That is a phrase I must have heard uttered over a dozen times during the weekend of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance by people gazing at the magnificent pre-war automobiles on display. And they definitely don’t make cars like these anymore. In fact, most manufacturers of these majestic machines have long been defunct. The likes of Duesenberg, Packard, Minerva and Delage are all absent from the vocabulary of modern automobillia, and it’s a real shame because the cars they made were nicer (relatively) than even the top-of-the line Rolls Royce today.
In fact, as I’ve said before, Rolls Royce is really the only company from this era that still makes the same type of cars today as it did back then. Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz still exist, but have both moved their base of operation far down market. Yes, the pre-war era was a different time, when the automobile was a blank canvass for craftsmen to as they pleased. There was a lot of art-for-art-sake in these cars, and that’s something that is mostly absent from modern cars now that accountants and health and safety people run the show.
So the relative gray-scale of the cars we know today makes ogling over these pre-war gems an activity to be savored. I am really hoping for a renaissance of creativity in the auto industry, where the artistry will come back and add to all of the modern technology and design. The cookie-cutter designs of modern cars have gotten extremely old, and a design that aims to please anyone is also boring to everyone. So I’ve got my fingers crossed.
For now, though, just enjoy gazing at these incredible pre-war machines. The attention to detail, and the sheer craftsmanship is simply breathtaking to behold. Enjoy the cars!
These are the American classics and muscle cars that stood out for us at last weekend’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
The rumble of many V8 engines ran thickly through the air as the award ceremony began. First the rare Shelby GT350 R came to life, then the furious Roadrunner fired its 440 six pack, all as they prepared to parade in front of excited show-goers. Muscle cars sure have a mighty amount of presence, you can feel it in your bones.
After the Muscles were flexed, we were treated to some 50’s metal in lively colors. Everything from the cliché pink Cadillac to a turquoise Chevy Impala paraded through the show, and I felt a sudden urge for a burger and a nice big milkshake.
My parents were in attendance for this year’s Straight-Eights car show in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I had other plans that weekend, but my Dad got some solid photos of the event. Get ready for spiffy cars from the 1950’s galore! Enjoy.
This year at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I was overjoyed when the master of ceremonies announced the Best of Show winner from the finalists. I’d been photographing this stunning brown Packard convertible the entire afternoon, and when it drove through the confetti as the trumpets sounded, I was elated.
In fact, the owners of this car, Superior Court judge Joseph Cassini III and his wife Margie, live in West Orange, NJ–less than 20 miles from the town I grew up in (Randolph).
This particular Packard is a 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, and was fully restored by RM Restorations in Canada. It is a particularly rare example in that the coachwork was done partially by Dietrich and partially by the factory as a special. The 10,000 man-hour restoration was finished only recently, and this was its show debut.
Enjoy the photos. Congratulations to the Cassini family on your award!
We have just had a mighty few days in the midst of the automotive Valhalla that is Monterey Car week, but the capstone event is surely the most grand of all, and that is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
This is an event where champions compete against champions. At any other event, every participant in the Pebble Beach Concours would likely win best of show. The field of automobiles is just plain unbelievable — the second you think you’ve seen everything, something incredible catches your eye. This is a place where a Lamborghini Miura may go overlooked, a place where everywhere you look, there is something astonishing to take in. This is la creme de la creme de la creme of automobiles.
Pebble Beach was once again kind enough to grant us media passes for this event, for which we are extremely grateful. I definitely feel like we put it all to good use this year, capturing tons of material to be used over the coming months. This is a highlight gallery of the event that aims to wet your appetite for what’s to come. Enjoy the photo gallery, and check back for much more from the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
We attended the The Elegance at Hershey this past weekend. It was actually our second show of the day, so time was precious to begin with, but the rain wound up cutting the event even shorter. It actually turned out to be favorable for us because most people left the show, leaving the cars largely unobstructed for photographs. The clouds also made the lighting fantastic for shooting classic cars, by both reducing glare and making to colors more striking. Our time in Hershey was a bit rushed, but I like how the pics came out. There were some really fantastic cars there too. This is an overview gallery of the event. There will be specific features to follow. Enjoy. Continue reading The Elegance at Hershey 2013→
We were in attendance for the 2013 Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance this past weekend in Connecticut. It was a fantastic event, and we saw, and drove, many awesome cars. Like most Concours events we go to, we have come back with months of material that we will be sharing with you over time, but this is a highlight reel to wet your appetite. Enjoy.
The Caribbean was Packard’s halo car back in the day, and this stunning example was present for the recent Festivals Of Speed event on Amelia Island. This 1956 Caribbean Convertible was very high-end, costing more than the equivalent Cadillac. Unfortunately, this was also one of the last Packard Carribeans to be made because the company was going bust, and 1956 was the last year of production for this car. During that year just 276 Caribbean Convertibles were produced, making this quite a rare car. I cannot get enough of the tri-tone color scheme. The hot pink between the white and black really sets the car off. The interior details also are quite immaculate, with an interesting pattern on the dash. It is a beautiful car all around.
Seeing this Caribbean up close made me really wish that our modern American cars still had this sort of style. Just look at all that chrome trim, so much style for style sake. I know we can’t build cars exactly like this anymore, but things have gotten far too boring. If memory serves me correctly, I don’t even think there is a single American car that you can still factory order with a two tone color scheme, let alone something like this Caribbean. There is no reason for our cars to have lost their sense of style, so while looking through these photos, just think about then versus now. Our car industry has lost all of its flavor, and we need to demand it back. I would love to see the Packard name re-emerge too, but now I’m really just hoping blindly. Enjoy the pics. Continue reading Festivals Of Speed: 1956 Packard Caribbean Convertible→