Pebble Beach: Wait and see. And drive a Ferrari.

The automotive scene once again does the honours in California - and meets at the Monterey Car Week. Including unveilings of the latest vehicles, but also the timeless Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach. How do you celebrate your visit there? At the wheel of a modern classic, of course.
Text Tom M. Muir & Alfred Rzyski
Photo Matthias Mederer · ramp.pictures

The surfers can do that: wait. They just sit there on their boards in the water off the coast of California and look out to sea. Sometimes for what feels like an eternity. They almost look like meditating statues. But they observe. Very precisely. And from one moment to the next they are fully present. They suddenly lie flat on the board, paddle off energetically, one jump - and the wave is theirs.

It is almost cynical to think that waiting for the perfect wave in this day and age can be misinterpreted as a metaphor for the restless restlessness of man, who is never satisfied. Hang loose as a beach-boy version of the eternal idea of progress with a salt-water flavour and a sun-tanned complexion. "Always onwards", as the philosopher Oliver Kahn once put it, who was also quite a passable football goalkeeper.

Alongside its counterpart on Lake Como in Italy, the Concour's d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, is probably the most expensive vintage event in the world. Year after year, record sums are achieved here for classic cars. Also for automobiles with the prancing horse in the emblem. Ferrari continues to surf from wave to wave of success, if you will. A passionate racing team has become a manufacturer of exclusive road sports cars and increasingly also a merchandising factory that has its fans all over the world loyally behind it - and earns well from it. The Cavallino Rampante, the prancing horse in the coat of arms, is a global trademark like the Coca Cola logo or the Nike swoosh. Some even worship it like the cross of Jesus elsewhere.

The transition from fan to believer is fluid: every time Ferrari wins a Formula 1 Grand Prix, the church bells ring in Maranello. No wonder that in 2014 a Ferrari set the record for the most expensive car in the world: a 250 GTO Berlinetta, built in 1962, achieved 38 million US dollars here in Pebble Beach. It should only be mentioned in passing that the model was once a total loss. And yeah, let's say it that way: the GTO in question has since been surpassed by a certain Uhlenhaut coupé from Stuttgart by almost 100 million euros.

In any case, the classic market is heated up like it hasn't been for a long time and prices are rising. So why not just wait like the surfers? At least that is the logical thing to do in this case. The next price wave is bound to come, but so will the next price slide. And you don't necessarily have to spend the time waiting for it talking shop about old cars on a golf course, when just a few metres down the coast Highway 1 is lolling along and a Ferrari 488 Spider is waiting there, too. In Avorio, a cream-coloured paint that Ferrari once listed in the configurator under the Historical colours. The reference to the past is therefore made, also due to the fact that the F8 has already been replaced in the Italian portfolio.

The next price wave is bound to come, but so will the next price slide. And you don't necessarily have to spend the time waiting for it talking shop about old cars on a golf course, when just a few metres down the coast Highway 1 is lolling along and a Ferrari 488 Spider is also waiting there.

The V8 turbo engine with 670 hp and 760 Newton metres of torque, however, still provides the transfer to the present day and at the same time a somewhat hidden reminiscence of company founder Enzo Ferrari, which appears all the more dramatically at 8,000 revolutions. The last Ferrari commissioned by the company founder himself was the legendary F40, which was also powered by a V8 turbo engine. So our recommendation: wait for an F40, for a 488 Spider in Avorio: buy now, put the roof on and hit the highway. Because that's how the circle closes from curve to curve on this seemingly endless coastal road.


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