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Marin Sonoma Concours and Tour
May 19-20, 2012

young visitors
Future collector car owners happily sit in Bugsby before the start of the tour.

Bugsby has been entered in the Marin Sonoma Concours d'Elegance and Tour d'Elegance, the fourth year of this event. It is being held at the Marin Civic Center, a California and United States historic landmark and the last commission of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The car was previously exhibited at this event in 2009, the first year of the show, where the car won the Forgotten Treasure award. If you follow the link and read the citation for this award you will understand why this is one of the prizes that Lynn is most proud of having received.

Lynn and Jeanne look forward to the tour and show with a mixture of excitement and anticipation. It was on the tour associated with the 2009 event that one of the valve seats in Bugsby's engine loosened and began to rattle. The engine subsequently failed on the Nickel Age Tour out of Lodi that a week later. Lynn hopes that there will not be a repeat of any mechanical difficulties of that nature at this year's event.

The weather could not be nicer. Clear skies and mild coastal temperatures hold for the entire weekend. It is literally a picture perfect, late spring weekend along the Northern California coast.

The Kissels arrive at their hotel on Friday afternoon. Unpacking the car from the trailer, they take a drive around the area to locate the starting point of Saturday's tour. They eventually wind up in San Rafael and park the car on a side street and go to dinner. As the car is out of his sight and it is now after dark, Lynn is uncomfortable and cannot fully enjoy his dinner. Worried about the unattended open car, Lynn rushes a little more than customary to finish their Italian meal. Happily they find Bugsby quietly sitting on the street and unmolested when they rejoin him for the drive back to the hotel.

Bugsby staged for the tour tour participants tour participants drivers meeting
Bugsby staged for the tour (left); tour participants pose next to their open Ford (left-center); cars arriving for the tour (center-right); a crowd gathers for the drivers meeting (right).

Lynn and Jeanne arise early Saturday morning and drive Bugsby to the tour staging area arriving shortly after the announced 7 A.M. opening time. About three blocks of the main street in Larkspur have been cordoned off for parking of the tour cars and the Kissels are the first non-tour-organizer party to arrive. They get to pick their parking spot and select a site directly across from the registration table.

While things are initially quiet when they first arrive, that soon changes. A steady stream of cars and people arrive until the street is a sea of people and fancy cars.

c1960 Jaguar Mark II sedan c1960 Jaguar Mark II sedan c1960 Jaguar Mark II sedan
Lynn takes particular note of this c1960 Jaguar Mark II sedan that is lined up for the tour. He thinks that these cars are very stylish, represent a great value and has been thinking that one would make a fun daily driver. Oh oh, not another acquisition?!

The tour takes the cars on a hundred-mile circuit that includes a drive on California Highway 1 with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and coast. Bugsby performs flawlessly and delivers the Kissels for a wonderful lunch with wine at the Keller Estate Winery. In addition to some beautiful grounds and buildings, the Keller Estate features a world-class collection of exquisite cars. The collection far exceeds anything Lynn has ever seen, including museum collections,

tour view ahead tour view aside tour view behind
Jeanne takes some photos on the tour with these selected shots ahead, aside and behind Bugsby.
the driver Cyclists
Lynn driving Bugsby (left) must shares the road and glorious day with many other vehicles (right).
tour lunch stop A snake under Bugsby
The tour stops for lunch at Keller Winery and Bugsby is parked in front of a megadollar Bugatti (left). Here Lynn pretends that he's getting into the car for a drive. Later a gopher snake crawls out from under Bugsby (right). The snake is gently moved to the nearby vineyard.

After the tour on Saturday evening, Lynn and Jeanne drive Bugsby to Lockspur for dinner at the Picco Restaurant. The restaurant is packed so Lynn and Jeanne eat at the bar. It was quite entertaining watching the two bartenders perform a tightly choreographed ballet fixing a huge number of drinks. They never seemed harried and keep up a constant stream of conversation with each other, the waiters and waitresses and the patrons at the bar. It was simply breathtaking.

Sunday is show day. Lynn drives Bugsby a short block from their hotel to the show field. Jeanne sleeps in and joins them later in the morning.

Bugsby is in class AC (American Classics 1924-1948). He is competing for attention with eight other cars that are each beauties in their own right. To Lynn's delight, Bugsby is awarded a third place prize. There are several friends of the Kissels exhibiting cars in this class including Joe Davis (1930 Lincoln L Town Sedan), George Teebay (1930 Pierce-Arrow B Roadster) and George Beck (1937 Packard Super-Eight 1500 Touring Sedan). George Beck's spectacular car is awarded second place, and the best-of-class is awarded to Al Giddings (1928 Stearns-Knoght F-6-85 Roadster).

Show cars 3rd in class award Jeanne
Some of the cars at the show in Bugsby's class (left). The 1930 Pierce-Arrow in the foreground belongs to George Teebay, a friend of the Kissels. Bugsby places third in his class and receives a beautiful crystal bowl trophy (center). Jeanne says that she enjoyed the entire weekend (right).

Bugsby gets lots of attention from the many spectators and Lynn spends hours telling them about Kissel cars and Bugsby's history. While it is fun for Lynn to receive awards at the show, he thinks that he takes much more delight in dressing to match the car and interacting with the people who show interest in the car.

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Copyright © 2015 Lynn Kissel
Last updated: May 31, 2012