GALLERY: The Tour d’Elegance Puts Pebble Beach On Public Roads
Start photography by Shayan Bokaie, tour photography by Alex Sobran
If you aren’t ponying up the dough or finding a loophole or a fence hole to get on the golf course, the best way to take in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is by climbing around the edges of Route 1 in coastal Carmel to see the cars–most of them anyway—in motion. The route that includes sections of 17 Mile Drive on the peninsula, cliffside highways further south, and a few gorge-gapping bridges in between is known as the Tour d’Elegance, and it’s one of the best events in a week that’s stacked with overlapping places to be from morning ’til whenever. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to forgo one good time for another at some point during Car Week, but as far as Thursday mornings go it’s hard to beat hanging out with no distracting cell phone service while you listen to the lazy cadence of the surf get interrupted by Italian V12s, sitting as you are watching priceless cars share the road with far more normal traffic (do you agree that seeing these cars “in the wild” is more intriguing than finding a row of them parked next to each other without any real-world context?).
The Tour is one of the only chances to see some of these cars in person, let alone on the road, and the fact that it’s totally free to be a part of makes it even more special in a week that’s full of exclusivity and strict adherence to invite lists. It’s funny how an event that has the closest connection to the world’s most famous concours happens to be totally free to see. As such, it gets crowded quickly on Portola Road where the cars are staged pre-parade, and even going out and climbing up a few succulent-coated slopes deep into the 25-odd-mile route won’t guarantee a bystander-free photo. We did our best to focus on the good stuff and crop out any offending beer guts that might get in the way. From O.S.C.A. to Dino, Testa Rossa to Tucker, there was a lot to take in, and if you’d like to know anything in particular about the cars in the gallery below we’ll do our best to find out. In the meantime, enjoy some views from this year’s “public Pebble.”