Destinations: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance


The inaugural live webcast of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance starts today at 1pm! Click here to check it out!

Los Angeles is the center of the universe when it comes to car culture. From low riders on Van Nuys Blvd to show cars on Rodeo, most everyone in Los Angeles has personally had, or is friends with, someone that has the “car bug”. Carrol Shelby built his Shelby Cobras here in Venice, Venetian Jim Morrison had a Shelby Mustang 500GT as a daily driver once the Doors became successful. I know of a few current car collections in Venice that are very special!

Brooke Swan Car
1910 Brooke Swan Car

These days the “daily drivers” of the past have become very collectible and very expensive. Once a year, the “best of the best” and rarest vehicles in the world gather for “car week” in Monterey, California. The festivities include car auctions, ancillary car meets, historic car races at Laguna Seca and the most respected concours in the world, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Click here to see the slideshow “real size”! Click here to see them individually!

If you love cars and have never attended the extravaganza that is car week in Monterey, you must! You will need to make reservations now for next August’s event, as the entire town fills up with visitors from around the globe and it is near impossible to get accommodations a month or so before the event!

While there are many events, here is a suggested “quick weekend” itinerary that lets you see a ton of stuff and not get too overwhelmed. You can leave early Friday morning from Venice and be back Sunday night!

Click here to see the slideshow “real” size! Click here to see them individually!

Friday – leave at 8am and take a leisurely drive up HWY 1. Make sure you stop for lunch at Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur! From there head to the Gooding and Company tent in Pebble Beach to check out the cars which will be auctioned (free to enter) and then head to your hotel to check in. Take a shower and head downtown for dinner – you will see amazing cars on every corner!

My favorite event of the week is the historic car races at Laguna Seca. You will see the rarest of the rare race cars going all out – no garage queens are allowed! The sounds and smells are priceless! You also get a “pit pass” with your ticket so you can look at all of the race cars up close and personal. Bring a cooler on wheels and set up camp by the Corkscrew or on top of Turn 1. Sunscreen is a must.

After the races, head back to your hotel and take a shower- you will need one! Go get some food and then head downtown to the RM Auction. The “auction fever” is amazing to watch, as a lot of money exchanges hands. RM features a lot of race cars, which are my favorites. This year a Ford GT40 paddled for 11 million. It is definitely rarefied air in the room, but it only costs $40 bucks to watch the festivities.

It is all about the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. If you saw any of these vehicles out and about on the street, you could easily spend 30 minutes to an hour or so staring in amazement  if you are a “car person”. As there are 200+ Coucours vehicles on the lawn, you will simply be overwhelmed by the quantity and perfection of the restorations. Unrestored vehicles are wonderful too! People tend to dress up in funny hats like it is the Kentucky Derby, but if you show up in shorts and a t-shirt that is ok too. Tickets are $200 in advance and $250 on Concours Sunday, about the same price as a concert ticket these days.

The awards ceremony lasts until around 5pm. Jump on the 101 at 6pm and you be back at home around 1am!

If you can leave earlier in the week, head up Wednesday! That way you can check out the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance and the Concourso Italiano amongst others!

If you are attending next year, start out by reading up on the Concours d”Elegance homepage! We will post a reminder when the event is 6 months out!