We all are taking some time to enjoy the summer but Ted Bowers and his son Ted Junior just returned from the most elegant family adventure: their 1911 Pope Hartford Touring Car had been invited - as one of the Top Eight Popes in the world! - to participate in the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach.
A lot of preparation and anticipation went into getting the 104 year old classic into Concours condition.The work is a labor of love and a Bowers family tradition.
Ted's father purchased the car in 1946 for just $200! He then went about restoring the automobile to its full historical beauty.
Ted caught Classic Car Fever early in life and joined his father’s travels.
|The Pope in 1946.|
|Ted Bowers' father and his 1911 Pope.|
“My father purchased the car in the 40’s and proceeded to put well over 50,000 miles on the car including dozens of national car tours that he would drive to from Los Angeles. The history shows him using the car for “street advertising”
He also used the car as a tow vehicle to bring home other cars he purchased. He became a perfectionist and the car was apart for most of my childhood as he was self-restoring the car to new factory specifications. He always got distracted by business and family matters and never finished the restoration. Eventually, he managed to turn his leukemia diagnosis into inspiration to finish the car. In addition to searching for over seven years for a cure for leukemia he pushed to complete the restoration of the car perfecting one part at a time.
Once I realized he wasn’t stopping I got very involved with helping him to complete the project. The restoration was completed and the quality of the restoration was awarded First in Class at Pebble Beach 33 years ago. My father passed away only a few months later.
I have since driven the car thousands of miles myself sharing the experience with family and friends. I also meticulously maintained the mechanics and cosmetics of the car along the way. However when I received the invite for the car to return to Pebble Beach, I knew I would be spending a lot of time detailing the car in preparation for the concours.
I’ve basically devoted every spare minute at night and on the weekends to bring the car back to concours quality. I really never thought I would have the opportunity to take the car back to Pebble Beach in my lifetime.
The Pope is also part of our EventWorks family history. Manuel and Miguel from our production department worked with me on the car over the summer.
Manuel’s involvement dates back 35 years! It is amazing he did help in the process and is around today to help again. in addition to his many skills Manuel has formal training as a tailor and assisted with the completion of the upholstery and leather work on the car.”
As unbelievable as it sounds, the Pope can still be used as a road trip car. Ted drove it to Pebble Beach and back for the Concours. Yes, it takes a little longer!
During the Concours, the Pope enjoyed full attention from collectors and fans alike.
Ted: “The family highlight was that Ted Junior was asked by the onsite Snapchat rep to create a post on the Pebble Beach international snapchat and it went viral. He had over 2 million hits within about 4 hours. His friends noticed he had as many hits as Jay Leno!
Additional highlights included talking to a few spectators who remembered the car from the last time at the show 33 years ago. One guy recalled stopping on the road to help change a flat tire as we drove to San Francisco following the concours.
One memory will always be very special. The Concours involves a charitable angle. The organization works with the Make a Wish Foundation. The Foundation connected us with a young boy named Marcos who dreamed of being a passenger in a Pope during the Thursday Tour around the Monterey area. The tour covers nearly 70 miles, an endurance test for the classics. We had fantastic weather and a wonderful time making Marcos’ wish come true.
For me personally the take away is knowing the car is looking better than ever and ready for the next car tour. I feel the only way to enjoy a collector car is to drive it. I can’t wait for the next tour which is scheduled next month in Yellowstone!"
We don’t quite know whether Ted would acquiesce any event requests involving his Pope but it would be part of family tradition after all.
We are happy to ask him, with Pretty Please!