Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance celebrates 20th year

The beloved driving event returns to scenic Big Sur on Thursday, August 17

Jules and Sally Heumann in their 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6C MacMinn Boattail Speedster on the very first Tour in 1998

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. —The 20th Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance returns to its traditional route tracing Highway 1 to Big Sur, allowing spectators, entrants and judges to enjoy these cars in motion and at speed—the way they were designed to be.

Sean Jacobs, Director of the Tour d’Elegance since 2008, explains the driving event’s significance: “The Tour started out of the desire to make sure these beautiful cars were still able to serve their original purpose: to drive. When you see a Duesenberg passing by a Ferrari GTO on Highway 1, it’s a pretty mind-blowing experience.”

A line of Ferraris wind along 17-Mile Drive on the 1998 Tour

Participants took to the road for the first Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance in 1998. Soon after, the Tour was made an integral part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judging process; cars that successfully complete the Tour d’Elegance have the advantage if they tie in class competition on Concours Sunday. That advantage has often determined which cars win their class—and it has even had an impact on which car is named Best of Show.

The Tour also points to the fact that the 17-Mile Drive is at the heart of Pebble Beach, and the Concours began in tandem with another driving event—Pebble Beach Road Races.

Les Wexner in his 1955 Ferrari 857S Monza Scaglietti Spyder enjoying the scenic views of Big Sur on Bixby Bridge in 2015

“The Tour pays homage to the roots of the event and emphasizes that the core of the Pebble Beach Concours is to show that the cars are more than immobile pieces of art,” Jacobs said.

Last year, as a result of the wildfire to the east of Big Sur, the Tour was shortened and rerouted to local roads with limited speeds. Consequently, some great race cars were unable to participate because they couldn’t get up to speed. The judging advantage was then eliminated for the year.

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Barker Touring Saloon at historic Cannery Row in the 1998 Tour

California Highway Patrol recently gave the Tour the green light to return to its traditional route. The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remains out due to recent landslides, but the Tour turns around just before it. The scenic 70-mile Tour route weaves through forests of intertwined Cypress and towering Monterey Pine trees, traverses sun-drenched mountains and valleys, parallels the crashing Pacific surf along the Big Sur coastline, and tours charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Spectators are welcome to view the automobiles as they line up for the start of the Tour at 8 am near the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, or from 11:30 am to 2 pm as they pose on Carmel’s Ocean Avenue.

1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Castagna Imperial Landaulet lines up for the 1998 Tour

For more information and a map of the Tour d’Elegance, as well as a Visitor Guide for Pebble Beach Automotive Week, please visit www.pebblebeachconcours.net.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

First conducted in 1950, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® (www.pebblebeachconcours.net) has grown to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and historic cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and connoisseurs of art and style gather to admire these masterpieces. Charitable donations raised by Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® now total over $23 million. Related events include Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™, and Pebble Beach® Auctions presented by Gooding & Company. Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™, and Pebble Beach® Automotive Week are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved.

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