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McLaren Unveils 570GT by MSO Concept

Formal debut scheduled for Pebble Beach Concours.

by on Aug.17, 2016

McLaren is debuting the 570GT by MSO Concept at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

It may be the world’s most famous classic car show, but a growing number of automakers are using the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as background for the debut of their newest products – a list that this year includes British sports car manufacturer McLaren Automotive.

Making its debut on the concept lawn alongside a number of other new models, the McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept takes the current 570 to new extremes with features like an electrochromic glass roof and a titanium exhaust system.

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‘This is the second consecutive year that McLaren Special Operations has used the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to demonstrate our capabilities on Sports Series cars,” said Paul Mackenzie, executive director of the MSO unit, ahead of the official unveiling of the 570GT. (more…)

Bentley Ready to Conquer the World With Bentayga SUV

"The fastest, most powerful, most luxurious, most exclusive SUV in the world.”

by on Sep.09, 2015

The Bentayga will top out at 186 mph, slightly faster than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

A good SUV should be able to surmount just about any impediment. The new Bentley Bentayga is showing itself adept at overcoming one of the biggest obstacles of them all, pushing into pricing territory far beyond any SUV currently on the market.

First teased in the form of a concept car more than three years ago, the new Bentley Bentayga will make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, but was given an advanced preview of the vehicle Bentley is calling “the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious, most exclusive SUV in the world.”

Pushing the Limits!

Even though it’s still months from reaching Bentley showrooms around the world, the Bentayga is already having a significant impact, helping convince virtually every other premium luxury brand – from Aston Martin to Lamborghini to Rolls-Royce – that they also need to add utility vehicles to their line-ups.


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.”


Bentley Aims for Big Growth with Bentayga Launch

British maker hopes to build yet more momentum with production version of EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.

by on Aug.17, 2015

The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 shown at its debut during the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

With the upcoming launch of its first SUV, the Bentayga, Bentley hopes to not only get a leg up on competitors like Rolls-Royce but also kick off the biggest growth spurt in the British brand’s history.

But Bentley is far from through with the expansion of its line-up, stressed its CEO Wolfgang Durheimer. The brand is readying a business case for its next all-new model, a sports car based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last March.

Global Insight!

“It’s double-digit growth we’re approaching,” said Durheimer during an interview at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance over the weekend. If Bentley meets its target that would be all the more impressive considering it set a sales record last year with its existing line-up.


Pebble Beach Concours Bringing Mix of High-End Debuts

Makers planning revival models, one-offs, super high-performance packages.

by on Aug.12, 2014

Jaguar's retro Lightweight E-Type will debut at Pebble.

It may be the world’s ritziest classic car show, but the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has also become a must-attend event for high-line manufacturers introducing some of their hottest new models, as well.

Among the list of makers planning to use the long weekend as a venue, count Aston-Martin, Bentley, BMW, Jaguar and McLaren.


BMW, in fact, has a model to unveil specifically fashioned for the tony weekend which draws some of the world’s most affluent automotive aficionados to the Monterey Peninsula. It will auction off a one-of-a-kind i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition, proceeds going to support the Concours and the Pebble Beach Foundation.


Picking the Best-of-the-Best at Pebble Beach

Rare win for an American classic at Concours d’Elegance.

by on Aug.19, 2013

A 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini of West Orange, NJ takes honors as the winner of the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Photo Courtesy Autoblog.

It’s been a couple of nail-biting weeks for Jeff Lotman. The Los Angeles car collector has been waiting three years to see the final results of the costly, ground-up restoration of his 1957 BMW 507 Roadster. He might have been fine with the wait if he hadn’t entered the groundbreaking two-seater into the annual Pebble Beach Councours d’Elegance.

There are collectors who wait years to get an invitation to exhibit on the lawn of the Lodge at Pebble Beach, something Lotman described as “the pinnacle” for “a car guy.”  And he’s not alone. A select group of 275 rare and unusual automobiles were on display this weekend, more than a few just barely making it after restorations that could take years and, in some cases cost more than $1 million to complete.

