Thursday, November 12, 2009

If you were driving the beautiful Texas Hill Country Roads this past week, chances are you spotted a procession of vintage car enthusiasts touring our great state. The 12th annual Texas 1000 is an amazing opportunity for car connoisseurs from all over the world to get together and drive 1000 miles throughout the state. This year drivers came from places like New Hampshire, Indiana, New Orleans, even Italy and England. Each day the enthusiasts cover about 250 miles, driving the finest Grand Touring roads in the world, our Hill Country.

It was remarkable sitting at the end of the road hearing the thunderous motors heading up toward Jacques Vaucher’s l’art et l’automobile Gallery Tuesday afternoon. The automobiles were spectacular, and included cars like the Jaguar C type, Ferrari 330 GTC, Shelby 350 GT, The brand new Porsche Panamera.

As the drivers made their way into Jacques’ Gallery, they were able to look around at the breathtaking collection of vintage automobile memorabilia that he collects and sells. Jacques Vaucher, owner of l’art et l’automobile opened his first Automotive Art Gallery in 1975 in New York City. He has become known for decorating garages, homes, offices & museums of automotive enthusiasts around the globe. After opening 3 additional galleries in Manhattan, and one in East Hampton, NY, he expanded by organizing four online catalog Auctions a year. The big Texas sky, and stunning roadways that the Texas 1000 drivers are enjoying this week, are what appealed to the former race car driver Jacques, who in 2006 moved his home and his business to the 80 acre Ranch that hosted our travelers Tuesday. The participants were treated to 4000 square feet of pure paradise for automobile enthusiasts. There are thousands of memorabilia, a library section, a lounge area, a poster gallery, display for original sculpture, showcases full of models, mascots, badges, coach plaques and historic trophies. The walls are decorated with original paintings from some of the best automotive artists around the world. It is truly extraordinary, and everything is for sale. Although the Gallery is open by appointment, and also hosts a variety of luncheons and car clubs regularly; the main business is conducted through an impressive web store and auction house, www.arteauto.com. For the drivers of the Texas 1000, this was a marriage made in heaven. A delectable luncheon was catered by Karen Vaucher, and one could tell immediately that the travelers were right at home. They browsed, shopped, and enjoyed a beautiful spread of food, then at 12:30 the bunch was treated to a very special aerobatics show put on by John Dormer and his team from Kerrville, flying their vintage airplanes. The day was phenomenal. After lunch the Texas 1000 would take them for what they called “navigator’s revenge”, in Fredericksburg. Shopping at all of the local stores would prove to be a great treat for the travelers. That evening they would visit the LBJ Ranch, and Horseshoe Bay Resort, for dinner, and a night of rest and relaxation.

The rest of their journey was filled with spectacular driving roads that snake for miles, entertaining dinners, and stunning views along the way. Their other stops were to include a pilgrimage to Luckenbach, the Trois Estate, Medina Lake, and some impressive museums. They wrapped up their trip Friday in San Antonio, with fond thoughts, and a lot of souvenirs. We are sure that our visitors took pleasure in all of the collected works, museums, local flavor, and sweet country roads. It’s certain they made new friends, great memories, and thoroughly enjoyed their visit to our great state.

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