What’s been happening so far? Where have I been? Where haven’t I been?
Some of you may have wanted to know exactly what has happened since the Great Race. Over my summer at home, I was primarily working with my good friend Stan on some of his vehicles, (mainly his 1956 Thunderbird & 1952 Bentley). Stan is a good friend of mine and I extended the offer to help him with his vehicles, as a chance to help him out, as well as tinker with some toys.
I wasn’t doing anything all that crazy, but it was enjoyable all the same. Brake jobs , general cleaning, some wood staining. Aside from spending time with cars & driving them a little, (even if the Thunderbird was a very tight squeeze), I was grateful to spend time with a good friend who has forgotten more than I know.
I will say that if I get anything from working with Stan it is that if I ever see anybody
driving in a Rolls Royce or a Bentley, I need to ask them if they have any Grey Poupon. If you see me driving around town, in anything similar, ask me as well. It will make my day.
After that, time went by, rather quickly I might add. I had to pack up and head to the Pebble Beach Concourse D’elegance. I was originally going to fly to Pebble Beach with just McPherson College but I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to go up a few days earlier and work with Seven, an automotive management group based out of Columbus Ohio. They have another office in the bottom of the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles. I was able to do this because I had a friend that already worked with them full time, Lance Butler. Lance attended McPherson, and the last day of school Lance asked if I could help out during the summer with them. I only worked with them a few times. Even though I live in L.A. County, I live on the extreme east side and the Petersen is of course on the extreme west side. Luckily Sundays are relatively light when it comes to traffic, so my first event was working the Rodeo Drive Concourse in Beverly Hills. Seven liked me enough that Lance wanted to know if I could work with them at some of their other events.
Oops, let me back up there. I guess I got a little ahead of myself. Why might I be going to Concourse d’Elegance and why with McPherson College? Well myself as well as two others, Zack Oller & Collin Howard, were chosen as Pebble Beach Phil Hill Scholars. The Phil Hill scholarship gives students enrolled in the Automotive Arts sizable scholarships towards their education, as well as a trip to Pebble Beach during the Concourse d’Elegance, not a bad deal.
I met up at the Peterson with Kyle, (someone I had never met before but was working with Seven), and we made the trek up to Monterey. Six hours is a long enough time to get to know a stranger a little bit. Kyle was fairly local as well, having met Lance through working with him at a shop. He was a good guy to have on the drive up there. We got along talked cars (big surprise) and he didn’t care what was on the radio. Eventually we made it to Monterey, with no issues. I was amused at the fact that we came to an entry area that had a $10 visitor fee to get into the housing area/golf course, of course residents are free. That should keep any rabble out. Well all but us.
The house that we were heading to was going to be the main base for our operations.We learned a funny thing while there, apparently a good amount of residents will actually leave for the week of the Pebble Beach festivities. They go on vacation paid for by renting out their house for about $10,000 a week. We got a good deal, being less than a mile from the actual concourse for $6000 a week, (the house itself is on the market for $3 million). All of us were scattered across three houses total. Two actual houses & a side room in a carriage house which was where I slept.
The work that we would be doing with Seven was essentially auto detailing for the auction cars for the companies there. I was going to be with Seven from Sunday to Wednesday, which is when I would meet up with the college. Most days consisted of working from 7 in the morning to midnight, traveling around to the different auction locations & some breaks in between. If you know me, you know that I am definitely not used to staying up
that late. Since I had worked with the company prior I was assigned to a special projects team. I don’t mean to make it sound fancy, but instead of having an assembly line manner at Gooding Auctions across all of the cars, I was dealing with a select few cars at RM Auctions. How select? A couple of Lamborghinis, Ferarris, a Cobra, & some other nifty cars. I was soooo close to RM’s Tucker, it was even in the hotel lobby at one point and was the first thing that one saw as the elevator doors opened. Another nifty car that was there was a Rickenbacker, named after the WWI flying ace. Mr. Rickenbcker got into the car business in 1920, but only lasted through ’27.
I had the opportunity to get up close & personal with some neat cars. Not all of them were my fancy, but hey it was fun. My favorites was that I got to detail a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr Convertible Sedan at RM & clean the windows of a Tucker at Gooding. It was kind of neat because I had the opportunity to get anywhere I wanted in the Tucker…& I did. I lifted the hood,trunk, looked under it & even sat inside it. I need to be a millionaire someday, seriously because it was perfect. In addition to actually having headroom, (remember 6’6″ doesn’t allow for headroom in most cars) it was just wonderful. Not only did Gooding have one but RM did as well. Two Tuckers in one place! I have seen 4 of the 51 built now. I even acted as a unofficial Tucker docent when we were roaming around the Gooding tent while preview was happening. Who knew her better than the guy that cleaned her windows?
After a few days of hard work I met up with the college. From there on out it was a relaxing experience, that I appreciated even more. Oh darn, staying up till 10 or 11 and having to be in the lobby at 7.
But you will have to wait until next week to read about the remainder of my adventure. I am back in school and I have school stuff to do.