The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance At Dawn Is Perfect
Photography by Andrew Schneider
My alarm blared on the bedside table: 3:45 am. The excitement had kept me from sleeping for more than an hour, anyways. I promptly threw the covers off and started to prep my camera bag. It was the morning of the Concours d’Elegance, and as we’ve said, Dawn Patrol is the only way to do it.
As I pulled onto the 1 South, even my wildest imagination couldn’t prepare me for what I would see that morning. The 18th Hole at Pebble Beach is a slice of heaven, all by itself. Add morning mist, a few deer, and an array of extremely significant automobiles, it’s a Petrolisti dreamland. When dawn breaks, the cars arrive slowly in a procession between people as they are directed to their respective spots for the day.
It’s the show these cars have been waiting for. They are shown to the public in all their glory and perfection. These automobiles were created so that dreamers could admire their true art form. Seeing small kids admire the design of Ettore Bugatti and stand in front of 722 with their jaws on the floor gives me hope that there is a future for classic cars.
In the early hours of the morning, the lighting is absolutely gorgeous. The mist rests atop the perfectly cut green as cars cruise by the Pacific backdrop. It offers photographers the opportunity of a lifetime: the ability to capture a lot of automotive perfection in the wee hours of the morning.
By 8:30, the lawn is slammed and it’s time to put down the camera and observe the crowds, which are just as interesting as the cars. Women in sundresses, and men in tweed brimmed hats bring you right back to the ’70s. Judges peruse the field in search of the winner, taking every aspect of the car into account. Large gatherings of judges can often be seen next to an engine bay, debating the condition and originality. Owners speak on behalf of their car in hopes that they are lucky enough to bring home the grand prize.
If you’ve ever pondered what Heaven might look like, make sure to hit Dawn Patrol next year: it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Click through to the Petrolicious Guide To Monterey Car Week Presented by Michelin to see the full gallery.