Michael Williams Visits the Concours d'Elegance 2010 at Pebble Beach Golf Links
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is America’s finest exhibition of vintage automobiles—and an insurance company’s worst nightmare, with 175 priceless cars set on the fairway of the famed 18th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Links (the first public course to be ranked No.1 in America by Golf Digest). This year’s show marked the 60th anniversary of the event, which started when a group of car enthusiasts parked their vintage rides on the course following the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Race of 1950; the 2010 display was a beautiful range of restored American luxury cars from makers including Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln and Cadillac, as well as stunning European designs like the Mercedes Simplex (the oldest Mercedes on the road today), a host of rare Bugattis and, in a separate presentation outside Pebble Beach’s main clubhouse, the latest concept and supercars from brands including Lexus, Bentley and Aston Martin. To document this all-American event, NOWNESS sent Michael Williams, a connoisseur of US-made apparel, who started his hugely popular, highly elegant blog,A Continuous Lean, in 2007, and who also contributes frequently to GQ and Selectism. We caught up with him to get the skinny on the car extravaganza, captured in close-up for today's story by Douglas Friedman.
What was your favorite vintage car at the Concours?
There were a few cars at the show that were kept in their original state—dirt and rust and everything. That was amazing to see among the very meticulous restorations.
Favorite new concept car of the weekend?
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport was by far the greatest. That thing is just a beast.
Best outfit seen at the Concours?
There were quite a few people dressed up in period dress. Some appeared to be actors in their antique cars, wearing old-timey clothes. But the best part was all the crazy straw hats that everyone was wearing. For some reason people at car shows feel emboldened to wear ridiculous hats—and I loved it.
Most bizarre feature on a car?
Many of the old-time automakers designed carry-baskets and boxes for the exteriors of their cars. Interesting to see the forerunner of the modern trunk right there before your eyes.
Tell us about a vintage American moment at the Concours.
Two things stuck out to me: a group of vintage Indian motorcycles, which were absolutely stunning. Also, the Pierce-Arrows that were there on the lawn. Pierce-Arrow is such an amazing portrait of early-20th-century American luxury.
What to take away as a souvenir?
Beautiful photos of the cars. That, and a trophy wife.