwork such as this example.

Here's the "Best of Show" for 2003. A Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Only three were build and only two exist today -- and now each is a Pebble Beach "Best of Show" winner. (Ralph Lauren's won a few years ago) Gorgeous is an understatment here -- the Atlantic is one of the most striking automobiles ever designed.

Monday -- Blackhawk Museum in San Ramon

A special Monterey Historics festivities event at the Blackhawk Museum in San Ramon. More grand automobiles throughout the museum. Great lectures and slide shows. Free food! I'd definitely attend this event again. Plus it's a great way to unwind after days of walking and battling crowds in Monterey... (more pictures to come of course!)

 



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