5 Tips for First-Timers to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

CNN calls Aug. 20 ” the largest, single most important date on the global collector car calendar.”

But to the uninitiated, the sheer size of the opulent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance can be an overwhelming experience.

Here’s a game plan to help you get the most out of Concours Sunday this weekend:

1. KNOW THAT YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE EVERYTHING.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

The world’s most beautiful parking lot will be brimming with over 200 cars from more than 20 different classes and eras — and that’s just on the 18th fairway. There’s also the convention-challenging concept lawn across from The Lodge at Pebble Beach on the practice putting, and a flashy new Ferrari show field on the first fairway.

Come early — the fields open at 10:30 a.m. — and let your eyes lead you. Maybe you’re drawn to the Antique class, American Dream Cars of the 1960s or California Specials that Raced at Pebble Beach. Or maybe you’ll lock eyes with a Benito Mussolini-gifted Isotta Fraschini, a Roaring Twenties Rolls Royce, or LeMans-winning Ferrari. See what you want to see.

2. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN, JUST START ALONG THE WATER.

Showcars

You’ve heard the caddie tip that everything goes to the ocean at Pebble Beach? Keep that sentiment in mind when you walk Pebble Beach during Concours Sunday. If you find yourself paralyzed by the plethora of choices, feel that gravitational pull of the ocean. The 18th fairway show field is set up with the most selfie-seducing cars parked along the water.

And don’t forget when you’re out here to take in this special scenery. You are strolling the same hallowed ground that Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have all walked. Savor the only day of the year when Pebble Beach is closed to golfers, and picnic along the most famous finishing hole in golf.

3. THE CONCEPT LAWN IS CRAZY, WHETHER YOU’RE INTO CARS OR NOT.

The Concept Lawn is certainly a conversation starter. See mind-bending designs unveiled to the world for the first time. Last year, Bugatti introduced a real-life version of a car it created for the Gran Turismo video game franchise. Many of these cars are scheduled to be showcased specifically at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the culmination of months of secretive build-up. Make time for a lap around the Concept Lawn, and let your imagination consider the unthinkable.

4. DON’T MISS THE FIRST FERRARI-WAY.

Ferraris

If you love Ferraris, this is your year. The 18th fairway will feature four classes of Ferraris, including Major Race Winners and an exclusive group of One-Off Spéciales. But unique to this year, Ferrari North America will also host the Ferrari 70th Anniversary Concours simultaneously on the first fairway, adding another 100 Ferraris to Concours Sunday. Be sure to wander up the hill to the first hole after you check out the the Concept Lawn.

5. PICK UP A CAR GUIDE.

Saddam Husse

The stories behind the cars can be just as fascinating as the cars themselves. You’ll discover hidden gems like these in the Concours d’Elegance Car Guide:

In the Postwar Grand Touring class, a bullet-ridden and vandalized 1958 Bentley S1 Continental was rescued from the garage of Saddam Hussein after his regime was toppled. The car originally caught Hussein’s eye when he saw it in the 1990 film, King Ghazi of Iraq. A Baghdad businessman owned it back then, but after Hussein tried to buy it several times and was rebuked, the Iraqi President had it “forcefully requisitioned” and added to his collection of cars. Now beautifully restored, it’s one of just 31 left-hand drive aluminum-bodied drophead coupés by Park Ward.


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