How do you know when you’re really a vintage car nut?  When your vacations are planned around car shows and other automotive events.  In late August we ventured to Monterey, Carmel, and Pebble Beach for the ultimate automotive lover’s weekend, filled with historic auto races and the famous Concours d’Elegance.

Because we love to see vintage cars out on the road, we planned to arrive in Carmel long before Sunday’s Concours to see the Tour d’Elegance, an event “initiated to showcase the elegance of the automobile in motion.”  It is a rare opportunity to see exquisite and unusual cars out on the streets.

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Did we mention the insane sea of humanity that enveloped these cars?  Getting shots of cars without people in them was absolutely impossible, but battling the crowds was really worth it… so please pardon the elbows, knees, and anything else that happens to photo bomb us…

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Unless you’re attending the Concours itself, this Tour is the only way to ever see most of these vehicles up close (or, in some cases, at all), hence the spectator feeding frenzy that took place on Ocean Avenue that afternoon.  According to the Concours, “the Tour also underscores the early history of the place that is Pebble Beach.

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Decades before golf links were laid out along the edge of the Pacific Ocean, this area was known for its scenic drive, winding for miles through pine and cypress forest, dancing alongside dramatic cliffs and leading, ultimately, to a beautiful crescent-shaped bay.

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The traditional Tour traces portions of the original 17-Mile Drive, traverses nearby mountains and valleys, and pauses for a time in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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This year, for the first time in 10 years, the Tour added a lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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The Tour is open to all entrants in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. And spectators are invited to view the Tour at key points along the route, particularly along Ocean Avenue in Carmel.

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It is important to note that the Tour and the Concours are directly linked. “If two vehicles tie in class competition at the Concours, the vehicle that has successfully completed the Tour gets the nod.”

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The Tour serves as a preview of coming attractions, and after seeing these cars, it’s difficult to wait the two days until the Concours where hundreds of fine automobiles are on display.  Thankfully, there are other non-Concours activities that keep car nuts like us busy.  Stay tuned as we bring you more goodness from this automotive super-weekend!

 

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