Monterey Car Week 2017: Pebble Beach Concourse D’elegance

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Wrapping up Monterey Car Week would not be complete without a trip to the Pebble Beach Concourse D’elegance. We could write all day about the amazing cars we saw, the awesome concept car lawn, how we got up close and personal with Horacio Pagani’s personal Zonda HP Barchetta or Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary gathering…Or we could just show you.

Since the latter sounds like a much more enjoyable option, sit back, relax, and enjoy our pictures from the event and festivities.

 

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Cheers,

-JB

Concorso Ospitalità: A Look Inside the Monterey Car Week Hospitality Experience

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For car people and gear heads, Monterey Car Week is Mecca. This year’s Car Week was the biggest and best to date, with a flurry of prestigious events, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world and every type and shape of car one could imagine in attendance. With so much to do and so much to see, what’s the best way to take a bit of a breather? The answer is to take a little time to visit some of the VIP hospitality villas and suites hosted by your favorite manufactures, and that’s exactly what we did this year.

The first hospitality retreat we took was at the BMW Villa, which is located in a secluded villa in the heart of Pebble Bach. A literal hidden gem, the villa was dressed up in an inviting and intimate fashion. At the front steps was a test drive booth, were attendees could test drive virtually any car in the BMW range, which we seized the opportunity to take the i8 for glorious drive. Upon returning from our drive we decided to further explore the villa. Out in the front patio BMW brought their two highlighted concept vehicles for display, the 2017 8 Series and Z4 concept cars. Both looked at home out in full display, which let us know that we were in a BMW fan’s dream house. To further that theme in the first room of the house was a station setup to highlight the BMW Individual Program, in which a customer can custom spec any exterior and interior color and material combination they can think of. The rest of the villa was decked with lounge chairs, couches and refreshment stations, and we will admit having cranberry-elderflower spritzer after a test drive was the perfect way to unwind a bit.

The next stop on our hospitality tour took us to the House of Bentley, which is next to the entrance of the Pebble Beach Concourse. The quickest way to signify that we were at Bentley was the elaborate display of the current model range in front of the massive house. Inside the house, one feels at home in the intimate environment, despite the first room having been converted into a high-end accessory and watch boutique, filled with scale models, jackets and fine watches. The next room feature the Bentley Design Studio, which features a blend of old school handcraftsmanship with technology that seems to be from the year 3017. We got to sample many of the fine leathers used for the interiors of the vehicle, but perhaps the coolest thing was a special app they had on their Design Studio iPads. This app scans your face and then custom specs out a car based on your personality, and it was pretty shockingly accurate with our specs. We decided to make our way to the outside patio, but to do that we had to pass the kitchen where several gourmet chefs were busy cooking a flurry of delicious bite eats. After grabbing some wine, a few insanely good lobster rolls and wagyu beef sliders, we ventured out to the back deck which had a breathtaking view of the ocean. This was a very hard place to leave, especially with those lobster rolls coming fresh out of the kitchen consistently.

Our third stop was to check in with McLaren. We were pretty excited to be testing out the new 570S Spyder, though we were not complaining about having to spend some time at the luxurious Bernardus Spa & Resort beforehand. McLaren brought out an impressive display of significant cars from their history, from a 1967 McLaren M6A Can Am race car, to the legendary 1992 McLaren F1, to their most recent effort with a 2017 McLaren 720S. There was also a good showing of owner cars, with 4 McLaren P1’s making an appearance with an assortment of 675 LT’s, 570S, 650S, and 720S’ as well. A variety of Asian-themed h’orderves were served and we helped ourselves to some ahi tuna mini tacos while inspecting the McLaren 570S configurator.

Our last stop on the official hospitality tour was with Lamborghini, located at the Quail Lodge Club House. Elegantly situated at the entrance to the Quail Lodge grounds, the club house is the perfect venue for enjoying a refreshing coffee or latte next to the mini-lake at the lodge, before experiencing the fury and insanity of the Aventador S and the Huracan Spyder. It was a very surreal dichotomy: At the lodge, we felt a Zen-like sense of peace and calm, the perfect counter balance to the raw and primal fury of the Lamborghini’s, particularly the V12 Aventador S. It was the perfect calm before the storm, and was certainly the perfect way to end our hospitality tour as we continued the weekend with many other events.

Other noteworthy mentions in the hospitality tour go to Aston Martin, who had a wonderful display and setup at the Sunset Center Carmel; Audi’s Hospitality Paddock at Laguna Seca Raceway, which was highlighted with a speech by 9-time LeMans winner Tom Kristensen; The Rolls-Royce Villa which showcased the band new Phantom; Porsche, who’s hospitality suite at the Quail Lodge made for the perfect mid-day escape and refreshment stop, and Mercedes-Benz, who’s Pebble Beach hospitality suite gave the best views to be had of the Concourse winners as they came to the front stage. If you plan to attend car week next year, we highly encourage you to talk with your dealers and secure an invite to a hospitality suite of your favorite brand or brands, it’s the best way to get the full Car Week VIP Experience.

Cheers,

-JB

Monterey Car Week 2017: The Quail Lodge

It’s our favorite time of year again, Monterey Car Week. It’s always hard to imagine how it can possibly get better than the year before, but somehow it does. And we fully support that.

