The granddaddy of all consumer motor shows has to be Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, Calif. It has history, it's a perfect setting and it attracts wonderful automobiles.
What makes it even more fun are the various related events.
On Friday, thousands of people celebrated Italian automobiles with a show held nearby. There were about a thousand Italian classics and all the enthusiasts you can imagine, including a few notables.
All weekend, there were races at the Leguna Seca track, featuring many historic cars that usually sit in museums and are exercised only once a year in races that combine history and excitement.
And just to confuse everyone completely, up the road in Pleasanton was the Goodguys' West Coast Rod and Custom Nationals, with more than 5,000 vehicles.
From hot rods to classic cars, there is something for everybody. There are even several classic car auctions. This year, a classic Alfa Romeo sold for more than $3.5 million. Many types of cars are bringing prices once reserved for paintings and other works of art.
It was simply a very remarkable weekend. What started 20 years ago as a small dinner celebration has turned into a Mer-cedes-sponsored dinner that just about everyone attends; the guest list must have passed 500 by now.
If you enjoy automobiles, there is no better event during the year than Pebble Beach.
The Concours event still attracts the best automobiles and, happily, some charities benefit from this great event.
Hot rods, historic race cars, Italian classics and the best classic automobiles in the world. Not a bad way to spend the weekend.
For those of us who live in Detroit, it's a shame that all too often, the automotive celebration at Pebble Beach is scheduled for the same weekend as the Detroit Woodward Dream Cruise, which is quite a different event but generates the same amount of enthusiasm. Fortunately, these two events were not held on the same weekend this year.
It there ever was any doubt that our love affair with the automobile is alive and well, those two radically different celebrations make it clear that the passion is flourishing.
It's nice to participate in those types of events because they demonstrate that this industry, too, is alive and well. And it's getting stronger and more competitive.