Gallery: The Pebble Beach Tour is a cavalcade of automotive royalty

Howard Koby

The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, founded in 1998 by Craig Davis, addresses the perception that all concours cars are merely “trailer queens” or museum pieces. The Tour serves as an opportunity for spectators to see these automotive treasures in motion.

And does it ever. It’s a rolling car show arguably unequalled by any other such event in the U.S.

The Tour is now is presented by Rolex and is an essential part of Pebble Beach Concours, and open to all entrants.

Bentley at Start
Howard Koby

The Tour is included in Monterey Car Week, held on August 12-21, which is a whirlwind of auto shows, concours, auto memorabilia shows, VIP parties, collector car auctions, vintage racing and new car reveals from luxury manufacturers that started in 1950, having grown into an international gathering of automotive fanatics orbiting the Lodge at Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula.

The Concours, the crown jewel of Car Week, takes place on the 18th hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, lined with over 200 of the finest and provocative classic and vintage cars on the planet, rarely seen by the general public, all vying for first in class and the prestigious Best in Show award.

Craig Davis had lived in Europe and was more used to taking part in driving events than looking at them, and he brought that love of driving to The Tour, which is an 80-mile cruise starting at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, traveling the gorgeous 17-Mile Drive and Highway 1 to Big Sur, where they turn around and head back to the Center.

To put it all into context, Concours chairman Sandra Button noted, on its tenth anniversary, “The Tour is an integral part of the Concours. It underscores the fact the Concours is a competition between cars—and cars were created to be driven.”

One of my favorite locations along the route is when the automotive treasures motor across the engineering wonder, the Bixby Bridge. The moving car parade was viewed by hundreds of spectators that lined the highway devouring the string of cars cruising along the coast with the mighty ocean as a backdrop.

The highlight for me was in 2015 when the Concours honored racing driver Sir Stirling Moss, who led the Tour in a 300SL Gullwing, fitting since Moss piloted a 300SLR to the famous win in the 1955 Mille Miglia 60 years earlier.

Pebble Tour across Bixby Bridge
Howard Koby

This year’s Concours paid tribute to the Centennial Lincoln, the Talbot Lago Grand Sport, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, the Otto Vu Fiats, coach-built cars by Graber, the iconic 1932 Ford hot rod, and the 100th anniversary of 24 Hours of Le Mans. Blue chip Ferraris, fabulous Siatas, 8V Fiats, Lamborghini Countaches and Maseratis trailed by pre-war racing machines and classics motored along the California coast with crashing waves complementing the purr of classic cars. This year the lunch stop in Carmel-By-The-Sea and the lap around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca were cancelled, which was disappointing, but there was plenty left to enjoy.

In all, a glorious event, a true bucket list item for every automotive enthusiast. We hope you enjoy the following photos.

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