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These days, there are dozens of significant classic car shows around the U.S.  Indeed, more than a million people gathered in the suburbs of Detroit over the weekend for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, an homage to the era of hot rods and muscle cars. But no event quite matches the grandeur – or celebrity of the Pebble Beach Concours, an event that boasts a mix of four-wheeled and two-legged celebrities that routinely includes the likes of actor Jerry Seinfeld and TV talk show host Jay Leno, the latter visible seemingly everywhere shaking hands with fans and taping scenes for his own collector car program.


Record $27.5 Mil for NART Ferrari Drives Weekend Auction Frenzy

But what’s driving the surge?

by on Aug.19, 2013

At $27.5 mil - including fees - the 1967 NART Spyder was the most expensive Ferrari ever auctioned off. Photo Courtesy Drew Phillips,

If you think Wall Street traders have been running up stock prices faster than justified you just might be in for a shock when you check out the results of the half dozen major car auctions that were heading for an all-time record after the classic car weekend in tony Pebble Beach, California drew to a close Sunday night.

Preliminary estimates suggest RM, Gooding’s and the other auctions were likely to boost last year’s strong numbers by almost a quarter – with the gavel coming down time and again on bids that handily topped the million dollar mark. That notably included a near-record $25 million paid for a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder.

The Right Bid!

Adding in the auction house fee, the final price came to $27.5 million for the Ferrari, one of only 10 ever built for the North American Racing Team. The car had a more than passing role in the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair, and star Steve McQueen owned – and eventually wrecked – his own NART.


Pebble Beach Auction Tally Tops All-Time Record

$11 mil for a Ford.

by on Aug.20, 2012

This GT40 Le Mans winner nabbed an $11 mil. all-time record bid for a Ford.

What economic downturn?

Auctioneers gaveled in a record $260.3 million in sales over the long Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend, shattering last year’s $197.5 million tally, according to preliminary numbers compiled by Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in classic and exotic automobiles.

The strong performance came despite a decline in the actual number of vehicles being auctioned off during the four-day gathering. And the figures actually could go higher as some cars that didn’t hit their minimums during the auction could still be sold before the five biggest auction firms break down their tents.

The top seller was a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that garnered a winning bid of $11,770,000 at the Gooding auction house.  That was more than many had anticipated – but fell short of the $15 million figure some had expected.

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Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, was the $11,000,000 that RM Auctions nabbed for a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Coupe. It has a strong pedigree among the very limited run of supercars that the late Henry Ford II ordered built after the Detroit maker failed in its bid to purchased Ferrari, back in the 1960s.  This particular GT40 won the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race four years in a row, from 1966 to 1969.


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.


The Montery Motorsports Reunion: Disneyland for Race Fans

Watching racing history come back to life.

by on Aug.22, 2011

A trio of classic race cars come back to life at Laguna Seca during the 2011 Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

It’s hard to escape your past – or so Derek Bell discovered as he wandered through the paddock at the Laguna Seca race track.  Everywhere he turned he discovered another car that he had driven, at one point or another, during his long and illustrious career.  That includes a Ferrari 250 GTO that is getting ready for a race on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m always surprised,” the British legend said, “by how many cars they have here and how many cars I drove,” including the classic ’64 Ferrari 250 GTO he piloted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed five years back.

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Bell isn’t alone.  Indeed, it seems there are surprises for everyone at the annual Monterey Motorsports Reunion.  The three-day event gave the estimated  40,000 fans a chance to see some of the world’s rarest, oddest and most successful race cars – some nearly 100 years old – come back to life on one of the country’s most challenging tracks.

And unlike the typical race event, the Reunion broke down the traditional barriers, letting race fans get up close and personal with the cars and the drivers.  That includes not only weekend racers like Tom Price, a San Francisco collector with a warehouse full of old cars, but some of the best-known names from the motorsports world, including Bell, Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, Carroll Shelby and British racing giant Stirling Moss.