Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

It was a Globally Renowned Tribute To Automotive Splendour. Staged on the scenic fairway of the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the grand finale of the Monterey Classic Car Week the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, saw a bumper entry of 200 premium collector’s cars today.

As the Official Timepiece of the Concours, Rolex is committed to a partnership that is now in its 19th year. “Passion for endurance, innovation and tradition are a few of the values Rolex shares with partnerships in Formula 1, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Goodwood Revival, and the cornerstone events here at Monterey Classic Car Week: the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, and last but not least, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion".

Among the stunning automotive treasures on display on the 18th fairway featuring all the great brands of motoring and motor sport, from Alfa Romeo to Talbot-Lago, via Auburn, Duesenberg, Lincoln, Mercury and Packard among many others, was a special celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby Mustang.

Shelby Mustang 50th Anniversary
One of the outstanding stories of motoring collaborations, the creation of the Shelby version of the Ford Mustang takes a lot of beating. When Ford asked Carroll Shelby in the early 1960s to look at creating a performance version of the Mustang, no-one forsaw the outcome. The Shelby Mustang GT350 launched in 1965 was to become an iconic major image-changer for the ‘blue oval’.

Of the five immaculate 1965 Shelby Mustangs on display at the Concours (three further examples are of 1966 vintage), one is entered by US race driving star, Bobby Rahal. The car, white with blue stripes, attracted much attention. The three times CART Champion acquired the car after it had been left in a field for 27 years, but after a two-year restoration programme, the 305 bhp Mustang is now back in its glorious original state, including retaining nearly all production components.

Ferrari ‘Takes Centre Stage’ at 65th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Following the Concours win of a Ferrari in 2014 – a 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe belonging to Jon Shirley – the organisers had planned a feature display for the ‘Prancing Horse’ marque in 2015.

Among the glorious, mostly red, Prancing Horse displays is a particularly interesting former race car once raced by Britain’s Mike Hawthorn. The 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spyder is now owned by Swiss-based Kurt A. Engelhorn who has great joy in entering historic rallies and races including here at Laguna Seca. “The car was restored before I bought it, but it is very driveable and a great deal of fun," said the owner.

He also attends the Goodwood Revival where Rolex has partnered for the Driver's Club for 12 years. Among the many prizes marking success at the Goodwood Revival is the much-coveted Rolex Driver of the Meeting Award. Dates this year are the 11th to the 13th of September and the host Lord March is expecting a record turnout.

For Mr Engelhorn, classic cars have been a passion for some twenty years and his collection has varied from a Lotus 7 to the Jaguar XK120 that broke a record in Belgium on the Jabbeke Highway in 1953 in the hands of the company’s Chief Test Engineer, Norman Dewis. The car achieved a remarkable speed for what was essentially a production car, of 172.4 mph (277.4 kph).

“Next year I hope to return to Pebble Beach with an original Ford GT40 which is currently under restoration" he continued. “Pebble Beach is a very beautiful event for me and my wife comes with me as she loves to play golf."

And the winner is …
After another scorching day at one of the most sunny Monterey Weeks of recent years, the Concours judges finally delivered their verdict on the coveted ‘Best of Show': the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A owned by Jim Patterson of Louisville, Kentucky took the top award.

This beautiful classic was acquired by Carrosserie Worblaufen, Switzerland, around 1931 and used as the basis for a Sport Cabriolet they had planned for the long wheelbase chassis. The result was displayed at the 1933 Geneva Motor Show after which it won the Grand-Prix d’Honneur in Cannes in 1933. The well-balanced proportions of the chassis, with its long bonnet and low windscreen, belies its true size and the appearance of the close-coupled body on the long wheelbase is enhanced by the dual rear-mounted spare wheels. This magnificent car has had only four owners since new; it lived a quiet life in Switzerland and France before being shipped to North America in 2014.

At sundown
For the many thousands of visitors to have taken part in the very special occasions that make up the Monterey Classic Car Week, 2015 will go down in history as the best yet. Another measure of its success is the prospect of raising some US Dollars 2 million for local charities, a figure that is nearly double that of past years.

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