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2020-10-02 - Petersen “Pebble Beach” Virtual Concours

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 Petersen “Pebble Beach” Virtual Concours 2020: Psychedelic, But Not a Hallucination

Since 1988 the 2nd weekend in August almost invariably finds me spaced out on the Monterey Peninsula in California for the Pebble Beach classic car weekend. Warning, once you start this habit, you too may be hooked. Alas, this year the fear of a pandemic resulted in the cancellation of all the enthusiast events: the Monterey Historic Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca; the Concorso Italiano, the Legends of the Autobahn, the Quail Gathering; and last but not least the legendary Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, which attracts the finest classic cars from around the world. As the word got out I started to experience withdrawal symptoms: insomnia, loss of appetite, generalized apathy.

Fortunately, the Petersen Automobile Museum leadership came to the rescue. They had a splendid idea, why not hold a virtual Monterey Car Week with videos of great cars submitted for online versions of the wonderful events which have had me coming back to Pebble for more than 30 years. Topping off the new schedule was the Petersen’s “Pebble Beach” Virtual Concours, judged by an international panel of experts and motoring celebrities. I could get my classic car fix, after all.

John Kuhn Bleimaier

The Petersen Virtual Concours concluded on Sunday night, August 16th, after some 100 classic car contestant videos were aired online, over a period of six hours. Yes I sat it out, riveted to my computer screen, for the whole time. It was quite an experience. The competition was intense in nine classes and included, inter alia, prewar Packard, Horsch, Peugeot; coach built Alfa Romeos, Delahayes, Ferraris and Maserati’s. Twenty-seven trophies were awarded. Only one Mercedes-Benz automobile came away with silverware this year. You can imagine my delight when I inform you that the starship which was rewarded with distinction at this international event was a 1965 Finback 190Dc. My fingers are trembling on the keyboard as I announce that it is an un-restored white Diesel with a history of one family ownership from new and it resides in a barn in Hopewell, New Jersey!

I had always dreamt that the Mercedes which my father purchased new when I was a sophomore in high school would someday be recognized in the Pebble Beach context. Who could have imagined that the corona virus debacle and the monstrous lockdown would result in my car participating in the Petersen “Pebble Beach” Virtual Concours and taking home a trophy? My beloved old steed was announced the 2nd place winner in the “special significance” class, behind the class winning 1910 Thomas Flyer. Best of show went to a 1937 Horch Sport Cabriolet. Within 72 hours, a solid crystal trophy arrived at my place, delivered by FedEx. What a trip!

If you are up to watching six hours of splendid motorcar madness follow this link:

https://www.petersen.org/petersen-car-week

If you want to see one jubilant compression ignition aficionado and the object of his affection, just drive on over to Falkenhorst Farm in Hopewell, New Jersey.

John Kuhn Bleimaier

John Kuhn Bleimaier

September 21, 2020