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Only the Most Elite: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Fielding a classic requires, patience, love – and lots of money.

by on Aug.17, 2015

Jim Patterson drives his 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A across the stage to take best-in-show honors at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Champagne and a flurry of confetti put the cap on a weekend of festivities wrapped around the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

More than 20,000 classic car fans crowded onto the greens outside the tony Lodge at Pebble Beach Sunday to check out a gathering of 220 of the world’s rarest and most desirable automobiles, a collection pulled together from 15 countries.

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“I’m a little bit overcome, and a little bit emotional,” said Jim Patterson, the owner of the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A that took honors as best-in-show. “In this business, if you win at Pebble Beach, you’ve done the ultimate. Nothing else compares.”

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2012 Pebble Beach Concours: The World’s Most Exclusive Traffic Jam

From swan cars to Saoutchiks.

by on Aug.20, 2012

Paul and Judy Andrews with their best-in-show 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo.

There’s some small comfort in creeping along in traffic knowing that the car ahead is a 250 mph Bugatti Veyron worth $1.4 million while the one in your rearview mirror is a lovingly restored Talbot-Lago that could easily command several times as much money.

So it goes as you creep around California’s Monterey Peninsula during the annual Pebble Beach Concours weekend.  What began as a one-day car show, 62 years ago, has now become a week of events aiming to appeal to every motoring taste and budget, from the low-brow Tour d’Lemons, a tongue-in-cheek gathering of some of the worst cars ever built, to the Historics where some of the most legendary classic race cars in the world come back to life at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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But the capstone is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a gathering of rare and exotic sheet metal generally considered to be the single most elegant collection of classic automobiles assembled anywhere in the world each year.

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Concours of America Finds Life After Meadowbrook

Bigger than ever, gathering highlights 100 years of Indy.

by on Aug.01, 2011

Best in Show Winners: a 1933 Dusenberg Model SJ owned by John D. Groendyke, and a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahnkurier owned by Arturo & Deborah Keller. Photo by Len Katz.

One of the nation’s largest historic car shows got off without a hitch over the weekend.  That might not seem like a story worth telling but for the fact that what had been known, for more than 30 years, as the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance made a major move this time, not only finding a new home but adding an assortment of new events – and nearly 50% more classic cars.

Renamed the Concours d’Elegance of America, the show abandoned its long-time venue at the old Meadowbrook estate, onetime home of auto pioneer Horace and Matilda Dodge.  Its new home is the Inn at St. John’s a former Catholic Church retreat  the far west edge of metro Detroit.  The move had many long-time fans – and some organizers – worried.  But the effort was rewarded by overflow attendance – never mind one of the best car collections the Concours has ever drawn.

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Spread out across the sprawling grounds of the Inn were more than 325 vehicles – including 30 rare Indy cars tracing the 100-year history of the Indianapolis 500.  Organizers also expanded the traditional definition of a classic car show by luring in eight legendary drag racing funny cars.

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