A Milestone in Automotive Heritage

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The 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

By Kelley Lefmann  |  Photo courtesy of Kimball Studios/Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®

August on the Monterey Peninsula: a time when our roads and event venues welcome some of the most spectacular cars ever made. For five days, a series of awe-inspiring motorsport events, culminating with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, draws over 50,000 enthusiasts.

This year is particularly special because it marks the 60th anniversary of the track at Laguna Seca (now Mazda Raceway). The track was created after the Pebble Beach Road Races could no longer be held in the forest. Visitors can drive most of the original racecourse through Pebble Beach. The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) built the modern-day track at Laguna Seca in 1957. As part of the anniversary celebration, the track will host the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August 17-20. This cornerstone event for the raceway will consist of 550 entries chosen from across the globe for authenticity, historical significance and period correctness.

Ferrari also celebrates its anniversary—the 70th—and is expected to draw the largest number of enthusiasts ever. There will be nearly three dozen Ferraris on the competition field, comprising two regular classes and two special classes: Major Race Winners (Le Mans, Mille Miglia, etc.) and One-off Spéciales (with a focus on coachwork). In addition to these breathtaking works of automotive and design excellence on display at the 18th hole on the main Concours field, Ferrari will also be host to a concours celebration at the new Fairway One complex, and several dozen “Prancing Horses” will line the entire first fairway, giving aficionados twice as much opportunity to enjoy the view.

Sandra Button, Chairman of the Concours, notes that this is “an historic year for an event that has changed the world’s perception of old cars.” She adds: “Over the last six decades, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has played a large role in shifting the perception of great old cars, many of which used to be considered “junk” and are now “classic.” These cars are recognized as being exceptionally well crafted, having historical value, being technologically advanced for their era and aesthetically pleasing—and still functional.” Button also notes that this is the first year Ferraris will be featured on not one, but two event posters.

The Sunday field at Concours d’Elegance will feature the following marques and special classes: Ferrari Major Race Winners, Ferrari One-Off Spéciales, Isotta Fraschini, and American Dream Cars of the 1960s, among others. Isotta Fraschini is a luxury Italian marque that began in the early 1900s, and became a luxury marque rivaling the works of Bugatti.

The American Dream Car class will feature “out of this world” vehicles—cars that have never previously been to Concours. These are one-off cars such as the Gyro X, balanced on two wheels by gyroscope, which were designed to push the boundaries in performance as well as stylistic design. There will be roughly a dozen such cars in this class, a few of which can be driven on the tour.

Finally, the California Spéciales class (also one-offs) will compete. These are production cars, modified by ordinary people (not auto manufacturers) to achieve maximum performance. Many of their ideas were adopted by auto manufacturers and ended up contributing to major advances on road and track. Some of these California Spéciales were nothing more than the result of a guy being encouraged by his buddies to build something he could race.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit PebbleBeachConcours.net.

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