When dedicated concours judge Craig Davis returned from driving events in Europe in the ‘90s, he observed the interest for spectators to see the cars in motion like in the Mille Miglia Retrospective.
He approached the executive committee of the concours, which included Sandra Kasky Button, Lorin Tryon and J. Heumann, with his idea of a moving convoy of cars from the Pebble Beach Concours that is always held three-days later at the Lodge at Pebble Beach.
So in 1998, the Tour d’Elegance started showcasing the concours-level multi-million dollar cavalcade of the rarest, finest vintage and classic cars in the world undertaking a 80 mile scenic cruise from Pebble Beach through the astern section of 17-Mile Drive hugging the Pacific Coast Highway with crashing waves as a backdrop. Spectators lined along the entire route either sitting in beach chairs or standing by the edge of the road taking pictures.
The fans get a free first glimpse of the Sunday Concours entrants that cruise all the way on Highway 1 to Big Sur, after crossing the structural wonder of the Bixby Bridge, and then head back to the Pebble Beach finish line at the equestrian field. In 2013, a side trip to Laguna Seca raceway was added for a run around the track but this year the event was cancelled.
On the road, camaraderie with like-minded car enthusiasts is an important factor in this opportunity to exercise their automotive treasures that have been resting all winter. Is there a better way to come out of hibernation than to partake on an 80-mile day trip around the Monterey Peninsula in the car of your dreams?
The featured classes at this year’s Concours that cruised the Pebble Tour included cars of the Lincoln Centennial celebration, cars of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 example, McFarlan, Otto Vu, and 32 Ford historic Hot Rods.
Car lovers got the rare opportunity to see Graber coachwork, unorthodox propulsion (electricity), steam cars, Le Mans Centennial and classes ranging from Antique and American Classics, Rolls-Royce, European classic and sports, Ferrari Grand Touring and competition post war racing (Porsche, Ford GT), Lamborghinis, and much more.