Two hundred of the world’s top collector cars from 21 countries and 32 states have arrived in California this week to compete for the coveted title of “Best of Show” at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Before the show starts on Sunday, which will see the green of the Pebble Beach golf course change into the most exclusive car show on the planet, participants are traditionally invited to warm their tyres and rev up their engines ahead of the grand finale.
While the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance offers a rare opportunity to experience the most iconic and valuable cars of all time on the open road, last year we spotted a Sunoco Porsche 917 and the Ferrari 365P Berlinetta Speciale, the roads are not less spectacular. Taking off from Pebble Beach, the cars trace the legendary 17-Mile-Drive and Highway 1, along the Pacific Coast towards Big Sur, before returning to Pebble Beach to cross the Rolex finish gantry. However, the Pebble Beach Tour is not just a nice opportunity for a drive on California’s most scenic roads: any car that successfully completes the tour will get the thumbs up if it later ties in class competition at the Concours on Sunday.
Besides countless remarkable collector cars competing for class and overall wins, this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will put the spotlight on the centennial of Lincoln, the Talbot Lago Grand Sport, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, and the ‘Otto Vu’ Fiats, as well as the cars coachbuilt by Graber in Switzerland between 1925 and 1970. Furthermore, automobiles with unorthodox propulsion – think coal gas or propellers – and the iconic 1932 Ford Hot Rod will be be revisited in special classes. Last but not least, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will kick off the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hour race that will take place in 2023 – something that will likey keep us entertained for months to come.
Teasing the big show on Sunday, the most remarkable cars to embark on the tour in the trademark Pacific early-morning mist this year certainly were the fleet of blue-chip Ferraris – including a Ferrari 250 LM, a 250 Tour de France, a 250 GT Zagato, the shark-nosed Ferrari 196SP, a 340 Mexico of Carrera Panamericana fame, and a 70 Million USD Ferrari 250 GTO. There was a pack of wonderful Siatas, 8V Fiats and Maseratis driving past us on the coastal road as the Pacific glittered in the morning sun, while the pre-war racing machines filled the air with the sound of their engines. Our favourites included a stunning, pale-blue Alfa 8C Monza alongside the Ex-Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo 8C from the Pearl Collection, as well as the otherworldly-beautiful Talbot-Lago T150 C SS Teardrop Coupé from the same stable that we had the pleasure of meeting earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance is probably the one place in the world where you can spot a Mercedes C-111 concept car being followed by Betone’s Autobianchi A112 Runabout, a fire-spitting hot rod with flame decals, and the Ford GT40 that won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans on open roads. Now let the games begin.
Follow us all weekend on Instagram and here in the magazine for our full coverage of the Monterey Car Week 2022.
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2022