Alright, so maybe hustled is a strong word, maybe I just got lucky.
I happened to be in the bay area last weekend, in fact I completely forgot about Pebble Beach until the night before I arrived, but even then I didn't think I'd actually make it down there. But by a convenient chain of events, my friends and I managed to arrive at the Pebble Beach parking lot on Sunday morning. Of course we didn't have tickets, so our intention was really just to poke around in the parking lots, especially after how Doug had been hyping them up. But in an unusual stroke of spontaneity, we hopped on the shuttle, without tickets, and went down to the show itself
Now for those of you who haven't been to Pebble Beach, the grounds are set up in tiers. The first tier, which is open to the public, is where manufacturers set up giant display booths with all their most interesting cars. We got into this one just fine, and saw a couple 650s and an ELR but apart from that, nothing too special.
The second tier is gated, and it was unclear if you needed a pass to get in, but we blended in with the crowd, kept our heads down, and made our way in. This part was considerably more exciting, all the exotic manufacturers were here not with booths, but with enormous display museums and in Bentley's case, a private villa called the "Bentley Residence"(My friends snuck in through the back and got some sweet Bentley grilled cheeses). The all-famous Concept Lawn is also within these walls, featuring the brand new things we all saw on the internet, the P1 GTR, Huracan Super Trofeo, Saleen FourSixteen, etc.
So at this point I'm basically speechless with excitement. Like all of you, I've been looking at pictures of this beautiful, unattainable place online for years and suddenly I'm finally here. I'm close enough to touch the only Mclaren P1 GTR in the world and I can see the Hennessey Venom GT's gold-lined engine bay. So after incessantly taking pictures of anything and everything, we kept walking around, making our way into places we weren't supposed to. Next up was the sealed-off parking garage underneath the Pebble Beach spa, which we found to be lined with at least 30 Rolls Royces of all varieties, and a bunch of i8s.
On the edge of the grounds, we found the Mercedes display, standing proud on a large stretch of beautiful golf course. Outside stood the full AMG range, with some S550s and beautiful classics indoors. Mercedes was also giving out free drinks, so with champagne in hand, I walk over to check out one of the S-class coupes. Then out of the corner of my eye I see a good-looking italian man wearing a Tshirt with a Huayra on it, and I just think Well that's a cool shirt. Until I look over and see a second suave italian man wearing the same Huayra shirt. And in-between them, two feet away from me, was standing…well, you can figure it out
Now this was easily enough for me, after shaking Horacio Pagani's hand and drinking free Mercedes-provided champagne, we could have left right then and there and I would have never looked back. But as we're strolling around, a man exiting the all-important third tier, the actual Pebble Beach Concourse D'Elegance, casually asks me if I had been inside yet, and when I answer "no", he hands me his ticket. That's right, the man just hands me a $300 ticket to my holy land, like an angel granting me explicit permission to fulfill my wildest dreams.
Without hesitation I ditched my friends and found myself within the gates to my paradise, a pristine golf course sitting on rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific with countless million-dollar post-war Ferraris and Maseratis. I damn near peed myself. Now my phone died halfway through my walk through the show, but that may have been a blessing in disguise, as the stress of trying to take crappy phone pictures would have taken away from the experience of seeing these impeccable vehicles for potentially the only time in my life.
All in all we were there for around 6 hours, and when we went to Carmel for dinner, we also stumbled upon something pretty cool, completely by accident. This row of cars was standing outside a restaurant, and the three most interesting ones were a Phantom, a P1, and a 458 Speciale, all factory customized. It's hard to see but the engine bays of the P1 and the 458 are signed by all the engineers who worked on them. All three looked pretty fantastic, though the green wheels on the P1 were a bit much. Oh, and that beautifully converted "Zelectric" bug was there too.
So thats how I got into the best car show in the country, and how miserable it is that I probably won't be back for many years.