Two words: wealth and exclusivity. 

There’s no enclave quite like a very rich one on the Californian coast to appeal to wealthy car collectors.

Car makers have wised up to that, realising this is where the real buyers are rather than at traditional car shows. 

For example, brands including Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Infiniti are not attending the Frankfurt motor show in September, one of the largest in the car calendar.

Instead, this year, plenty of premium manufacturers have flocked to Pebble Beach. 

BMW has unveiled its Z4 Concept, as has Maybach with its 6 Cabriolet. McLaren has shown a one-off 720S MSO and Infiniti has displayed a retro-inspired Prototype 9.

As premium brands, they are the most natural fit for this event. Yet Volkswagen – a more volume player - also chose to announce that the ID Buzz would go into production at this year’s Pebble Beach. Could there be a more non-Pebble Beach vehicle than a microbus?

Volkswagen boss Dr Diess explained the move: "There's nothing quite like the Pebble Beach concours. It is full of emotional designs and iconic cars - Ferraris, Lamborghinis, you name it. 

“We are a volume brand but, when it comes to iconic cars, Volkswagen plays a role. Around the world, the Microbus is one of the most recognised and iconic cars." 

Meanwhile, Infiniti design boss Alfonso Albaisa said the Prototype 9 perfectly suited this setting – indeed, it’s a heritage-inspired car that fits in well with the racing cars of old around the place. He says Infiniti isn’t selling cars at the event, merely brand-building.

That’s not the case for plenty of players. Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum told Autocar he was confident they’d sell "a few" XE SV Project 8s during the show: “Look at the clientele here. These are our customers. A lot of places we display, people can only look or aspire to our cars - but not here.

“As a brand, we decided this makes sense. We’re not competing here with everyone else in the same way [as in mainstream shows].”

Meanwhile, McLaren has completed more than 520 test drives during the weekend. Boss Mike Flewitt hopes that will translate into at least 100 sales – a pretty good stash for a weekend’s (costly) work.

An Aston Martin spokesman summed up the car maker's presence at Pebble Beach perfectly: “Here you find the highest single concentration of wealthy car collectors in the world.” 

First drive: ID Buzz concept review

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