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August 20th, Saturday

Lemons Concours, Seaside and Motorsport Reunion, Laguna Seca

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Scroll down for Cor's story in Dutch

Today was a long day with two events to attend. In the morning we went to a
Lemons Concours in Seaside. You cannot imagine more contrast with yesterdays Concorso Italiano. It's all about "celebrating the oddball, mundane and the truly awful of the automotive world".

Yep, lemons are cars that were and are laughed at, as well as their owners. Driving a Pinto, Trabant, Renault 5 Le Car, Austin Allegro (and - I hate to admit - Alfa Romeo Arna...) is almost a prove of insanity. These lemon people just love the cars. And they are pleasant company, willing to share their passion with anyone, open to questions, unlike many of the people showing off with their Ferraris, Lambos and other exotics at the high level auto shows like the Concorso Italiano. In fact these lemons are the true exotics.

Enjoy the pictures below, made by me and Cor.

After the Lemons we went to the famous Laguna Seca race track for the Motorsport Reunion.
A superb, well organized event. We saw a couple of celebs like Martin Brundle and Stirling Moss. We also bumped into Jay Leno again. For me being at this race track was a special experience. Its name sounds magic to me and looking at footage from races on TV or YouTube or even in race games on a PlayStation always made me think 'it would great to be there some time'. And here we were! Off course I had to climb the hill, all way up to the famous cork screw curves.

The event was well attended by both public and drivers and their teams. The stewards did a far better job than those at the CI, directing cars to the proper parking lot.

The variety of cars in the paddock was stunning. My favourite car of the day: the 1930 Alfa Tipo B, owned by Peter Giddings, no 31 in the grill. A car with a great racing history. And an even impressing racing present; the way it swept through the field, lapping many cars easily was amazing. Pics below are all made by Cor.

Giulia is doing very well. If we didn't get so many thumbs up and smiles on the road we would almost forget that we're travelling in a 1973 car. Monday we'll go the Alfa/Mercedes workshop in San Francisco for a little servicing. Giulia earned it, after so many miles since leaving Hampton Bays.

People are very friendly over here. Raise your camera and they step out of the way spontaneously, saying 'sorry I was blocking your view'. I have some other experiences in Europe where sometimes people can be blunt and ignorant.

Tomorrow (21st) another car day: Pebble Beach. For those who think 'oh no, no cars again, please' when watching the slideshows: from Monday there will be more people-scenery-nature pictures ;-)

Dag 4: 20 augustus, alternatieve autoshow en races op circuit Laguna Seca

Vandaag stonden er auto's op het programma..

's Morgens eerst een soort van alternatieve autoshow (Concours d'Lemons: crap, crap and more crap), een schril contrast met al dat strakke blik op die golfbaan van gisteren..Hier mag en kan gewoon alles, übergetuned, van verrot tot puntgaaf en in stijl. En dat alles in een heerlijk relaxte sfeer. O ja, de toegang was gratis.

Daarna stoomden we op naar het Laguna Seca circuit. Kijk, wij hebben Zandvoort met een hellend vlak, op Laguna Seca gaat het écht heuvel op en af! De herrie is ongeveer gelijk..

Naast Jay Leno, liepen we daar autopoetser Meguiars himself tegen het lijf, veel publiek daar overigens. Verder genoten van de (Alfa's) tijdens hun race, tjonge wat gaat die Tipo B uit 1930 nog hard zeg! Hans en ik zijn nog even 'on the top of the hill' geweest: spectaculair hoe daar de auto's, na een scherpe bocht, steil het diepe ingaan!

Ook leuk: al die auto's kun je in de paddock gewoon aanraken, het gaat daar heel ongedwongen, was lekker fotograferen en praten met een aantal Alfa eigenaars.

't Juultje houdt zich ondertussen hartstikke goed! Onderweg veel duimen en verdraaide nekken.

Overigens heel jammer dat die Amerikaanse benzine van 'lager allooi' de pit er een beetje uithaalt, starten gaat moeilijk(er) en de reactie op het gaspedaal is ook minder.
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