We were at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach this weekend and we saw many beautifully restored classic cars. One journalist pointed out that cars from the 30s and 40s usually got the top prize, so we were not surprised when the Best of Show Award went to this 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria.
Bentley introduces the 2013 Bentley Continental GT at the Concours D’Elegance.
“Pebble Beach and the spectacular scenery of the Monterey Peninsula provide the perfect venue for automotive connoisseurs and enthusiasts from around the world to display and celebrate the very best of motoring,” said Christophe Georges, president & COO of Bentley Motors, Inc. “It also serves as an ideal backdrop for Bentley to showcase not only its latest production model, the Continental GT Speed, but also, with the EXP 9 F SUV concept, to provide a glimpse into Bentley’s future.”
Luxury cars as of late are all about flash, status, and specs. But nowhere to be found is the heritage, craftsmanship, and pedigree of luxury cars of old. Cadillac looks to bring some of those features back with the Cadillac Ciel Concept.
The Ciel is a large, seductively styled four door convertible that recalls the classic luxury cars of yesteryear, while looking ahead to the future. It’s cabin is swathed in leather wood, and jeweled gauges. It is made of nicer materials than most billionaires’ suits. The exterior is chiseled and masculine, but also subdued. The motor is a twin-turbo V-6 with hybrid electric drive. Every ounce of this car oozes class, without the gaudiness of new Bentleys and Rolls Royces.
It may be just a concept, but this is just the type of car Cadillac needs. Reason being, it is a Cadillac in the truest sense, a refined, luxurious, traditional, American luxury car. These cars were enjoyable to drive, beautiful to look at, and exquisitely crafted. This doesn’t mean they were the soft, wobbly, vinyl monstrosities like the Cadillacs of the 1980s wanted us to believe, but gentleman cruisers that buyers in the 1920’s-1960s would have had. Watch Boardwalk Empire or Mad Men and you’ll see what I mean.
However, in the 1970s, the Germans came along with their cars that needed to be the fastest accelerating, harshest riding, and most “sporty” luxury cars. They were like this in order to get from point A to point b as quickly as possible. In other words they changed the luxury game and, in the process, completely veered everyone off the entire point of what a luxury car is.
Luxury isn’t about getting somewhere quickly, its about enjoying the drive no matter how long it takes. You’re rich you make your own schedule. You shouldn’t have to drive fast to get around the proletariat, you should have them in so much awe of your car they move out of the way naturally. Cadillac needs to bring this car, and the traditional luxury car way of thought, back with the Cadillac Ciel.
Gerardo Orlando of Bullz-Eye.com checks out the Infiniti Etherea Concept at Pebble Beach!