Intrepid DRIVEN editor Jared Paul Stern made the journey from East Coast to West last weekend for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and related events. Read on for another dispatch from the front lines…
We planned to proceed with our Pebble Beach coverage in a logical, orderly fashion.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way but we’ll do our best.
An orgiastic atmosphere of automotive luxury
“Sensory overload” may be a bit of a cliché, but there is really no other way to describe the pervasive orgiastic atmosphere of automotive luxury from the moment we landed in Los Angeles.
That of course had a lot to do with the fact that our first move was climbing into the cockpit of a dark green Bentley Continental GT Le Mans Edition, an Elysian experience in and of itself.
When you’re looking at a seven-hour journey from LA to the Monterey Peninsula—only part of which is ridiculously scenic—these are good numbers to have available at the flick of a paddle.
Said ridiculous scenery flashed by rather fast as a result, but we resolved on a more leisurely pace for the return journey (in a new Flying Spur).
A 6.0-litre W12 engine good for 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque
The 6.0-litre W12 engine in our example thrust out 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Okay, we did stop to check out the elephant seals and to use Mr. Hearst’s facilities at San Simeon. But other than that, it was leaving Diablos in the dust and making the most of the Bentley’s iron-grasp-in-velvet-glove approach to eating up the tarmac.
And when we arrived at the posh Inn at Spanish Bay on Pebble Beach’s legendary 17-Mile Drive, we pulled in amidst enough super-luxe coupes and convertibles to stage a mini Concours.
When you alight in a sea of purple Rolls-Royces and yellow Ferraris, a slight feeling of inferiority is a natural reaction.
In a Continental GT Le Mans, however, the sentiment was directed in our direction.
The Bentley is packed with pedigree and style, puissance and panache
The subtle muscle and extreme elegance of the Bentley only served to show up the vulgarity of the ludicrous machines ranged up like so many power-mad peacocks.
And the consensus among onlookers—of which there were plenty—seemed to be that while said Rolls-Royces and Ferraris are no doubt great fun for a spin and attention-grabbing, the Bentley is a far preferable and tasteful conveyance, packed with pedigree and style, puissance and panache, a well-bred beauty for the man who has no need to brag but needs wheels suitable to his position as a master of the universe.
Which was the role we planned to play to the hilt on the sybaritic weekend ahead…
Stay tuned for much, much more…
- Posted August 19, 2013
- Share on
- Duncan Quinn for DRIVEN