Photos by Larry Edsall
Whether it’s a local car club’s annual community fund-raising cruise-in or a prestigious concours d’elegance, organizers can tell you that there’s a lot of serious business involved in staging any classic car event. But there’s a difference between serious business and taking yourself too seriously.
Like its parent, Concorso Italiano held each summer on the Monterey Peninsula, the new Desert Concorso doesn’t take itself too seriously while showcasing Italian cars, music and more.
For example, there was a best in show trophy, and even a first-runnerup award. But instead of classes strictly defined by ascot and monocle-wearing parliamentarians, the awards given at the end of the inaugural Desert Concorso included Best Mid-V12, Orsi Award for the Spirit of the ‘50s and ‘60s GT, Royal Britiannia (basically, best British car on the grounds), Karl Benz Award (best Mercedes), Turin Design, Spirit of Motoring, Spirit of the Founder, and even Spirit of Ferruccio Lamborghini (who had the gumption to complain to Enzo hisownself that the Ferrari that Mr. Lamborghini recently had just purchased wasn’t as good he’d expected and instead of pleasant customer service was told that if he thought he could do better he should, and so he went back to his tractor-manufacturing factory and set out to do just that).
And while the Desert Concorso is designed as a celebration of all things Italian — from classic and exotic cars to music, food and fashion — the organizers make room for Porsches and BMWs and British cars, and even a few American machines — a trio each of Corvettes and Allantes, the U.S./Italian crossbred Cadillac.
We think it was only in good fun that the British cars were over by the pond that guards the ninth green on the Shadow Mountain resort’s golf course, and that not only the all-American Corvettes but the Italian/American cars were placed just in front of the port-a-potties.
Here’s another example of the event’s good humor: Instead of being held on one of the golf course’s oh-so-manicured fairways, the cars for Desert Concorso were staged on the driving range.