A Gorgeous Group Of Vintage Autos Competed At Pebble Beach Classic Car Week [PHOTOS]

Over the weekend, some of the most impressive and beautiful classic cars in the world headed to Monterey, California for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held on the 18th fairway of the famous golf course.

The annual contest is designed to highlight and reward the best preserved or restored, most historically valuable vehicles. Every competing car must be driveable. This year, 248 vehicles vied for first place.

But to win its class, let alone Best of Show, a car must above all be elegant, which the Concours calls a “matter of the eye and the heart.”

The classic car show is a magnet for brands like Aston Martin, which celebrated its 100th birthday with the US debut of its CC100 Speedster Concept (right).

Lincoln chose Pebble Beach to introduce new 'Black Label' premium versions of its current models.

(Source: Autoblog)

There's no set dress code, and the Concours website says 'styles range from dressy to resort casual.'

A few days before the Concours d'Elegance is the Tour d'Elegance.

Appropriately, it's sponsored by Rolex.

All the contestants in the Concours have the chance to drive around scenic Monterey as part of the Tour.

The famously beautiful '17-Mile Drive' drew drivers here even before the Pebble Beach golf course was built.

This year's route took the classic cars through the mountains and along the shore.

And it included a lap at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The 11-turn raceway opened in 1957.

Having old, beautiful cars on its pavement was a change of pace for the track.

It's usually used for car and motorcycle racing.

After hitting the track, the Tour made the 14-mile drive to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Among the participants was this unusual (and very orange) Lincoln, a 1955 Indianapolis Boano Coupe.

Doing the Tour is a smart move for Concours participants.

If two cars tie in class competition, the one that has completed the tour takes the prize.

It's not all about fighting for first place. Everyone doing the Tour stopped for a gourmet lunch.

Naturally, there was a champagne celebration at the end of the day.

Sunday morning, the Concours d'Elegance began.

At dawn, the competing cars rolled onto the field.

There were some impressive groups of cars, including 12 Alpha Romero 8Cs, all lined up here.

Four Prince Heinrich Benz race cars were on the scene. Built between 1908 and 1910, they were some of the most advanced cars of the age.

The show attracted a big crowd to the eighteenth fairway at Pebble Beach.

The judging process focuses on two areas: Class Judges look at originality and authenticity.

And Honorary Judges focus on design, styling and elegance.

Each competitor is placed in one of 12 classes, which cover everything from 'prewar preservation' to 'postwar sports touring' to French motorcycles.

Each car that wins its class is in the running for the top prize: Best of Show.

Winning cars must be well preserved or accurately restored, capable of being driven, and have historic value (like an impressive racing record).

The last, perhaps most important, criterion is elegance.

The Concours notes that 'elegance is a matter of the eye and the heart,' and provides a quote from photographer and former honorary judge Ansel Adams as guidance: 'From a strictly personal point of view, my definition of an elegant car would be 'the kind of car I would like to be buried in.'

So the best car to be buried in? This 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria took Best of Show, making owners Joseph and Margie Cassini III quite proud.

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