Passion. It's what drives and unites people who live and work with beautiful objects- whether art, watches, motorcars or any other collectible- and it's a powerful force to do what we do well, with energy and professionalism.
2012 has been a vintage year for specialists in any of these fields, a leading light amongst whom guest writes a column for us this month about the collectors watch market. For our small part we would like to thank all those who have contributed to making the classic car world one of the most resilient and enjoyable safe havens in these turbulent times, especially the artisans and craftsmen who preserve automotive history for future generations and the creators behind the most theatrical, imaginative events who keep coming up with new and exciting experiences. Without their efforts none of the adventures below would have been possible.
Graham Hill famously quipped: "Time is of the essence...and I'm short of essence." Here's an insight into how we consumed ours this year:
The action kicked off at the Scottsdale auctions in January (where they will sell you anything)
...then moved on to Kuwait: same cars, different footwear.
The Mille Miglia retro is as popular as ever- this year an Aston won (unsurprisingly Italian entered and stopwatch laden)
Villa d'Este still sets the standard for elegance: petite Figoni-bodied Alfa took Best of Show
McLaren F1 tour was a highlight for entrants and locals
Life doesn't get much better: a day at the wheel of a 250GTO on the 50th anniversary tour
Judging post-war preservation at Pebble Beach: Cobra owner had hat' n' boots to match (see y'all in Scottsdale?). It had been hidden for 30 years in a disused gold mine by a previous owner- to escape creditors and his ex-wife
A week spent filming a TV pilot in the USA- stay tuned
Superb Windsor concours reunited SK with an old friend, the Kellner bodied Bugatti Royale
Salon Prive the same weekend featured impressive Gullwing line-up...
...although it was back in real action soon afterwards on the indulgent Wine & Watch Tour
A proper driver showing how it's done on the '65 Targa
Same car, same course 47 years later, but the driving standard leaves room for improvement
Genuine Lamborghini Miura SVJ, smiling Valentino Balboni and bright socks: it can only be Villa d'Este
'Barn find' Alfa Romeo 1900SS Zagato had Milla Miglia history, one of our favourite cars handled this year
Targa-winning Ferrari 312PB was another, and went to a great home
A parting comment on the classic car market? We thought the words of a wise and successful collector friend summed up the situation most eloquently: "It's not that cars are going up in value. It's that money's going down."
From my team and I, best wishes for Christmas and 2013 and, as a late journalist friend was fond of signing off, "Keep your foot down!"
It probably over reads
Doing our bit for Monsieur Hollande's finances. No wonder they're smiling: they've just been paid!