Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance: Where History and Luxury Collide

JamesFeb 23, 2024, 09:25 PM

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, also known as Pebble Beach car show, is the world most famous antique car event which is held annually usually in the middle of August, located in Pebble Beach Golf Course, California, USA. Antique cars from all around the world gather in California to participate in what is commended as the world’s most luxurious car show which attracts numerous car enthusiasts and social elites. The event is accompanied with a series of auctions, parades, and competitions. A large portion of its proceeds are donated to charity, which distinguishes it from common commercial car shows. Due to its increasing worldwide influence in recent years, many car manufacturers have taken part in it to launch their latest models.


An overview of Pebble Beach car show

The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance also known as Pebble Beach car show is the world most famous antique car event held annually around mid-August at the Pebble Beach Golf Course in California, USA. Each year, antique cars from around the globe gather in California to participate in what is considered as the most luxurious car show in the world. This event attracts numerous car enthusiasts and gathers social elites. The show also features a range of auctions, parades, and competitions. A significant portion of the proceeds from the event are donated to charity, which is a major distinction from regular commercial car shows. In recent years, with its growing global influence, many automobile manufacturers take this opportunity to release their latest products.

History of Pebble Beach car show

The first Pebble Beach car show was held on November 5, 1950. At that time, this event was held along with the Pebble Beach Road Race in California, a closed road car racing competition hosted by American Sports Car Club. Similar to most car racing competitions, participating models were mainly mass-produced sports cars, such as Ferrari. The race was first held in 1950. On the race practice field of the Pebble Beach Road Race that year, the first Pebble Beach car show was held.


At the initial show, only 30 cars were on display. The displayed vehicles were divided into three categories: pre-World War I, post-World War I and brand-new concept cars. Today, the Pebble Beach car show still uses this classification method for the car show. The only change is that the car models are divided more finely, including royal cars, German motorcycles, pre-war cars, open-wheel racing cars, European classic cars, etc. Because the first Pebble Beach car show was a great success, this car show has continued to be held, while the original California Pebble Beach Road Race was officially stopped in 1956 due to the death of a driver.


The second Pebble Beach car show was held on May 27, 1951, with only 23 cars participating. Over the next few decades, except for 1960, the car show was canceled due to severe weather; due to prolonged heavy rain from 1963 to 1965, the exhibition lawn was damaged and unusable, and the venue of the car show has changed. Pebble Beach Car Show has always been very smooth, and because the participating models are all invaluable antique cars and future concept cars, it also won the title of "The Most Luxurious Car Show in the World."


In the 1990s and after the 21st century, the timing of the Pebble Beach car show was basically fixed in August each year, and the exhibition would last for about a week. In terms of scale, although not many car models participated in the initial stage, by the 80-90s, the number of participating cars had exceeded 200. Now, in order to give the jury enough time to carefully evaluate each car, the organizing committee reduced the number of participating cars to 175 in 2005.


Exhibition Requirements for Pebble Beach Car Show

Not all classic or concept cars can participate in such a grand event. The organizer of the Pebble Beach car show has stipulated strict requirements for participating models. If you or your team wants to participate in the Pebble Beach Car Show, you need to prepare an application form for the show car in advance, and then hand it to the Pebble Beach Car Show Selection Group for review. Only with approval can you participate. However, once the request for participation is approved, the car that has been approved for participation cannot participate again within the next 10 years. The aim of this restriction is to ensure uniqueness of the models exhibited at each show. There are special conditions that allow participation, such as: change of personal ownership of the original show car; restoration of the original show car; and rarity of the original show car. Because transactions, restorations, and collections of valuable automobiles require substantial financial capital, the Pebble Beach Car Show is considered an event only for tycoons or hardcore car enthusiasts.



BMW M4



The Award Rules of Pebble Beach Car Show

Every year, the Pebble Beach Car Show presents several awards, aside from a first prize, "The Best Touring Award", and first, second and third prizes, the committee also presents honorary awards to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions to the automobile industry and auto sports domain. Special awards such as "Classic Car Club of America Trophy", "Enzo Ferrari Trophy", "Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence Award" are also given out.


The awards process involves multiple judges who mainly assess the car based on the degree of restoration, reliability, design, style, etc. Then cars are classified according to brand, model, car body manufacturer, original country, or production period, etc. The most excellent car in each category is chosen, and finally, the overall winner is selected through audience voting on-site.

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