As I looked down over the copious amount of camera gear I wanted to take I realized this trip wasn't going to be easy.
You see, when I'm out filming a feature for Cinemauto it has always been a team effort. After all, that was the point of Cinemauto- a collaborative effort of automotive enthusiasts and creatives, sharing the stories of those with a similar passion. However, this trip was different. Due to distance, cost, work and a variety of other adult responsibilities, I'd be flying solo. I'm jumping ahead of myself though, so let's take a step back.
Over the summer I had the opportunity to meet a man named Ray Cody, a seasoned investor, automotive aficionado, and the founder of the Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors. Ray has big plans for this annual festival, which just wrapped its third year in September. He wants to see Telluride become the automotive festival destination. The show has continued to grow each year, capturing the attention of a variety of automotive media outlets and even picking up an episode on Velocity's My Classic Car this year.
So then, what exactly is the Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors? To the untrained eye, this festival looks like a multi-day car show with some planes, snowmobiles, a few speakers, and hors d'oeuvres. To be honest, that's pretty much what I was expecting. Then, as I took the most incredible gondola ride from one side of the mountain to the other, I began to realize this was something much bigger. This festival wasn't just some crazy expensive cars and coffee event for people with big bank accounts. No, no. This was one of the most significant automotive lifestyle events in the country.. and this was, and still is, just the beginning.
It's easy to rattle off the schedule of activities post event but, to be fair, that doesn't really do the festival justice. Some activities will likely catch your eye more than others. For me, the 240-mile road rally on the Million Dollar Highway was an absolute must. Though the weather was less than ideal during this event, I still found myself riding shotgun in one of just two Maseratis to attend. The only thing more astounding than the comfort of that car would be the views you take in along the course. Adding to the experience was a collection of climate changes one usually only experiences four times a year. This made for some truly brazen motoring and beautiful photographs.
While I found myself most interested in attending the road rally, I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty and layout of the International Concours. Organizing some of the world's most beautiful cars on a lush, green golf course, located on the side of a mountain? Brilliant- and not at all as dangerous as it sounds. Of course, the afternoon car shows along downtown Colorado Avenue were also a treat. Both days brought in a variety of vehicles not seen before, keeping things fresh and interesting.
As a first time attendee of the Cars and Colors festival, to say I was impressed would be an understatement. Knowing Ray's plan is to make this the greatest automotive festival in the world, I'd say he couldn't have picked a better location. While one might argue it's difficult to get to or that the weather is a gamble at elevation, that's the chance you take in the mountains. As event staff member Jason Smith so uniquely put it, "Nature is always going to be a guest at Telluride's outdoor events."
- - photos & video // james sanny