The annual Concours d’Elegance held on the eighteenth fairway of Pebble Beach Golf links every August for the past 65 years. Gathers the rarest and most beautiful cars from around the world. This is how they pull it off.
The Concours is on a Sunday and caps off Monterey Car Week, which consists of many geographically scattered functions – smaller shows, group drives, auctions, and races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Most cars arrive by Monday, and many participate in multiple events, requiring planning to keep Pebble’s roads free.
As soon as one show is over, the selection committee begins fielding applications for the next year’s Concours. Accepted applicants are notified in April and begin working with one of two key facilitators who coordinate national and international travel. It is the facilitators’ job to make vehicle transportation as stress-free as possible for owners.
US entrants use trucking companies specializing in classic-car transport, private carriers, or single-car trailers. Some share trucks, and others will reserve an eighteen-wheeler just for their car. Overseas participants arriving by cargo boat or plane are first cleared by US Customs as duty-free with a limited visitation time, then put on a truck.
During Car Week, US show vehicles are kept in their transporters at a designated location near the eighteenth fairway that can hold up to 200 trucks. International cars, which do not have to stay on trucks, arc kept at a separate International Entrants Tent by the tee box. The tent can hold roughly sixty cars and is guarded at night by an armed sheriff.
The Oldest Car at the 2015 Concours d’Elegance
1902 Panhard et Levassor
Owner: Peter Mullin, founder, Mullin Automotive Museum
To even have a shot at winning the Concours d’Elegance, every car has to be able to drive down Pebble’s eighteenth fairway and across the stage located in front of the clubhouse. Consider that a breeze for this pristine French-made 1902 Panhard. The front-engine, chain-driven car has a Daimler 2,3-litre four-cylinder paired to a three-speed transmission and can still hit its original top speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Contemporaries could manage only 25 to 30 kilometers per hour.