The Concours is on a Sunday and caps off -Monterey Car Week, which consists of many geographically scattered functions—smaller shows, group drives, auctions, and races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Most cars arrive by Monday, and many participate in multiple events, requiring planning to keep Pebble's roads free.
As soon as one show is over, the selection committee begins fielding applications for the next year's Concours. Accepted applicants are notified in April and begin working with one of two point people who coordinate national and international travel. It is the point person's job to make vehicle transportation as stress-free as possible for owners.
U.S. entrants use trucking companies specializing in classic-car transport, private carriers, or single-car trailers. Some share trucks, and others will reserve an eighteen-wheeler just for their car. Overseas participants arriving by cargo boat or plane are first cleared by U.S. Customs as duty-free with a limited visitation time, then put on a truck.
During Car Week, U.S. show vehicles are kept in their transporters at a designated location near the eighteenth fairway that can hold up to 200 trucks. International cars, which do not have to stay on trucks, are kept at a separate International Entrants Tent by the tee box. The tent can hold roughly sixty cars and is guarded at night by an armed sheriff.
The oldest car at the 2015 Concours D'elegance
1902 Panhard et Levassor
Owner: Peter Mullin, founder, Mullin Automotive Museum
To even have a shot at winning the Concours d'Elegance, every car has to be able to drive down Pebble's eighteenth fairway and across the stage located in front of the clubhouse. That shouldn't be a problem for this pristine French-made 1902 Panhard. The front-engine, chain-driven car has a Daimler 2.3-liter four-cylinder paired to a three-speed transmission and can still hit its original top speed of fifty miles per hour. Contemporaries could manage only fifteen to eighteen miles per hour.
How they insure a rare Ferrari
"The fact that you can get six Ferrari 250 GTOs on a transporter logistically has nothing to do with the fact that nobody in their right mind is going to put six Ferrari 250 GTOs on a transporter and move it one inch. Nobody in the world would have that type of coverage."
— Tim McGrane, executive director, Blackhawk Automotive Museum, Concours d'Elegance transport coordinator
"We have one guy who has a GTO, and we've shipped it several times. He likes to book the car on the same flight he's flying on and never insures it. He says, why do I care if the plane goes down and I'm on it? That's an interesting way to look at it when you have a $40 million to $50 million car, right?"
— Martin E. Button, president, Cosdel-International Transportation, which ships most overseas entrants
This story appears in the July/August 2015 issue of Seniorhelpline.