“Despite the challenges we all face today, we believe the Pebble Beach Concours will be able to take place on August 16, as originally scheduled…”

The email from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance selection committee arrived like a flashing beacon in my inbox.

It was an early sign that there is a New Normal ahead. There surely is, but we just don’t know what it will look like. And we don’t know when it will arrive.

But we can hope for the best — and Pebble Beach in August would be spectacularly good news.

The coronavirus has not ended our love of cars — or of buying, selling, touring and showing them. This wretched virus has just pushed that part of our lives to a back burner — just as other wars and disasters have through the decades.

In the next issue of SCM — July 2020 — we are starting a new section, “The Road Forward.” We will interview industry players in the auction world, new- and classic-car dealers, collectors, transporters, organizers of tours and concours, aftermarket suppliers and more.

We’ll talk about the future — and how everyone is doing through all this.

From my conversations with players in all elements of the market, a consensus has emerged. They all believe they will get through this period. The market will return. Some forecast that there will be a pent-up demand come September.

All of the land-based auction companies are incorporating more online enhancements into their current auctions. They, too, project a resumption of live auctions in August.

We’ll see if we’re at this point in August. Even if it takes longer to achieve the New Normal, there will be one — eventually.

SCM as Collector Car Central

Our new “The Road Forward” section will be the collector-car community center for thoughts, conversations and reporting on trends. It helps all of us to know that we are not alone. All events that have large groups of people in close proximity, from concours to Cars & Coffees to tours to land auctions, are going to have to change and adapt to our new reality.

In “The Road Forward,” you will learn what others like you are feeling and doing to conquer this challenge and move forward.

Your thoughts on this are welcome — and encouraged. Please send them to Executive Editor Chester Allen at [email protected].

Dressed down — and deserving it

I learned an important lesson a couple of weeks ago. I took our 1965 Volvo 122S for a one-day drive to the Oregon Coast and back. Oregon was not yet under strict “Shelter in Place” orders, but the authorities had made it clear: Unnecessary travel was frowned upon.

I took my 12-year-old son Bradley with me. We sanitized surfaces, were careful fueling the car, ate our meal inside of it and traveled home.

In my blog, which is on our website, I patted myself on the back for “being so careful.”

Your responses were immediate and scathing.

“What if everyone decided THEY were safe and it was okay for THEM to disobey the rules?” “What if you had an accident or needed roadside assistance?” “What was so important that made you decide to put your son and yourself and ultimately others at this kind of risk? Couldn’t you both just stay home for another couple of weeks?”

The comments brought home to me that this virus will only be defeated through unity of action within our communities. To help move us to the New Normal, where we can once again have car events and gather without worry, and resume our regular lives in part or in whole, we all have to do our part.

In the time between now and August, we just have to trust the experts — and stay hunkered down at home as much as possible while our brave doctors and nurses fight the virus and our scientists find therapies and vaccines.

The challenge of our lifetimes

None of us has ever faced such a deadly, fast-moving and silently transmitted disease. But this is the challenge we have to confront.

Every member of the car community that I spoke with expressed long-term optimism. It’s a short-term nightmare, but it won’t last forever.

We have made our plans to be in Monterey for Car Week. If it doesn’t happen as expected, there is one thing you can be sure of. Pebble Beach 2021 will be more spectacular than ever.

We will see each other on the road again. We may not be sure which road, or exactly when we will be there. I’ve got a 1971 Primrose Jag V12 coupe that is just itching to have miles put on it — and I’m itching to put them on. Let’s wave when we see each other. This time will pass and we will be back to shifting gears. ♦

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