It's social. It's prestigious. It's an institution. It's the highlight of the Monterey social season, and throngs are about to stroll the 18th fairway of the famed Pebble Beach golf links admiring the sheen of cars for the 37th Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
The weekend includes the Historic Car Races at Laguna Seca. As usual, the Friday night event opening the weekend will be the Mercedes-Benz invitational party at the Pebble Beach Club.
Car owners have been known to hold back their precious autos so they can debut at Pebble Beach. And Southern California collectors will be among the exhibitors and those attending the myriad social events. They'll all, no doubt, be chatting about the featured automobiles of this year's Concours--the L-29 Cords and the 8-liter Bentleys. And all those who stroll the fairway (tickets are $20) as well as those who have the vantage points (and pricier views) of dining in Club XIX and under the umbrellas on the terrace of The Lodge will be supporting the United Way of Monterey Peninsula and the Pebble Beach Foundation
The entire weekend's a party. The rash of events (not to mention the private house parties) includes the Beach & Tennis Club's dinner/cocktails bash Saturday evening with dancing to the Mike Marotta Jr. group. The Pebble Beach Company hosts Concours officials and judges Saturday in the Lodge at the Pebble Beach library/card room. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Committee tops it off Sunday evening with fun and informality at the post-show party at the Beach & Tennis Club for judges, officials and exhibitors. That most certainly includes Strother MacMinn of Pasadena, chief honorary judge, and all the other honorary judges including Dean Batchelor of Woodland Hills, Otis Chandler of Los Angeles, Briggs Cunningham of Rancho Santa Fe, Phil Hill of Santa Monica, Hank Ketcham of Pebble Beach, Donald Petersen of Dearborn, Mich. (the chairman of Ford Motor Co.) and their wives--Pat Batchelor, Bettina Chandler, Laura Cunningham, Alma Hill, Rolande Ketcham and JoAnne Petersen.
Right now, Southern Californians are putting the shine on. A sampling: Clifford Heinz of Santa Monica will show his 1934 Packard 1107 Phaeton; Greg and Ferol Henkels of Pasadena their 1934 Lincoln Murray town sedan; Otis Chandler his 1931 Duesenberg J. Derham Phaeton; Jim Hull and Peter Mullin their 1939 Bugatti T57C Gangloff Atalante; Roger Karlson of Santa Barbara his 1954 Aston Martin; Katy and Mitch Leland of Pasadena their 1952 Ferrari; Leonard Urlik of Beverly Hills, 1930 Cord L-29 convertible sedan; Frank and Katharine Miller of Santa Barbara, a 1931 Bentley 8-litre Barker Boattail Cab; and Mark Alter of Dana Point, Bill and Susan Staebell of Laguna Niguel and Gary and Sharon Sundra of Garden Grove, various Corvettes to create classic swoons.
THE GRAPEVINE: Quite a few close chums of First Lady Nancy Reagan are clutching treasured invites. The bids have come from Marion and Earle Jorgensen and Betty and former Vatican Ambassador William Wilson. Recipients will be wending their way to the Reagan ranch Saturday for Mrs. Reagan's birthday lunch.
KUDOS: Two hundred friends joined orchestra leader Everett Covin at the Hotel Bel-Air to help him celebrate his 60th birthday, 25 years as an orchestra leader and his departure for his 25th vacation in Hawaii. The dessert was musical--a cake created by Max Kastner and Otto Bangemann in the shape of a grand piano . . . Dr. Rajendra Prasad, chairman of the First Indo American Bank, and Kishore Kripalani, proprietor of Gaylord India restaurant in Beverly Hills, entertained at luncheon at Gaylord's to toast the 40th anniversary of India's Independence Day.
BEAR PINATAS: The bachelor ranks are thinning, and it all called for a Mexican fiesta the other evening at the home of Bob and Jo Kroger and their son Jim, who is about to enter business school at UC Davis. The occasion? Jim's close pals--Clark Porter and Hank Stern, classmates through days at the Curtis and Harvard schools and UC Berkeley (thus the bear pinatas hung in the crook of the old oak tree), are about to take the step. Clark weds USC law school graduate Katie Thrall on Oct. 24 at All-Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, and Hank weds Kim Glascow on Thanksgiving weekend.
It all called for mariachis, Charlie Bergesches' flowers, El Cholo to cater and a wonderful mix of three generations, including Clark's mom, Martha Mitchel and her husband Glen, and Hank's mom, Pat Prindle, and her husband Gene.
This weekend Pat Prindle and her daughter Susi Browne and Joyce Allen and her daughter Kate Westlake host a luncheon baby shower for the Kroger's daughter, Wendy Warren of Brentwood, at the Beach Club in Santa Monica.