Bulgari: making people blush at Pebble Beach
In August Bulgari organized a spectacular rally along Monterey Bay in California. The Roman brand, with its 130 years of refinement and elegance has paid tribute to the 250 Testa Rossa, the rarest and most exclusive Ferrari ever made.
It’s all about being unpredictable. As the brand is celebrating 130 years of history and refinement this year, it was only natural to assume that the anniversary festivities in the United States would be geared towards “Haute Joaillerie”. But Bulgari is full of surprises. The brand blended its watchmaking skills and Italian origins to pay tribute to Italian creativity and sport genius by organizing a spectacular rally to celebrate the rarest and most exclusive Ferrari: the 250 Testa Rossa.
Excellence and exclusivity: shared historical values
Last August the rally took place during the famous “Concours d’Elégance” at Pebble Beach, along the Monterey Bay in California. Bulgari was the jewelry partner in an event that gathered, for the first time, fourteen of the twenty-six 250 TR cars remaining at present.
This racing car was produced by the car manufacturer from Maranello between 1957 and 1961. The spectacular hood, branded Scaglietti, barely hides the 2953 c3 V12 that developed the 304 horsepower which ensured this fascinating car so many victories – particularly those at the “24 Heures du Mans”. Among the 250TR cars present at Casa Palmero, there were the two that won in La Sarthe in 1958, 1969 and the one that also won there and was crowned World Champion in 1961. Since 1982 the “Concours d’Elégance” at Pebble Beach has allowed us to see the famous and rare 250 GTO, but to see fourteen 250 TR together is something exclusive and unprecedented.
Stéphane Gerschel, head of communication at Bulgari and member of the prestigious jury of the 2014 “Concours d’Elégance”, described this as a unique moment at the heart of a community of passionate aesthetes. As he pointed out “The Testa Rossa is even rarer than the 250 GTO. It is like the Holy Grail for the brand’s fanatics. Besides, those who own a Testa Rossa do often also have a GTO and sometimes even a Chassis Court. A dream trio.” These are men and women of taste who really appreciate beauty.
Stéphane Gerschel and Jay Leno
(Copyright © Kimball Studios/ Used courtesy Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance)
“It was perfectly legitimate for Bulgari to be present because the brand appreciates excellence and exclusivity. It often happens that those who own this type of car are also fond of great watch complications while their wives like “Haute Joaillerie”. Added to that, we bring them the creative Italian genius that they appreciate. The rally’s Best of Show proves it. (Editor’s note: proof of this is a single original Ferrari 375 MM that dates back to 1954 and whose body was produced by Scaglietti for Roberto Rossellini).
A chic drive in unique settings
In the same way that looking at a watch on one’s wrist beats having to look at it through a glass, the most striking moment of the event was to see the racing cars revving up on the road. We could tell that Bulgari and the other partners of the rally planned the event from the point of view of an automobile lifestyle.
Following the rally’s set path, the happy owners of the Testa Rossa drove together along the Pacific, up Route 156 to Hollister before making a loop to Bernardus Lodge in the Carmel Valley for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, the beautiful coastal roads gave the path a touristic touch without mitigating this atmosphere that reminds us of the most beautiful editions of the Targa Florio or the Mille Miglia.
Back in Casa Palmero, the drivers were invited to a private dinner at the superb residence of a fellow car owner. During the evening, Bulgari presented some “Haute Joaillerie” sets. As Stéphane Gerschel put it, Bulgari, as usual, managed to combine ultimate chic with a certain type of very Italian elegant but casual style.
Ferrari Testa Rossa 250 GT
On the second day, they drove the Ferrari squadron from Carmel to Laureles Grade, and they then moved closer to Laguna Seca, where famous races were held not long ago. Following this, they stopped for lunch at Monterey’s Golf Club. On the third day, they travelled south to Santa Barbara. They set out in the early morning and travelled side by side with beautiful scenery to Dolphin Bay and Pismo Beach, near Avila, and then returned to Santa Barbara at the end of the day after having travelled 230 miles altogether. On the next day, they were given a private tour of the Peter Mullin museum in Oxnard which contains one of the most beautiful French car collections including many Bugatti, Voisin or Delâge models.
Bulgari will be back in 2015
On the last day of these uncommon festivities they drove around the Los Padres National Forest and went to a gala dinner at El Encanto.
All in all, they traveled over 780 miles with surprising ease. After all, the cars are originals and the most beautiful engines are always the most efficient ones. “As a bonus, we get the most beautiful soundtrack in the world”, shared Stéphane Gerschel in private. This wise gentleman does not know yet if he will be on the starting line of the “Tour Auto” with his partner next year but he is happy to announce that Bulgari will participate as a jeweler at the next “Concours d’Elégance” in Pebble Beach. See you all then!
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