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Pebble Beach 2014: Racing through the forest


Pebble Beach 2014: Racing through the forest
The Pebble Beach concours d’elegance - held yesterday - is all about show and shine isn’t it? Well, yes and no. One of the great things about the event is the heritage of the place itself. As a matter of fact the twisty forest roads surrounding the meticulously manicured lawns of Pebble Beach golf course one day were the place for the infamous ‘Del Monte Trophy’. Here, men of iron raced brawny four-wheeled creatures with names such as ‘The Flying Shingle’ or the Baldwin-Mercury Special. This from 1950 to 1956, when it ended in tears after Ernie McAfee spun his Ferrari Spyder, hit a tree and died instantly. That would be the last race among the pine trees.

Not too much was known about this exciting era of racing, but fortunately film maker Dean Kirkland thought it was about time to fill the void. He made an 80-minute long documentary film called ‘Racing Through the Forest’ which premiered at Pebble Beach last weekend (trailer here). As he’d teamed up with the concours organization he also showed much of what’s left of the time, not just cars but even a handful of their original builders/racers, too, to form a little bit of contrast with all that glitter and glamour. Great stuff!

Oh! And for those interested in the sow and shine bit - a Ferrari won the Best of Show award. The 375 MM of former Microsoft-boss Jon Shirley was not just the first car with the prancing horse badge to win top honours - it was also the first post war car to do so since 1968... Film footage of that moment of truth here.

(Picture courtesy Kimball Studios)

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