The glitter and the gold ~ Cars and Carmel

Cars have always featured heavily in my life, or more to the point in the lives of the men in my life.E-Type Jaguar at Monterey Historics 2012

So imagine an event brimming with exotic cars, historic cars, luxury cars, concourse ‘trailered’ cars ~ by that I mean cars, which are trailered in to special events, whose engines Pristine E-Type Jaguar enginerarely turn but sparkle beneath their bonnets like the well-cared for pristine ‘jewels’ that they are!! And all these cars displayed in one of the most beautiful locations in California, arguably in the entire US and possibly in my opinion, in the words of Jeremy Clarkson ‘in the world’ ~ Carmel California. An event full of beautiful people displaying their even more beautiful prized pocessions……….affluence spilling Jerry Woods racing Porsche 911onto the pavement, sexy, glamorous and alluring……..even if you are not into cars it is a heady atmosphere.

Labrador in the driving seat of a vintage volvo!

James at the Baja cantina display cleaning the 1959 PorcsheFor me however beyond the ‘glitter and gold’ what is more intoxicating is the shared passion and enthusiasm. Something that could be found at an entirely different venue, an equestrian event, an antiques show, an art museum but here the passion is for the automobile. Pure delight and avid interest whipped into a frenzy, when a group of people gather from all corners of the globe to froth and exude like a bubbling cocktail, their combined fervor becomes quite intoxicating. And no one could be more enthused, eyes glowing, than my lovely son James, aided and abetted by his Dad! James and Chris at the Baja Cantina Car event
How lucky am I to share in their pure unadulterated, joy and passion. In one year to have watched their delight at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, ‘24 heures du Mans’, the Sonoma Raceway where James squealed round the corners in his Mazda Miata race car and now strolling the ever picturesque streets of Carmel.Car event at James and Chris at the Baja Cantina Car event Carmel ,California, USA

A stunning backdrop for an amazing collection of simply stunning automobiles! An event peppered with all sorts of ‘car meets’ and excitement, including the music, margaritas and engine roars at the Baja Cantina car display near Carmel Valley.

James’ knowledge and passion securedJaguar Mark 10 at Bonhams pre-auction car event Carmel 2012 him a job working at the auctioneers Bonhams. Bonhams had coordinated a splendid collection of automobile Lola at Bonhams pre auction event Carmel Californiatemptations. A pre-auction display of automoblia magnificence, hopingVintage car at Bonhams pre auction event Carmel, California to entice the most reluctant of notes from our wallets….

Vintage Billboard at Bonhams pre auction event Carmel, California

The eloquent authority of the auctioneer “do hurry up ladies and gentlemen, this car will sell to night………..and do I have 2 million? Ahhh yes, 2 million, sold over there, gentleman on the telephone!!!”

Carmel Beach, California USAFor us, our bank notes safely secure, once the hubbub had faded we were able to gasp once again at the simpleCarmel California USA but breathtaking beauty of the Carmel coastline. James' 1990 911 PorscheA beauty that never fades or tires but always succeeds in captivating that part of my heart that didn’t get left behind on the cobblestones of France or within the enfolds of an English village………….the gift and joy of travel, lucky lucky me!

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24 Heures du Mans – 2012

MG Midget at Le Mans 2012What exactly is it that lures people to follow sport? Is it the thrill of the event, the camaraderie, the anticipation of victory, the rekindling of childhood E-type Jaguar at Le Mans 2012dreams? All of my life I have been surrounded by men with a craving for motorsport. Restoring and nurturing their own prized Austin Healey’s, MG’s, E-types,Triumph Spitfire at Le Mans 2012 Triumph Spitfires and Porsches, or trailing round enthusiasts car ‘meets’ and visiting the circuits and infamous events at Goodwood, Thruxton, Brandshatch, Silverstone, Bonneville, Nurburgring, Spa, Monaco, Daytona, Porsche 911 going to Le Mans 2012Nazareth, Laguna Seca, Thunder Hill or Infineon. Enjoying track days, racingLotus at pre race event of 24 Heures du Mans 2012 Mazda Miata’s and loyally being avidly glued to each and every Formula One event of every season since as far back as I can remember, at least 1975!TVR at pre race event of 24 Heures du Mans 2012 Lotus at pre race event of 24 Heures du Mans 2012

On route to Le Man 2012

On route to Le Man 2012

All of the men in my life have shared this passion for cars and especially racing cars. Top 24 Heures du Mans 2012 of the list of their favourite events has to be ‘24 Heures du Le Mans 2012 at the pre race eventMans’. An event testing the speed and endurance of both the car, its drivers and their team. Attracting a larger global crowd thanAutoroute road sign for Le Mans  driving there for 24 Heures du Mans 2012 any other racing event, made even more famous in the 1970’s by Steve McQueen and this year celebrating its 80th year. An almost annual pilgrimage since Outside the entry to Le Mans Circuit ready for 24 Heures du Mans 20121987, this year I was invited to be part of it, my 3rd time although not for sixteen Chateaux in the Loire Valley France near the 24 Heures du Mans event 2012years! And despite the rain and ‘brrrr’ would I, francophile that I am, refuse the opportunity to return on the Chunnel to the Loire Valley barely 2 weeks after having left it?

 24 Heures du Mans 2012 from the GrandstandGlamorous, sexy, and alluring, the smell of brake dust, oil and petrol pervading your nostrils, male testosterone rippling its muscles amongst the crowd, the roar and screech of high performance

California's Porsche  'Flying Lizard Team' at  24 Heures du Mans 2012

California’s Porsche                  ‘Flying Lizard Team’

engines, the anticipation and the thrill. An entire weekend dedicated to the motorcar and twenty four hours of power, of Dunlop Bridge at 24 Heures du Mans 2012 speed, of skill, of fortitude, durability and survival that is ‘24 Heures du Mans’.Night at  24 Heures du Mans 2012 Cars on the circuit at 24 Heures du Mans 2012

Caterham at 24 Heures du Mans 2012Spending the event with specially treasured friends, being plied with champagne,

Lyfords and Longstaffes at 24 Heures du Mans 2012 the experience was romanticized by the charmingly cosy ‘Petit Potager’ where we rested our weary selves Petit Potager near Le Manseach night.Garden at Petit Potager near Le Mans

24 Heures du Mans 2012

More than anything how can you not be beguiled by the joy of the man you love glued to his Le MansOn the track after the race at 24 Heures du Mans 2012 radio, relishing every single second of this experience,

Chris on the track  after the race at 24 Heures du Mans 2012

screaming engines, shared passion and exhilaration for racing, speed and cars!

The Track at 24 heures du Mans

The Track at Le Mans!

Winners at 24 Heures du Mans 2012