When was the last time you watched a Vincent Black Shadow just ride by under its own power on a carefully manicured golf course?
That’s just one of the type of rare occurrence that happens at a Concours. Last Sunday was Orange County Collector Car and Motorcycle Week, highlighted by the 31st Annual Dana Point Concours d’Elegance.
They made it pretty hard to get to the motorcycles, though. You had to traipse through an array of Duesenbergs celebrating the 100th anniversary of the marque. Another identical anniversary was also going on at the Aston Martin display along the way.
After elbowing past more than a half-dozen perfect Jaguar XKE’s, packs of Ferraris, pre-WWII Lincolns, Packards, Cadillacs, Auburns and a Cord, I finally got to where they kept the good stuff, such as beautiful examples of bikes I grew up riding.
Okay, that was misleading. I didn’t exactly elbow past the incredible selection of collector cars. I have about 200 photographs to prove that! And I arrived early enough to beat the crowds so I could actually get most of those photos without a thick knot of humanity surrounding the best stuff.
There was that realization moment looking at some of the marvelous classic motorcycles: Wait, I really did ride or even own a very similar one when I was young. Some were in better shape than the bikes I drooled on in the showroom. (I always wiped off my slobber.) Others look like they actually get ridden. One was just taken out of the 40-year-old box and put together for the show, never having been filled with fluids or cranked over.
This is an event that happens annually right here in South Orange County. More about it in future blogs. But let’s leave with that Vincent — a bike not even listed in the official program — I just happened to catch motoring around the golf course grounds before it was parked on the perimeter of the motorcycle display next to a Featherbed Norton.