The Quail Lodge is our personal favorite event of the entire car week. For us we love the mixture of the latest and greatest with the cars of legend and classics. And the all you can eat and drink is a huge bonus.

We encourage you to enjoy or gallery of pictures from the event:

 

Cheers,

-JB

From Ghost Till Dawn: Rolls-Royce Ghost vs Wraith vs Dawn

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Today was the annual Father’s Day Concourse On Rodeo Drive, where the city blocks off Rodeo drive to display some of the most unique and outrageous cars ever produced. We also took this opportunity to check in with our friends at O’Gara Coach who own Beverly Hills Roll-Royce to get a VIP tasting selection of what Rolls-Royce has to offer. We strolled over to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and found ourselves eyeing three classy cars for our sampling: The Ghost Black Badge, the Dawn and the Wraith.

The Wraith

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The Wraith has a striking and flowing design that is classy, modern, and elegant all at once. Interior wise, it’s all the top luxury one can imagine. The drive is very smooth and silky, it’s a very etheral experience. The car almost floats on the road and hides it’s weight in a very clever way. It’s like riding and elephant across a frozen lake and the whole time you’re shocked that it doesn’t step right through the ice. As a driver the experience is soothing, as a passenger, it’s sublime. The Wraith has a tremendous amount of room in the back and ride quality means you can discuss aggressive corporate mergers or gossip over tea and not have a care about the outside world. Compared to the Dawn and the Ghost Black Bad, the Wraith feels the slowest, but deliberately. If you’re in a Wraith, everyone is waiting for you, so you can take your leisure as you float from point A to point B.

The Dawn

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Being the drop-top brother of the Wraith, the Dawn feels similar to the Wraith, but looks wise it wins the beauty contest. The one we drove was a beautiful azure blue example, and from the stance of the car alone we can say it’s a modern classic. Driving around in the Dawn it feels very similar to the Wraith in that you get an ethereal sensation, but the Dawn somehow feels quicker than the Wraith. As a passenger it’s just as comfortable, but unlike the Wraith, where when you’re riding in the back of it you don’t think of driving, in the Dawn with the top down, you want to be seen in the driver’s seat. It’s a great luxury yacht on the road and you want to e the captain of that yatch.

The Ghost Black Badge

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The Ghost Black Badge is the top of the range of the Ghost line. We have to stress the Black Badge, because from what we were told from our Rolls-Royce hosts, the Black Badge drastically changes the driving feel of the car compared to a “regular” Ghost (if there is such a thing). But we’ll take their word for it. And we must say that word carries a lot of weight. The Ghost Black Badge from the driving perspective is a it of a sleeper hit, its got grunt and you can really feel the power. It’s like being inside the head of a giant rhinoceros and hitting the gas is poking that rhino in the rear causing it to go full charge. It’s smooth like the Wraith and the Dawn but it’s got much more torque which makes shifting the full weight of the car a bit of an experience. The scary part is how quickly it stops, it’s as if the brakes can reverse gravity itself because mentally there is no way a car that big ad heavy should be able to stop that quickly. In a word it’s bonkers. In two words it’s pretty bonkers. In three, it’s ridiculously, ridiculously bonkers. As a passenger the Ghost Black Badge is very cozy, accommodating and the Black Badge we drove had the optional $14,000 starlight roof option, which we must say is worth every cent and on the cool factor alone.

Tasting Results

The hardest part is when you’re dealing with this level of excellent, you actively have to nit-pick and actively look for things to be “not as good” in comparison to everything else. It’s like judging the Miss Universe pageant, each contestant is a winner in their own right, so you have to pick on obscure things in comparison to the field of competition to make that final choice.

That being said, if we could drive one home today, we’d pick the Ghost Black Badge. We were surprised by just how much we liked how that car felt. It felt smooth and commanding, and the extra torque is to thank for that. Despite being the top of the “entry level” range, the Black Badge had all the details in it that made us love it unanimously. From the two-tone interior to the feel of the power delivery and the starlight roof (which we are not going to get over anytime soon), the Black Badge felt the most complete of an experience short of a Phantom that Rolls-Royce has to offer. The Phantom is still the top boss, but if you want to save a few sheckles and while still having the greatest luxury car the world has to offer, the Black Badge Ghost should fit the bill rather nicely like a luxuriously tailored suit.

Final Thoughts

What each car is best for out of the group:

Wraith – The best car to be chauffeured in.

Dawn – The best car to be seen in.

Ghost Black Badge – The best driver’s car of the group.

 

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Cheers,

-JB

Sunset GT 6-11-2017

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With a flurry of car shows out there, how does one pick which on to go to? Well, we decided that since it was pretty conveniently located…and a new show…and that there would be a Bugatti Chiron and a Lamborghini Huracan Performante featured…we decided we’d go check out Sunset GT, which is hosted O’Gara Coach.

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We could sit her and talk about how it was a fantastic showing of cars old and new, and the atmosphere was full of fun, excitement, and car joy. Or we can show you some awesome photos and tell you to mark your calendars for the next one.

 

Cheers,

-JB