The first Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was organized nearly 70 years ago to celebrate significant cars and promote camaraderie among automobile enthusiasts. Concours d’Elegance, or Competitions of Elegance, originally began in France as aristocratic parades of exquisite horse-drawn coaches which were judged on their level of beauty, elegance, and finish. The same concept was applied to fine automobiles by the 1930s, and Concours became contests of beauty and elegance between the great European car manufacturers and coachbuilders of the day.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has the same high concept but a much more modest beginning. The first event, held in 1950, was a small show hosting approximately 30 cars on the Pebble Beach golf course outside the Beach Club. There were three car classes: prewar, postwar, and MG. Sports cars and racing was a new phenomenon in America that was sweeping the country, and the Concours included a race run on closed public roads near the golf course. The first “Del Monte Trophy” was won by Phil Hill in a Jaguar XK120.
Did you know that for the first four years cars from those same years won Best of Show? In 1950, a ’50 Edwards R-26 Special sports roadster won; in 1951, the winner was a ’51 Jaguar Mark VII Saloon; in 1952 a ‘52 Jaguar XK 120 Fixed Head Coupe won; and in 1953 a ‘53 Austin Healey 100 took the top prize.
From 1955 on, the winners have primarily been cars from the 1920s and 30s, with American Grand Classics plus top level European classics and competition cars predominating. All cars are the epitome of their kind and must be invited to appear on the show field. Special classes recognize things like a particular manufacturer, a period in history, or even a special vehicle type. Everything from brass-era cars to the latest concept cars and from classics to hot rods and micro cars may be exhibited. The show field always contains surprises and the rarest vehicles on Earth!
Grundy Insurance protects many of these cars including many best-of-show cars from past Concours. We also sponsor the event as a way of supporting its enduring tradition of acknowledging unsurpassed excellence in the automotive arts.
Visit Grundy At The Concours!
From August 17-21, Grundy will have a display on Peter Hay Hill at the bottom of the footpath that runs between the general parking area and the event entrance. Please visit us! We will be happy to discuss how to properly insure your collector cars and furnish you with a free quote. We will also be able to create and bind a policy for you on the spot, so you can drive your new auction purchase that same day!