We're busy packing our bags for a pair of trips. First comes an overnight jaunt to Los Angeles for the presentation of the Meguiar's Collector Car Hobby Person of the Year Award to Robert Petersen. While Petersen is best known for his creation of the car magazine industry with titles including Hot Rod and Motor Trend, perhaps his most significant contribution to the hobby will be the Petersen Museum.
Unlike Europe, where most car manufacturers maintain museums and private collections open to the public are liberally sprinkled throughout the continent, significant car museums in the United States are few and far between. The Petersen Museum, appropriately situated in the car-crazy land of LA, has become the focal point for all types of car activities, from woodies to hot rods to Ferraris to dream cars. Rather than represent one manufacturer's interpretation of history, or one collector's perspective, the Petersen has developed a reputation for embracing the entire spectrum of automotive endeavors. Set aside Petersen's seminal role in the car magazine industry. For the creation of this Museum alone, along with encouraging its intelligent, informed eclecticism in its approach to the automotive community, Robert Petersen is a fitting recipient of this year's Meguiar's Award.
It's been an honor to have served on the award selection committee, under the thoughtful guidance of Ken Gross, since its inception in 1995.
The Meguiar's Award Gala Presentation Dinner has also emerged as an informal national convention for those involved in the hobby, with representatives from new car manufacturers, auction companies, on-line ventures, aftermarket parts suppliers and the media all having a chance to meet and chat. SCM believes that there is an
opportunity for the Meguiar's Award Dinner to expand into a day-long
series of seminars, where representatives of the various segments of the hobby could get together and discuss issues that concern us all, from clunker legislation to standards for inspecting collector cars. The collector car hobby continues to grow, and a yearly "world summit" where we share our thoughts could be extremely beneficial.


Ms. Banzer and I get back from LA on Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday morning head towards Milano to race in the inaugural presentation of the Modena Cento Oro Classic. The last post we received from our European correspondent and co-pilot Giuseppe Tomasetti indicated that while his Alfa GTV was race-ready, the Cento was in typical disarray, with event locations and times still in flux and the number and quality of cars registered still undetermined. In other words, a perfect example of Italian organization. However, it may be a refreshing counterpoint to the hyper-luxurious, "we'll carry your luggage and give you a back rub, sir" attitude that surrounds some American vintage tours. Being in the middle of a pack of 120 car-crazy Italian gearheads, roaring across the countryside, stopping to race at Misano, Imola and Fiorano, while attempting to decipher last-minute route changes written in Italian has its appeal.
Following the four-race, six-hillclimb Cento, it's off to Monaco, where what has been a Brooks Auction stronghold the past nine years is on the way to becoming a free-for-all reminiscent of Monterey. In a flurry of alliances, Barrett-Jackson has taken on Coys as a partner for its European debut, and Sotheby's has joined with Poulain to capitalize on all the bidders that will be in town the weekend of May 26-28. We'll be joined by our European correspondent Richard Hudson-Evans to give you a detailed, on-site report as these auction armies clash in the night.


eCarCentral.com is up and running. Just like debugging any
prototype, we are daily massaging the site to make its 22,000 (and growing) database entries of collectible cars easier to access. At this time, there is no charge to use the site; just sign-in with your e-mail address, give yourself a user name and password, and start your search. If you come across a loose nut or bolt in our html, please drop us an e-mail and we'll get out our Internet torque wrench.


As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach, it seemed only fitting to have a rendition of the famous 18th hole on our cover. Elegantly executed by noted artist Harold Cleworth is a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, owned by long-time SCM subscriber Chip Connor of Kowloon, Hong Kong. "I wanted a view of the bay with one lovely car in it," related Cleworth, "and at the end of the day, Connor's Atalante was the last car there." With paintings in numerous prestigious collections, Cleworth has been referred to by AutoWeek as, "The painter laureate of the automobile."
The artist graciously allowed us to crop his painting to fit the requirements of our cover; the entire painting is shown above. The original of "Bugatti at Pebble Beach" was exhibited as part of the AFAS display at Pebble in 1998 and subsequently purchased by Mr. Connor. A limited edition of just 100 prints, each 36" x 15", and printed by inkjet on 100% rag paper, at $395 each, has been issued. For information, contact the artist at 310/577-9951 (CA).

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