The Concours d’Elegance (French for Competition of Elegance) is a car show held annually on Pebble Beach, California. This unincorporated community on the Monterey Peninsula is already a wealth of graceful attraction for tourists and adventurers, especially golfers who come from around the world to play at one of the famous golf courses there. Every year, however, it is automobile aficionados from every corner of the globe gather on Pebble Beach to enjoy and compete in the Concours d’Elegance. The Concours d’Elegance draws thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors, putting on a show both luxuriant and exciting. Every year promises to be even more of a spectacle of vehicular grace.
Pebble Beach Concours: A Driving Force
Concours have been a staple among car collectors for years upon years, but none is as famous as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It began in 1950 and quickly rose to prominence as the number one driving force behind the interests of automobile enthusiasts across the world. Many of the other concours currently active in the world can trace their origins back to the Pebble Beach Concours. Wealthy car collectors, awestruck spectators, inspired designers of concept cars and many others to gather together to share their ideas and love of automobiles.
While the Concours d’Elegance was originally intended to showcase new cars, the focus quickly changed to the appreciation of car collections. By 1955, concours around the world were following the lead set by Pebble Beach, but none can quite match it. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance also added to its appeal by inviting famous racers to the show, putting on featured marques and having specialized classes for vehicles. Later, they would also host displays of dream and concept cars as well.
The Competition of Elegance
The main part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is, of course, the competition it is named for. Unlike most competitions involving automobiles, speed is not a factor, nor is the skill of the driver. Instead, the cars are judged by their style, their grace, and their beauty. Since this concours is so focused on the preservation of older vehicles, automobiles taking part in the competition are also judged by how accurately they have been maintained or restored.
The 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta:
The 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet:
The1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo Pininfarina Coupe:
The 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans Rapide Drophead Coupe:
Winners of the show are awarded in separate categories: best of show nominees, elegance awards and special awards. Some of the winners of the 2018 concours were: a 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta (nominated for best in show), a 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet (winner of the Most Elegant Convertible award), a 1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo Pininfarina Coupe (winner of the most Elegant Sports Car award) and a 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans Rapide Drophead Coupe (winner of the Elegance in Motion trophy).
Pebble Beach Auctions
Another draw for collectors to come to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are the auctions held by Gooding & Company. These events have been a part of the concours for more than twenty years and allow participants the chance to acquire a car that perhaps they’ve owned in their dreams.
Some highlights from previous auctions include:
A 1965 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet
A 1965 Shelby GT350
A 1938 Packard Twelve 1608 All-Weather Cabriolet
A 1934 Packard Super Eight 1104 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton
And a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach
There is a $200 fee to register as a bidder for the Pebble Beach Auctions, but that is a small price to pay for the opportunity to bid on some of the rarest and most luxurious cars in existence.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Every year the show includes the Tour d’Elegance, where the cars are paraded and shown off, the Retroauto, a specially-chosen exhibition of automobile memorabilia, the Classic Car Forum, where attendees will be able to hear famous guests discuss numerous topics, and the Motoring Classic, a 1,500 mile road trip through the scenery along the coast of the Pacific Northwest as participants drive from Seattle, Washington to Pebble Beach, California.