Deb Pollack is a good friend and tireless advocate for her public relations clients as well as for a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Pollack lost her mother to Parkinson’s in 2006 and soon after began raising awareness and substantial funds through automotive events from the Danville Concours to the Grand National Roadster Show among others.
Three years ago, Deb and photographer Mark Davidson created Drive Toward a Cure, a fun rally-style caravan of 23 vintage and contemporary enthusiast vehicles on a three-day adventure of car collection tours, fine dining, and hospitality along with twisting roads. It’s a fun adventure, terrific cause, and a great venue to meet like-minded car enthusiasts.
We began at Canepa Motorsports in Scotts Valley, just east of Santa Cruz and the perfect location for registration and a tour of this renown classic and racecar restoration center, showroom, and museum. Bruce Canepa raced for Porsche and his attention to detail along with a competitive spirit is evident throughout the facility. The showroom of amazing collectable cars and the racing museum is open to the public and well worth a visit. Our group was also treated to a tour of the restoration shop as well as conversations with the master mechanics.
Our next stop was the Mozart Collection adjacent to the Google Campus in Mountain View. John Mozart’s incredible cars begin with antique brass models from the dawn of the automobile through the classic era of the 1930s along with a one-of or two post-war classics. It’s a special treat to visit this very private collection that contains a number of major Concours d’Elegance winners including Pebble Beach.
After a festive kickoff dinner and evening at the Fairmont San Jose, we took to the road in earnest, beginning with a route straight up the mountain road past the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. A dense fog obscured what is usually a dramatic view at the summit, but it also kept our drivers concentrating on their important task of staying on the pavement.
Maserati was kind enough to lend us a new Levante S sports utility for the four-day adventure and it acquitted itself nicely in the company of sportscars that included a ZL-1 Corvette, Acura NSX and Aston Martin as we meandered through the foothills. While no one was pushing the limit, our poised and comfortable Maserati didn’t hold anyone up.
We arrived at Tenaya Lodge near the gates of Yosemite National Park where another casual, festive dinner, sleep, and breakfast the next morning prepared the group for a morning tour to a gourmet lunch, then free time to tour Yosemite Valley. With our wonderfully wet winter, the park’s water features were spectacular.
A dinner and auction capped the event and the next morning we awoke to a pretty good snowfall. While I wiped off the Maserati in the uncovered lot, it was obvious who had the best sports ride to make an escape. Suddenly I was happy that it wasn’t one of the neighboring supercars with high performance tires.