A Dash Of Class At Monterey

As being the first time I visited Monterey Car Week, I fell in deep waters. You might say that I was afraid of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Not afraid of getting mugged, hurt, or anything like that—just afraid of missing out on the good parts during those fantastic days in August.

But enjoying yourself during these days is easy: exotic cars and exciting people are everywhere. How often do you see a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” parked on the street, or eat dinner at the same place as Nick Mason? For most people, the answer is never, and I did both. After a couple of days, I just enjoyed myself and concluded that whatever event or arrangement I visited was going to be an experience – and so it was!

Classic cars are intriguing and exciting to look at. However, when driving them, the only thing you see of your car is the dashboard. Or, in some cases—enter the Ferrari Dino—you also get to see part of the front wings.

I am really fascinated by interiors and dashboards: They convey messages that sometimes the makers did not intend, or communicate the origin of the car so well. For instance, if you have ever driven a Porsche 911, just looking at the dials makes you understand it is German: simple, no fuss, plain engineering, and easy to read.

Then you have the Italian cars, and very much so Ferrari: proudly presenting the speedometer in its native tongue: with as much gusto and presence as an opera. British cars also have their own thing, they love the use of wood and have a penchant for simple black instruments from Smiths. Just slide into the driving seat of a Jaguar E-type, and you understand what I mean. I could go on forever.

Look at the pictures: Enjoy and envy those lucky drivers that sit behind these wonderful steering wheels. Imagine yourself changing gears, and looking at the rpm counter close to the redline on a mountain climb. Inspect the oil pressure and water temperature on the few straights between the turns.

Gentlemen and women, it’s what our passion is all about.

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