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Pebble Beach, 16th of August, 2015

Sunday the Monterey car week (often called the Monterey Madness) came to an end with the main event, the Concours d’Elegance of Pebble Beach. During its 65 editions more and more auctions, shows and parties joined in the fun but the highlight always stayed the most prestigious concours in the world, located at the 18th green of the famous Pebble Beach golf course. Well before 6am the first spectators and press arrived behind the lodge for the traditional coffee and donuts of Hagerty to wait for the first cars to enter. After a full week of sun also the concours was held on a full sunny day for the first time since 2004, and just like back then Ferrari was again featured marque so not few had the impression that there really must be something special about the creations of Enzo Ferrari. This year Ferrari got 4 separate classes for the traditional grand touring and competition cars as well as for the Ferrari raced at the old Pebble Beach road course before the built of the nearby Laguna Seca Raceway that hosted the alternative program this day with the historic races of the Monterey Motorsport Reunion. The field of the prancing horse was rounded off with an own preservation class, a feature that becomes more and more important in the contest of the restored vehicle. After making a sensation earlier this year the preservation was unsurprisingly let by the 250 GT SWB California Spyder of the Baillon Collection as sold for a record price at the Paris Artcurial auction earlier this year.

But Ferrari was not the only featured marque, this year also DuPont was lined up seaside with own classes for the Shelby GT350 and the rare Cunningham cars in the field.

After the field was set up by the numerous volunteers the international jury had to start their work in a very strong field and after the first victory of a post-war car the year before the outcome was far from being obvious as many great cars had a good chance. With time the field started to fill with the crowd and with rising temperatures over the lunch time the places under the few trees giving shade became very popular, a contrast program to the last year when the sun was rarely out. The paint was gleaming in the sun and the detailers had plenty of work to keep the dust from the surface on a dusty green that was tortured both by the dry heat and the spectators.

At about 1:30 pm the judges were introduced and the numerous class awards were given. As every year the break in the award ceremony was bridged by an entertaining Jay Leno who did his best to give away the prices of the raffle when usually the winners are not present anymore.

After the raffle finally the special awards and Best of Show awards were given. Three cars were lined up at the end of the ramp including the two favourites, Delahaye 145 Franay Cabriolet of previous winner Sam Mann and the Isotta Fraschini 8A of Jim Patterson. After winning his first title with a white Delage it was the black Isotta entering the stage with the traditional fireworks giving RM again a very successful week winning the crown with one of their restorations after achieving a record result in their annual Monterey sale.

This also leads to the second part of the day when a lot of the entrants and visitors head over to Gooding & Company for the last sale of the week. Usually still under the impression of the concours the sales rate on Sunday is always high and also today Gooding achieved some outstanding results. One of the public favourites and the most entertaining sale was certainly the Fiat Eden Roc achieving an unbelievable price of 620k Dollar hammer. Just a few lots later came the star of the evening and with 15.3 Mio $ plus commission the sale of the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder showed that the price for the Baillon cars was not far away from the price of an “ordinary” car.

One might see some of the cars again next year but for many Ferraristi the week in Monterey continues tomorrow with the annual concours of the Ferrari Club of America held in Monterey as well to conclude the Ferrari feature. Let’s hope the sun is with all the Ferraristi as well but the temperatures could be a little bit less to make the day on the field a little bit less exhausting.

Text & images … Peter Singhof