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Monterey, 18th of August, 2022

Finally, we had a first glimpse at the Concours d´Elegance cars this morning at the Tour d´Elegance. As the cars were intended to start at 9pm, the first cars were lined up way before sunrise; as early as 6am the first spots in group 1 were taken. Traditionally led by the cars from the Mercedes Museum, being a sponsor, the tour is divided in two groups that are released with about a gap of 15 minutes. This ensures that the cars of the first group can be parked at the turning point at Big Sur before the next group arrives.

Over the last years the Tour became more and more popular and a lot of people show up early in the morning as they can´t wait to see the cars in the special classes and the regular annual classes.

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of Ferrari. So it was not a surprise to see a lot of the cars from Maranello in the first spots as this ensures that one is not stuck behind pre-war cars on the way out on 17-Miles Drive.

As mentioned yesterday, the Tour changed compared to the last years as the cars headed towards the ocean on the grounds of Pebble Beach on 17-Miles Drive, before passing the Lodge and passing the gate to Highway 1 south.

Following the trend of this year’s auctions, Bonhams has more cars on offer than ever. With almost 140 cars in a one-day sale this will be a marathon session tomorrow; the goal is to pass 20 cars over the block per hour. Highlight of the sale is the ex-Briggs Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Lightweight that was sold by Bonhams a few years ago. The car did not see much usage in-between, apart from a visit at Amelia Island, and is now back to the auction block. Another great car is the little Ferrari 166 Inter with body by Stabilimenti Farina, a wonderful Stutz, as well as an Alfa Romeo T33.

The locations at the ocean are really spectacular and a lot of spectators made their way down to look at the cars, as in the last minutes before the start the few parking spots filled. After watching the second group we made our way out, just to be stuck in the usual Monterey Car Week traffic jam that seemed to be ever-worse this year. With no way to shortcut and no additional stop, there was only one chance to see the cars a second time; but the traffic delayed the way to Highway 1, so the first cars were already on their way back by the time one arrived there.

After a few more shots we went to the famous Bixby Bridge to be astonished by the lack of people there compared to the last years. Obviously the route along 17-Miles Drive drew a lot of spectators away from the usual spots. Highway 1 is still very much under construction, so all the bridges were basically single lanes delaying both the way out and back into Camel.

As usual the view is rewarding the efforts and the cars look spectacular in this surrounding. As mentioned, there were a lot of Ferrari in the groups, another feature this year will be Alfa Romeo 8C including two Monzas and a Touring Spider in the Tour. Featured coachbuilder will be Graber this time and one of our favourites of the previous years made it back to Pebble, the sensational Duesenberg J with Graber Cabriolet Coachwork, owned and driven by Sam Mann. Another feature will be the Talbot Lago Grand Sport that should have been presented in 2020 when the Concours was cancelled.

After the Tour we headed to the Quail to pick up credentials for the next day, as well as visiting the Bonhams auction preview. Being the official auction partner of the Quail, the auction will be held at the same time as the Motorsport Gathering.

After visiting the preview, one could visit the first auctions of the major auction houses. The new Broad Arrow had its first sale as well as RM Sotheby´s first of three auction days. Today was the Masterworks of Design Collection on the block with mostly pre-war coach-built cars including several Mercedes Straight-Eight. Quite a few were worried that this might be too much for one occasion, but RM sold well including 9 million hammers for the unrestored Special Roadster, as well as 8.4 million for the Hispano-Suiza H6C Tulipwood Torpedo.

Tomorrow we will head towards the Quail for the Motorsport Gathering and the Bonhams Auction, in the evening there are several options, given that both RM and Gooding start their sale.

Report & images ... Peter Singhof

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