Led by the resurrected Mercedes-Benz SSK Streamliner the field was the usual colourful mix of Ferrari,
sports cars from the 1930s and 1950s as well as American Classics of different age and both open a closed.
Looking down the row it was easy to figure out which brand did celebrate their centenary as about every fourth
car was wearing the flying B of Bentley. Mostly the ear of the “original” Bentley before the takeover by
Rolls-Royce dominated the picture, in addition to the concours classes also the Bentley West Coast Tour
joined the Tour d`Elegance with a bunch of cars.
It seemed that more cars than in previous years joined the tour as not only the street was filled with cars but
also a lot of them were staged in the loading area as the straight ran out of space.
A lot of people came out to take the opportunity to look over the cars and not few of them have their BoS early
in mind despite the fact that a few of the contenders usually do not show up at the tour. So everybody has its
guess what might be a suitable car and leaving the fact apart that Bentley is celebrating a jubilee it was a
Mercedes-Benz that drew a lot of attention. The 540 K Special Cabriolet from Erdmann & Rossi has
everything it takes to be a BoS winner, it is a well-known big engined chassis of one of the major player of the
era, it is a special coachwork by the coachbuilder from Berlin and furthermore it is part of the famous
Pyramids Collection of Arturo Keller. As it is a few years since regular entrant won the major award not few
think it might be his turn again this year.
At 9 am finally the cars set off in two groups passing the Lodge on their way out of the Pebble Beach grounds
and already at the first small hill some cars ran into trouble. The Tour originally was introduced to show that
the cars on the American Concours are more than just trailer queens but one might get the impression that
some actually are. The reasons for that are very different as some owners drove their car for the very first time
that day as the restoration progress was delayed to the last second, some cars certainly were not ready to
be driven just a few day ago.
After driving inwards to the Hinterland of Monterey the journey led through Carmel Valley Road to the main
attraction, highway 1 down to Big Sur. At this stage a lot of people sit roadside to either enjoy the cars driving
by or taking pictures in front of the Pacific.
After a coffee break at Bid Sur the cars make their way back to Carmel for a lunch break, unlike at the first
stage south this time the cars are spread out a little bit more.
While the cars were stopped in Carmel for a lunch we avoided the crowd and had a look at the Bonhams
preview just a couple of minutes before their two-day-sale started during the day. As always the main cars
were on display in the tent whereas the less important cars were spread out over the grass. As Bonhams
almost doubled their amount of cars from the previous one-day sales the field was pretty packed and a few
cars could not even open their doors without being pushed out of the designated spot due to the small gaps in
Highlighted by Bonhams certainly is the Porsche RS Spyder but personal favourite was the Ferrari 340
America Speciale with Vignale coachwork. Whereas other Ferrari at Gooding and RM are regulars on the
block this car is remarkable original and first in public since the late 1950s when the current owner acquired
After the small stint at the Bonhams tent it was time to have a last look at the cars coming back to the
Pebble Beach Grounds before they are stored for the next days in the trailers.
In the evening finally RM Sotheby´s started their Aston Martin only sale with 36 lots ranging from barely used
cars to the classics of the David Brown era, highlighted by the only James-Bond Aston Martin DB5 with
fully functional gadgets. The DB5 finally went up to $5.8 Million hammer price and the new owner was
completely blown away as obviously he fulfilled a childhood dream owning on of the most famous cars in the
Apart from the DB5 especially the DB3S works racer and the DB4 GT were in the media releases but both
cars failed to sell.
Tomorrow will be no less than three main auctions as Bonhams and RM are in their second day while
Gooding joins in. The day will be spent at the Quail Motorsport Gathering, one of the traditional main events of
Report & images ... Peter Singhof