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 minutes du Mazda Miata” – zoom, zoom!

Cars, speed, racing and male testosterone………those same components that consumed the atmosphere at ’24 Heures du Mans’, were just as effervescent when I watched my lovely son, James, racing in the Sports Club of America, (SCCA), Mazda Spec Miata, series at Sonoma Raceway, California.James in his Mazda Miata racing at Sonoma RacewayJames' Mazda Miata Sonoma Raceway

Mazda Miatas ready to race at the SCCA race day at Sonoma RacewayAbout 70 specially spec Mazda Miatas, growling like hungry tigers, eagerly snarling on the starting grid. Impatiently reeving their engines, waiting for the flag to drop, signaling their permission to screech onto the track.

Ready to scream up through the gears, ‘pedal to the metal’ and hurtle themselves into the chicanes. Jostling for position, daring to take the ‘racing line’ into the corners as tightly as possible……

SCCA Spec Miata racing at Sonoma Raceway

Roaring engines, gears shifting, clouds of brake dust and complete exhilaration!

James racing the Mazda Miata on the trackWhat happened to my little boy lying on his tummy, whizzing toy cars across the floor, making car noises……..I guess he grew up!James a winner at the SCCA race day at Sonoma RacewaySCCA race day at Sonoma RacewayJames the racing driver at Sonoma raceway