Intrepid DRIVEN editor Jared Paul Stern made the journey from East Coast to West last weekend for the awe-inspiring Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and related events, behind the wheel of a rakish Bentley Continental GT Le Mans Edition. Read on for another dispatch from the front lines…
The Quail is part Concours d’Elegance, part luxury exposition
At top is a shot from The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, part Concours d’Elegance, part luxury exposition, where champagne, incredible cars and various other trappings of the well-lived life converge on the posh Quail Lodge & Golf Club at the foot of the Santa Lucia mountain range.
Lamborghini Countach at Bonhams; click to enlarge
Chatting up a beautiful classic Lamborghini Countach
The orange Countach pictured above was by far the most striking, and one that collectors are snapping up in increasing numbers; at its Quail Lodge sale on the grounds, Bonhams had a nearly identical one in a slightly darker shade on offer.
Of course the Countach is a modern classic; in terms of historic cars, it was pretty hard to beat the famed 1930 4 ½-litre “Blower” Bentley that the British legend brought to Pebble.
4 1/2-Litre “Blower” Bentley; click to enlarge
And of course not just anyone can pilot such a prized vehicle.
The man at the wheel who resembles an RAF officer on leave is Richard Charlesworth, Bentley’s Director of Royal and VIP Relations, the sort of chap who can wear both mustache and panama hat with panache.
Bentley’s dashing Richard Charlesworth drove a 4 1/2-litre ‘Blower’
A true raconteur, he held court at the Home of Bentley, a glamorous villa complete with private chef near the Lodge at Pebble Beach where the Concours is staged, with the likes of five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell, a sort of Bentley brand ambassador.
Mr. Bell regaled us with tales of making Le Mans with Steve McQueen, just one of the many automotive adventures he’s engaged in over the years.
Bentley handbag collection; click to enlarge
At the Home of Bentley, the brand also presented its posh new handbag collection, a line of ultra-high-end leather satchels designed to complement the stylings of the cars themselves, and are as equally beautifully constructed.
Bentley’s sexy new collection of high-end leather handbags
No mere licensing job, the Bentley bags, which top out at $7,000, were brought to life by Bentley’s accomplished Head of Product Design, Daniele Ceccomori.
The Collection features two models—the Continental, after the car of the same name—and the Barnato, named after Diana Barnato, socialite daughter of Woolf Barnato, one of the original “Bentley Boys” and chairman of the company.
Up close with the Bentley handbag collection in a Le Mans Edition Continental convertible; click to enlarge (Editor’s sweater by J. Crew; pants by Levi’s; cap by Helly Hansen; watch by Hermès; glasses and scarf by Ralph Lauren; bracelet by Miansai)
Diana, both an experienced Bentley driver and an accomplished aviatrix, was the first British woman to break the sound barrier.
Named after the first British woman to break the sound barrier
No tomboy, however, she was always impeccably attired with makeup just so to boot.
In other words, a DRIVEN kind of girl…
Stay tuned for more….
- Posted August 22, 2013
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- Duncan Quinn for DRIVEN