One of the most curious and interesting motoring events in the world is the Concours d’Elégance held every year at Pebble Beach, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fabulous machinery parked on the eighteenth green of the celebrated Californian golf course. Robert Cumberford tells its story, from the first edition in 1950, when the event was above all a line-up of British sports cars that had been hastily cleaned up after, on the same day, competing on the narrow, twisting roads of the Del Monte forest, to the present day, when the cars on display have been so hyper-restored that they are ten times better finished than they were when new.

This year six important auctions were held of collectors’ vehicles that brought in more than 100 million dollars. The biggest transaction was the sale of a 1958 Ferrari 412 S which was sold for 5.6 million dollars. Apart from the dozens of billionaire automobile enthusiasts, Pebble Beach always attracts the cream of the sector. For example, this year among the honorary judges of the Concours there were no fewer than sixteen Presidents or chief designers (past and present) of leading car manufacturers and design houses, and for the whole weekend in the Monterey area many other leading lights in the motoring world were in evidence.

It can be stated with certainty that anyone who makes the effort to attend the Pebble Beach Concours and as many side events as possible, will never be disappointed. With the superb surrounds, the almost always idilliac climate of the central coast and the streets literally jam-packed with Ferraris, hundreds of Lamborghinis and a high number of other exceptional vehicles, the Concours is a delight to the eyes of all motoring buffs.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 160

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