I suppose most people go to Pebble Beach to look at the Bugattis and the Duesenbergs, but as usual, it's the esoterica that delights me. This is the Howmet TX, an experimental racing car from 1968 that's powered by a jet turbine engine. [credit: Jonathan Gitlin ]
CARMEL, CALIF.—Last Sunday, the 69th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance took place by the Pacific at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. A concours d'elegance is a fancy way of saying a fancy car show, and car shows don't come much fancier than this one, the grand finale to Monterey Car Week. Two hundred old cars—ones with significant histories or perhaps significant owners—drove onto the 18th green at dawn and line up to be judged. As with my round up of the Quail, this is a story much better told in pictures, so please make sure to scroll through the galleries. Otherwise you might not see the parrot.
The cars were grouped into classes, and the winner of each class was eligible for best in show. Some were the product of expensive and obsessive restoration, and they looked better than they ever would in period. Others showed a more sympathetic touch, with a few looking wonderfully patinated and original. Classes celebrating the centenaries of Bentley and the Italian design studio Zagato bookended the lawn, which (as usual) was top-heavy with cars from the prewar period.
I don't know about you, but I think the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is the most beautiful car of all time. Sure it's not worth as much as a Ferrari 250GTO, and no, it was never anywhere as good as a racing car as the Ferrari either. But. Just. Look. At. It. [credit: Jonathan Gitlin ]
For those seeking something a little more current, there was the increasingly misnamed "concept lawn." It's supposed to be a place for automakers to show off their newest flights of fancy, and a few got into the spirit. BMW brought not one but two concepts, one of which has a rather cool story behind it. Genesis brought along the Mint, which wouldn't have looked out of place on the 18th green, and Volkswagen showed off the ID. Buggy. Other car makerss were so lazy they didn't even phone it in: a production SUV with a sticker or two is the equivalent of sending a single emoji text message, Maserati.