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Pebble Beach parade wows classic car fans, ex-Eric Clapton Lancia wins best of show

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 24 August 2016

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WITH a seaside chill in the air, 150 cars set off on the world-renowned Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex last week.

While recent local forest fires altered the Tour’s traditional route, participants and car fans turned out in droves to witness the world’s most beautiful vintage and modern day supercars in action.

On Portola Road, the gentle hum of engines peppered by the occasional roar provided the melodious soundtrack to the start of the Tour as some of the greatest classics of all time coughed and sputtered their way over the start line, to the delight of entrants and spectators alike.

Spectators were also keen to see some of motor sport’s most celebrated drivers, such as Formula One’s Sir Stirling Moss, in the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupé.

The cars finally came to rest on Sunday on the famed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links joined by a further 78 vehicles for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Connoisseurs gathered to admire these masterpieces, not only savouring the beauty and elegance of some of the most prized automobiles and motorcycles in the world but also enjoying the company of others who share their passion for them.

The 2016 running of the Concours commemorated BMW’s 100-year anniversary; on display as part of the German manufacturer’s hand-picked selection was Elvis Presley’s BMW 507, making its public debut after a two-year-long restoration.

Each and every one of the 228 vehicles invited to roll on to the fairway was in immaculate condition, the perfect reflection of their owners’ labour of love.

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This year Best of Show winner was the 1936 Lancia Asturia Pinin Farina Cabriolet (above), one of six similar cars built for a Lancia dealer in Biella, Italy. This particular vehicle, which once belonged to guitarist Eric Clapton, has undergone two complete restorations, the most recent one taking five years, and now resides with its owner Richard Mattei in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

At the closing of this mesmerising week, The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chairman, Sandra Button, commented: “The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the grand finale of Pebble Beach Automotive Week. We started in motor sports and now celebrate all of our motoring heritage, where excellence and elegance are in abundance. To have a prestigious brand such as Rolex so intricately involved as the Official Timepiece is testament to the event’s position as the pinnacle of Concours events around the world”.

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