Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance – Monterey 2016
The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance sponsored by Rolex is the annual Thursday morning driving event of Monterey Car Week. The Tour includes driving parts of the original 17-Mile Drive, continuing through nearby mountains and valleys, with a stop for lunch in pretty Carmel by-the-Sea.
The 2016 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance was delayed, shortened and rerouted so as not to interfere with firefighters as they battled wildfires burning to the east of Big Sur, CA. Normally, cars line up near the Equestrian Center in Pebble Beach between 7am and 8am, and the Tour departs at 8am. This year the cars departed at 9am. The 2017 Tour will revert back to its original full route but the time change is likely to stay the same.
The Tour is open to all entrants of Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Many Concours entrants participate in the Tour for the sheer joy of driving their vehicle on such scenic and historic roads. However they also drive the Tour d’Elegance knowing that if two vehicles tie in class competition at the Concours, the vehicle that has successfully completed the Tour gets the extra point. Any damage incurred on the Tour (and it does happen) will not be deducted at the Concours. Because of the route change, there was no penalty for withdrawal, and only a handful of cars opted out.
The Tour d’Elegance was once again led by Sir Stirling Moss and wife Susie in a Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster. Individual pictures of the cars were quite difficult to capture, as you will note, since the event was very crowded and the space is tight; 3 cars wide down a narrow dusty road. The good news is that most of the spectators are true auto enthusiasts – not many over-sized purse carriers and car-touchers.
One component to enjoy of the Tour is the randomness of the car lineup, which is essentially as-they-arrive to the Equestrian Center. A turn-of-the century Pierce-Arrow could be next to a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB, which is next to a 1948 Delahaye. And they all play together nicely on the Tour.
Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance
Later in the day we attended restorer Tom Yang’s fun gathering at The Quail. Tom is noted for his work and expertise on 250’s, 330’s, 365’s and his renowned website TomYang.net