It was standing room only Thursday on Ocean Avenue as thousands of people descended on Carmel-by-the-Sea to witness the spectacle of about 200 glorious Pebble Beach Concours show cars rolling into town and parking on the main street. And instead of paying $300-$350 for the concours on Sunday, folks in Carmel could view the cars for free.
The milling crowd swarmed among the array of top-tier classics, sports cars, racers and antiques as the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance made its annual stop in Carmel while the drivers and passengers paused for a lunch break. Collectively, the cars are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Pebble Beach Tour takes the elegant automobiles that will be on display Sunday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and puts them on a 80-mile driving tour of the Monterey Peninsula, including parts of the famed 17-Mile Drive and scenic coastal route Highway 1, giving participants an opportunity to drive their classic cars on beautiful highways and onlookers a chance for a free glimpse of the vintage machines on the open road where they were meant to be.
Not all of the Pebble Beach Concours cars take part in the tour, but most of them do. There is an incentive: In the case of a tie during the concours awards competition, the car that went on the tour moves ahead.
The Carmel stop could be considered one of the greatest local car shows in the world, and the throngs of people cheerfully took advantage of the incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with the magnificent automobiles.
Photos by Bob Golfen