A whistle-stop Tour d’Elegance for a jaw-dropping mix of concours gems

The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance is a little like the starter you quietly prefer to the main course, because it’s when you get to witness the automotive jewels set to battle it out on the concours lawn in action on the spectacularly scenic Californian roads….

Monterey mist

Piercing through the characteristically dense Monterey mist yesterday afternoon was a cavalcade of vintage and classic cars to make anyone with the slightest hint of automotive interest stop dead in their tracks. The traditional route had been virtually halved this year, due to a forest fire that’s ravaged the Ventena Wilderness for the last three weeks. As such, the route stuck to non-highway roads, with the usual concours advantage for participants removed due to the threat of overheating from the resulting low speeds.

High calibre

Participants were still treated to a scenic cruise along 17-Mile Drive, including a lunch-stop at Ocean Avenue in Carmel – the perfect chance for competitors to eye up the competition and for the public to pore over some world-class classics. The 1966 Le Mans-winning Ford GT40, the ex-Fangio Ferrari 290 MM that was sold by RM Sotheby’s late last year for 28m US dollars, and a 1934 Bugatti Type 57 give you an idea of the calibre (and diversity) of the entry list. A number of Classic Driver dealers were also out in force, including Tom Hartley Jnr, Copley Motorcars, LBI Limited, Kidston SA, Girardo & Co. and Fiskens, the latter of whom piloted the wonderful ex-Briggs Cunningham prototype Jaguar E-type Lightweight.

Photos courtesy of Rolex © 2016

All the news from this year’s Monterey and Pebble Beach events can be found in our regularly updated overview.