Every year in August, California’s Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, is transformed into an international hub of automobile excellence during the Pebble Beach Classic Car Week.
This impressive reunion of the world’s most elegant vintage automobiles is highlighted by the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. On-track racing is complimented by prestigious competition in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the ultimate test of precise restoration and an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of historic cars. Other events held during the incredible Pebble Beach Classic Car week include The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering; Concorso Italiano and many luxury car auctions with the Pebble Beach Auctions presented by Gooding & Co being the most “must attend” auction of all.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is quite possibly the most prestigious party of the Monterey Classic Car Week. The Quail is dedicated to commemorating the extraordinary history of the automobile industry in an epicurean setting. Designed to be a complete sensory experience, the day’s activities welcome some of the world’s most significant automobiles along with the finest in cuisine, followed by a unique series of awards that culminates with the Rolex Best in Show.
Set among the automobiles are five dining vignettes, each with a geological theme chosen both to represent the cuisine of major automobile manufacturing countries and to highlight the products of local vendors. This year’s “Quail Epicurean Delights” included the Carmel Valley Farmer’s Market and a Japanese table with live sushi chefs, as well as oyster, caviar and Champagne bars. In addition to the cuisine, 169 cars were present on The Quail lawn this year. In a judging system that is unique to The Quail, entrants choose the winning car in their class, based on traditional criteria of exceptional design, technical interest and accurate restoration. All cars must be fully operational to compete, and class winners are placed in the Rolex Circle of Champions for viewing once announced. This year’s Rolex Best in Show Award winner was Robert M. Lee and his 1930 Bentley 4 ½ Liter Supercharged Gurney Nutting Two Seat Roadster.
Concorso Italiano has evolved into a must-attend convergence of sophistication, taste and affluence and embraces all the cultural elements of Italian style, including music, cuisine, fashion and travel. Concorso Italiano’s unique format featured almost 1,000 vehicles of Italian origin, and its atmosphere is created by the vehicles on display, conversations between people who love and appreciate them, and elements of Italian style, all on the grounds of the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is America’s premier historic automobile racing event, and motorsport enthusiasts from around the world have taken note. They come not only by the tens of thousands to watch the sentimental past of car racing come roaring back to life, but also by the hundreds to personally strap into the driver’s seat and test the legendary turns of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This year the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra – one of the most recognized and iconic names of the automotive world.
There are times to spectate and there are times to roll up one’s sleeves and participate. At the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year, both options brought abundant joy, as more than 550 authentic and historic race cars from nearly every decade of motorsports history popped their clutches and shifted gears on the esteemed road course of Laguna Seca. Over the four days, the cars – split into 17 groups according to age and engine size and chosen for their period-correct presentation – put in two days of practice and a weekend’s worth of morning qualifying rounds followed by afternoon Rolex Races that “counted most.”
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a Commitment to Excellence and Proper Preservation
The sun rose early on Sunday morning over the 62nd annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Following the morning’s “Dawn Patrol,” the official welcome and judging introduction for all participants held at sunrise, the field was set and ready to kick off the 2012 edition of this famed event. Gleaming automobiles, some of the world’s finest, awaited spectators and guests on the 18th fairway of The Lodge at Pebble Beach. As the Concours is the place to see and be seen during Monterey Classic Car Week, people dressed to the nines, many in period style with elegant hats and caps, dotted the crowds. As judges made their rounds, classical music set the tone while the sun held the coastal fog at bay for most of the morning.
Over 220 vehicles from 33 states and 15 countries were present. The coveted Best in Show award was presented at the end of the day to great fanfare, with all class winners eligible for the Concours’ most prestigious prize. This year’s Best in Show award, complete with fireworks and a shower of confetti, went to a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo, owned by Paul and Judy Andrews.
The dates of the 2013 Monterey Classic Car Week are set for August 13-18 and the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 18, 2013 when the next chapter begins at this famous coastal landmark.
Thanks to Caracingnews.com and Rolex. Photos by Emmanuel Lupe, Stephan Cooper and Tom O’Neal.