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Published: August 14th 2010
CARS ARRIVING IN CARMEL FOR LUNCH
Excerpted from my book :OUR SUMMER IN CARMEL- Amazon.com
(This posting covers my visit to the PB Councours in 2005)
Late Thursday morning found me walking up into Carmel’s central business district, or to be more precise, Ocean Avenue, the main thoroughfare. This avenue is about a five minute walk from where we rented our house for the summer. I was on my way to witness a stopover on the eighth annual Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. This fifty-plus mile road rally brings Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance cars out of the “garage” and demonstrates that they are not just “hanger queens” only to be ogled at and photographed. They are also to be driven and enjoyed as they were a long time ago. In that sense, this touring event is what the Concours d’Elegance is all about, not only preserving great cars, but honoring them as well by driving them.
This year the rally would take the cars through Carmel Valley, down magnificent Highway 1 roadway towards Big Sur, over the famous Bixby Bridge, and then turning back to stop for lunch in Carmel, before returning to Pebble Beach. It happened to be a beautiful
day for the event with the perennial fog lifting, allowing the sunlight to glisten off the polished chrome and exquisite finish of these fine automobiles. Ocean Avenue, that was previously declared a no parking zone for this event, began to fill with the rally cars at about 11 am. The entrants were skillfully escorted by the California Highway Patrol. The cars were all parked facing the ocean on both sides of the divided avenue. Crowds began to gather, and soon swelled: they “oohed” and “aahed” with the arrival of each automobile, swarming around their favorites and snapping pictures.
Meanwhile the owner/drivers, if even for only two hours, mingled with the general public, which is what this event is all about anyway. The owners even left their cars unattended while they ate lunch in Carmel’s welcoming restaurants
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