One by one, the engines of 22 classic cars come alive. Some cough with a wheeze, some need coaxing and some hum with precision. Whatever their personality, they all start. This is the first miracle of the road trip.
Gathered in a semi-circle around Carillon Point on the eastern shores of Lake Washington, the cacophony of noise on an early August morning makes this posh enclave sound like pit row.
Once drivers confirm they’re good on necessary fluids –- oil, gas, coffee -– the leader of this group, retired aeronautical engineer Al McEwan, honks the horn on his 1930 Hispano Suiza. The deep brassy baritone signals the start of the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, a 1,500-mile drive from the northern reaches of Seattle to the Monterey Peninsula.
Easiest way to arrive at the destination would be to head south along Interstate 5 and drive in a straight line for 914 miles. Adventure, however, does not come in a straight line, and this is an unlikely group beginning an unlikely journey.