Photography by: ©2015 Toni Avery
On the final day of the Monterey Car Week, the biggest and possibly the most loved event of the week occurs. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance begins when most everyone else is still sleeping from the night before. The quiet and picturesque Pebble Beach Lodge suddenly becomes a worldwide hot spot for some of the most valuable and rare automobiles the world has ever seen.
Each year various classes of rare cars stretch across the lawn along with special classes of honored cars. 2015 honors the Shelby GT350 as its esteemed marque. Below you’ll find an interview with a well-known GT350 owner and his love for the automobile.
Rare Ferrari’s and other European classics are some of the most highly anticipated for spectators each year. In the early morning hours before the green became flooded with enthusiasts, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a stunning Alfa Romeo (interview below).
It comes as no surprise when the world’s most famous automotive celebrities show their vehicles and peruse the Concours field. Among a few usual’s such as Alain de Cadenet and Wayne Carini, this year I met TV personality Richard Rawlings from Fast N’ Loud (Gas Monkey Garage) who brought a 1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight Rollston Roadster.
Each year the cars get more and more rare, the people more and more abundant and parking worse than ever before. But there is something truly special about the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that I can’t quite put my finger on. Is it the fact that six wonderful and fast paced days have passed and this is the final hurrah of the week? Or is it that people travel from everywhere in the world to share their automotive gems with us? It might be that I’ve been attending since before I can even remember. Whatever it is, this Concours is one that is an absolute must for anyone attending the Monterey Car Week for the first, second or even twentieth time.
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Touring Coupé
Owner: David B. Smith
Award: 1st place in Class N: Designs by Carrozzeria Touring
TA: Tell me about your car
DS: It’s a 2-5-6 and what makes it special as a 2-5-6 is it wasn’t built in Milan, it was built in Modena under the direction of Enzo Ferrari. This is the last one. There were four of these built as a Siluro and this is its second body but on in 1941.
The uniqness of the car is because it’s a racecar underneath. It’s configured inside for the 1940 Mille Miglia, so its got all the racing gear; engine, suspension and it has a Lusso body. Its also the first or second Alfa in the world to have a radio in it.
TA: How long have you had it?
DS: I’ve had it for five years. I just finished it last week. I found it in poor condition. The wheels you see are original to the car as well as all the labels on the car.
1965 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350
Owner: Bobby Rahal
Award: 3rd place Class S: Shelby GT350 50th Anniversary
TA: Tell me about your car
BR: This car is the fourth from the last 1965 made. I’m the second registered owner and it was really kind of a barn find. When we got the car it had been parked in the original owners backyard (in Riverside, CA) for thirty-five years.
What’s nice about it is that it was completely original. It had the original engine, original gearbox, you name it, it was all original. And of course with some of these cars they would be run pretty hard and things would break, but this one was as it came off the assembly line. Obviously we had to restore it cosmetically and mechanically because sitting out in the sun for thirty-five years takes its toll on the car.
It was restored by a guy name Don Hoevel who is a Ford specialist. He was also Mario Andretti’s chief mechanic in Indy Car racing, I also knew Don through Indy Car racing. So I asked him to restore the car and he’s done a beautiful job. It’s been to a couple of shows but none like this.
1955 Ferrari 857 S Scaglietti Spyder
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR – The car Stirling Moss won the 1955 Mille Miglia
Although the cars I photographed and highlighted here are winners in my book, there can be only be one Best of Show. The winner of the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F. Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen Cabriolet. Congratulations to the owner of this stunning car. I can’t wait to see what wins next year.