HomeCar CultureCommentaryLarry's Monterey memories 2016

Larry’s Monterey memories 2016


One of my assignments was covering the Tour d'Elegance, where cars were going and coming in a whirl that sort of sums up a week with too many events in too little time| Larry Edsall photo
One of my assignments was covering the Tour d’Elegance, where cars were going and coming in a whirl that sort of sums up a week with too many events in too little time| Larry Edsall photo

So I get home from Monterey Car Week and I sit down to share my memories and I reduce a couple thousand photos down to 72, which is still too many for one of our Eye Candy galleries, so I need to eliminate a few more. But in the meantime, I’m taking a break from that task to put some of my memories into writing.

When it comes down to it, what we write about here at Classic Car News is not cars, but people, because they are the ones who know and who share the stories of the cars.

Yes, I saw so many wonderful cars during my week on the Monterey Peninsula, but what I hope I’ll remember years from now as I rock away in a nursing home is the people I encountered there.

11-year-old Ezra Gould hopes grandfather's 1947 Delahaye will be his someday
11-year-old Ezra Gould hopes grandfather’s 1947 Delahaye will be his someday

I’m nominating Nancy Leake Sevenoaks for sainthood. I finally got to meet Bradley Farrell and to see on the field at Pebble Beach an example of his commitment to preservation. I was happy to see the former Katie Hellwig back from Italy — and with her 7-month-old son, Cesare. I spent about 90 minutes with Reggie Jackson who, after our interview, graciously signed baseballs for two of my grandsons. I was among the many charmed by 4-year-old Ava Hagerty.

There were too many others to mention. However, since this is about Monterey Car Week, there are two people and their car stories I have to share with you.

I didn’t do Dawn Patrol this year, but still arrived early enough to see a boy diligently polishing the beautiful blue surfaces of a 1947 Delahaye (a 175 S Chapron Le Dandy Cabriolet, if you must know). I asked him if it would be his car someday and 11-year-old Ezra Gould said he hoped so.

His grandfather and car-owner Paul Gould said that Ezra’s hope might someday come true. I hope so, too, Ezra.

Of the nearly 230 vehicles on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach golf course, only a half dozen were independently owned by women, and one of those actually is co-owned by twins Colleen and Michael Sheehan, although it was entered under Colleen’s name and Michael noted that Colleen now claims not only the driver’s seat, but the entire front half of the car as hers.

Colleen Sheehan and her half of the1930 BMW 3/15 DA2 cabriolet
Colleen Sheehan and her half of the1930 BMW 3/15 DA2 cabriolet

Their car was part of the BMW Centennial Prewar class at Pebble, where Colleen’s period costume was even more striking than their little 1930 3/15 DA2 cabriolet. But even more striking was their story.

“Dad sells cars,” Colleen said, explaining that the BMW was part of a group of cars her father was selling, except the person buying the collection wasn’t interested in the little cabriolet so her father asked if he might have it in lieu of part of his commission.

Colleen and Michael were 8 years old at the time, she said, but at that young age they worked hands-on with her father to restore the car to the point that it could be entered at Pebble Beach, where it took third in its class in 2003, with an 11-year-old Colleen behind the wheel and twin-brother Michael in the passenger’s seat as the car drove along the fairway and up and over the award lane.

Colleen, now 24, hoped to have another opportunity to drive the car back there again this year. Unfortunately, the judges did not make that wish come true, but she and Michael cherish the photo of them together in the car on the awards stand 13 years ago.

And I cherish their story, and Ezra’s, and so many more from my week in Monterey.

Photos by Larry Edsall

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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