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Pebble Beach, 16th of August

Thursday is the day during the Monterey Classic Car week when spectators have the first opportunity to see some of the cars that will be at the lawn on Sunday for the big final. The Pebble Beach Tour was introduced some years ago to show that the participating cars are not just good looking trailer queens but that they have the ability to take at least a few miles under their own 4 wheels.

Early in the morning the cars are unloaded from the horde of big trucks standing opposite of the Gooding&Company tent. Hundreds of people come to have a first look at the car in various classes ranging from Edwardians to sports cars from the sixties. This year classes include two classes of former Maharaja cars, a class for Mercer and the featured coachbuilder Saoutchik. Especially the later should be contender for the Best of Show as usually the winner is a pre-war car with a special, mostly one-off body. The entrants in this class range from a duo of Mercedes-Benz to Hispano Suiza, Delage and Pegaso. Especially the Delage was one of the favourite cars of the visitors but it is way too early to speculate about a potential winner as several cars did not take part at the tour. Although the participation in the Tour might be crucial at the end in case of equal point by the jury, the last two years proved that a participation is not necessarily required to be crowned at the end so another car might appear on Sunday taking home the coveted trophy.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 with Figoni body might be another contender as the car already won the Best of Show on the other side of the Atlantic, at this year's Concorso d´Eleganza at the Villa d´Este.

Ferrari is again represented with two separate classes including the brutal 410 Sport on the one side, an elegant 212 Inter Pinin Farina Cabriolet on the other. But highlight in this class was without doubt the one-off Ferrari 375 Plus with Pinin Farina body that once belonged to King Leopold of Belgium. This car is in immaculate condition but not all Ferrari are restored that way as the tiny 500 Mondial Berlinetta in unrestored condition in the preserved class proves.

The Tour starts early in the morning at 8:30 am with the cars divided in three groups running down highway number one the turning point on Big Sur. This street at the oceanfront of the Pacific is a superb setting to take pictures of the car rather than on the crowdie golf course on Sunday and many people came to take this opportunity. After a lunch stop in the town centre of Carmel-by-the-Sea the cars were loaded again on the trucks to get a final detailing for the concours.

After the Tour we made our way to the Quail Lodge to have a first look on the field for tomorrows Motorsports Gathering. As usual there are already some very spectacular Ferrari in an own class, other classes include the ISO history.

But not only old cars could be seen as several manufacturers set up their tends to show their newest toys to the solvent visitors of tomorrows event. Bugatti for example had another special series of the Veyron there, the white-blue Vitesse model. Although most of the cars were already covered one can look forward to the gathering as there will be great cars as usual but tomorrow morning we will find out...

Text & images ... Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarphotography.de