A tradition now 72 years in the making, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is arguably the world’s ultimate car show. Representing only the finest and most exclusive automobiles through history, it’s one of the few places on Earth you will ever spot a McLaren F1 race car in the same general vicinity as something like the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that took home Best of Show this year. Just like the rest of Car Week in Monterey, California, there’s something for every enthusiast. Here’s a brief recap – and some must-view pictures of an unmatched tradition of automotive excellence.
Many Marvelous McLaren
Wow, where to start. It’s not unusual to see a McLaren or two around town in more populated cities. But never something like this. You’ll find two (!) exceptionally rare McLaren F1 examples in the image gallery. One is a McLaren F1 LM. While the F1 is already sacrificing all kinds of things in search of the ultimate driving experience, the LM is even more track-oriented. As you could’ve guessed, the LM stands for Le Mans. Essentially, it’s a street-legal version of the McLaren F1 GTR race car but removes the engine intake restrictions the race version faced. Naturally, several “regular” McLaren F1s are on display, too.
Of course, the only way you could really be upstaged when you show up with a McLaren F1 LM is if someone shows up with the real thing. And…well, they did. Enjoy plenty of pics of the McLaren F1 GTR wearing some fantastic race-inspired livery. If that doesn’t yank your chain, there are also pictures of an even more historic vehicle. One of three, a 1969 M8B-2 was also on display, complete with race-ready orange paint and a Goodyear livery.
A-Z Lamborghini: Countach to Miura
McLaren may be a tough act to follow, but Lamborghini owners made a valiant attempt. More than one Miura found its way to the display, one in its iconic radiant green finish. More than one Lamborghini Diablo was in attendance, too. The last of the “true” Lamborghinis before the Audi merge, enthusiasts have quickly started to appreciate this classic for the unhinged motoring icon it is. A black Countach appeared, too, but…it’s almost hard to notice in company like this.
Many, many, Bentleys were in attendance at the Concours, but two really stood out. The first is a 1952 R-Type Continental, arguably the car that set Bentley’s unique GT styling in motion for the over 50 years that would follow. Using a 4.6-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 154 horsepower, this thing could cruise at well over 100 mph with four occupants and luggage. That was unheard of at the time. Bentley produced 208 examples, and the R-Type Continental continued to inspire designers working on the later Continental GT from the early 200s. The second standout was a Corniche of unknown vintage, but the fact that it sports the original convertible top cover means it’s a rare bird indeed.
Plenty of Pre-War
Pre-war automobiles are always a bit of a mixed bag, but the Concours welcomes all. A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster took home Best in Show, part of the Patterson Collection. You’ll spot vehicles like the Alfa Romeo 8C circa 1930s, the Lincoln K Series, Vanderbilt cup era race cars, and more.
…and Plenty of Porsche (935, 356)
From 935 race cars to the humble 356, you can find no shortage of vintage and modern Porsche products prominently displayed. The 935 is perhaps the most iconic Porsche race car, based on the 930 Turbo and sporting a wing that would make GT3 RS owners blush. With up to 835 horsepower under the hood, these things were quick. The 356, in stark contrast, was super-low production and super-low powered, expect around 70 horsepower. That probably doesn’t matter to the rabid enthusiasts who have paid over $800,000 for well-preserved examples.
Enjoy Everything Else, Too
We did our best to capture the essence of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend. Hopefully, you enjoy the sights – and maybe even learn something along the way. We certainly did!
[Photos: Dan Levins / @klapped.media]