Classic car enthusiasts face a daunting task each January when they try to take in the overlapping Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, RM, Gooding and Silver auctions here in Arizona's Valley of the Sun. Fortunately, the auction locations are in close proximity, though there are still issues with deciding which auction to attend at which time - and, of course, of finding a convenient place to park once you make your decisions and arrive at your destinations.
Those of us who live in the Phoenix area went through a warm up of sorts in mid-November when Concorso Arizona and the 11th annual Goodguys Rod and Custom Association's Southwest Nationals were held the same weekend.
Concorso Arizona featured an array of several dozen Italian exotics, including a Ferrari Enzo, as well as one non-Italian exotic -- a Bugatti Veyron. Meanwhile, the Goodguys brought in more than 2000 vehicles that Americans consider as exotics - good ol' Detroit-based hot rods and customized cars, pickups and even a hearse.
Might we be seeing a trend?
Both at Goodguys and at the recent SEMA Show, there were some very impressive customizations of C.O.E.'s, cab-over-engine trucks that have been modified visually and updated mechanically and thus are impressive not only in their appearance but in their sheer size, perhaps double of the typical full-size pickup truck.
Mark your calendars!
March 27-29, 2009 marks the Legends of Riverside Racing Film Festival with a tribute to actor/racer Paul Newman. The event will be held at the Riverside Raceway Museum in Riverside, Calif., site of one of the most famous of all American road racing circuits, which by the late 1980s gave way to residential and commercial development.
Pebble Beach push up:
Organizers of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance have pushed forward by two months their application process for next August's 59th annual event on the Monterey Peninsula. My guess is that the organizers are worried about the effects of the economic slowdown (or is it a meltdown?) and want to be sure they can fill the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach golf links. Part of the reason for the early application process is to give those shipping cars from overseas more time for that process.
"The number of applicants and participants from outside the United States continues to increase demonstrating that the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has truly become 'the world's concours,' and we want to provide everybody with the time they need to get ready for this great competition," said event chair Sandra Kasky Button.
By the way, featured marques at Pebble Beach next summer include Bugatti and Bentley, the 100th anniversaries of Morgan and Audi, and designs by Zagato.
Speaking of concours:
Hot rods and custom cars will be among the stars March 13-15, 2009 at the 14th annual Amelia Island (Fla.) Concourse d'Elegance, which will feature a seminar panel that includes Chip Foose, George Barris, Dean Jeffries, Darryl Starbird and Steve Pasteiner.
Amelia also will feature the work of coachbuilders Bohman & Schwartz and will honor racer, TV commentator and Honda dealer David Hobbs.
While you're marking your calendars... Here's the Goodguys 2009 season schedule:
March 14-15, Costa Mesa, Calif.
March 28-29, Pleasanton, Calif.
April 3-5, Del Mar, Calif.
May 30-31, Pleasanton, Calif.
June 5-7, Loveland, Colo.
June 12-14, Indianapolis (Clermont, Ind.)
June 26-28, Nashville, Tenn.
June 26-28, Rhinebeck, N.Y.
July 3-5, Des Moines, Iowa
July 10-12, Columbus, Ohio
July 24-26, Puyallup, Wash.
Aug. 14-16, Spokane, Wash.
Aug. 21-23, Pleasanton, Calif.
Aug. 28-30, Norwalk, Ohio
Sept. 4-6, Kansas City, Kan.
Sept. 18-20, Joliet, Ill.
Sept. 26-27, Pocono (Long Pond), Penn.
Oct. 2-4, Fort Worth, Tex.
Oct. 16-18, Bowling Green, Ky.
Oct. 23-25, Charlotte (Concord), N.C.
Nov. 14-15, Pleasanton, Calif.
bNov. 20-22, Scottsdale, Ariz.
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