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Monterey, Thursday 14th of August

Today was the first appearance of most of the Pebble Beach entered car at the Pebble Beach Tour d´Elegance. Traditionally held the Thursday before the Concours the cars had to prove that they actually drive more than just on the field and over the ramp. Starting at the Pebble Beach Lodge the convoy is driving through the forest of the 17-Miles drive to enter the back roads to Laguna Seca where the cars can drive a lap at the famous race track including the corkscrew. Soon after the cars entered the best part of the tour down highway No.1 to the turning point at Big Sur; for some reasons the cars in two groups were spread out very much today and rarely a group of cars were coming together leaving more time to look after every single car.

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Thanks to the stickers at the front the passed by visitors could identify every single car from the list as given at the start. Several Ferrari 250 TR took part on the tour giving an impression what to expect on the coming Sunday when the Pontoon fendered cars will be lined up in front of the Pacific. Other classes including several Ruxtons and Tatra, especially 16 out of 19 surviving Ruxton will be seen at the lawn making this a highlight. Every visitor usually has his favourite on the Tour for the Best of Show of the main event but this year the decision will not be easy.

Featured coachbuilder Darrin&Fernandez is presented by two rare Hispano Suiza once delivered to the Rothschild family, his and hers are brought over by Rob Lee from Nevada, another highlight is the Talbot-Lago T150 C-SS Pourtout Coupé that just finished a several years restoration.

After returning to the Lodge the owners and passengers had the chance to take a closer look at the cars on auction at Gooding&Company. Again official auction house of the concours the tent of David Gooding and his team is just around the corner on the grounds of Pebble Beach. Among the many cars there are again several highlights, even when the once featured Porsche 917K was withdrawn. Top of the cars are the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, the Helle Nice Bugatti T35, the McLaren F1 and especially the Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Sportiva.

The first of the big auctions in the area was held at the Quail Lodge were Bonhams sold the 10 featured lots from the Maranello Rosso Collection. Presented in an own tent during the preview many rumours were on the 250 GTO that was intended to get a new world record for a car on auction. After the bidding on this lot climbed fast to 30 Million Dollar it took several small bids to get to the final bidding of 34.65 Million hammer price. Although this is short of the 50 Million high estimate one has to keep in mind that it crashed two times and killed its first owner only a month after its delivery at Montlhery. Rebuild in period it belonged to the Maranello Rosso Collection for the last 50 years and was one of the last cars Violati drove before he passed away. At the end the price was not as hyped before but still an impressive result with a record that might be not broken to soon, most certain not during this Monterey week although several cars are well in the Millions.
Tomorrow will see the Quail Motorsport Gathering, one of the main events of the week; all those who did not get a ticket or who are more interested in seeing the cars being driven will spent their day at Laguna Seca for the practice sessions for the races at the weekend.

In the evening RM will join in Bonhams in the Auction marathon of the weekend with Gooding following on Saturday.

Report & Images ... Peter Singhof