The Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance isn’t any car show – as far as these sort of events go, it’s the ultimate car show. Held on the 18th fairway of the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links course, car owners cherish an invitation to attend, spectators flock to take a look and any car that scoops an award is instantly valued at least 10 per cent more highly, such is the prestige attached to such an accolade.
As with many similar shows, there are themes that dictate some of the classes; unlike many similar shows, though, Pebble Beach has the pull to get even the rarest of cars on display. This year’s celebration of 50 years of the Ferrari 250 GTO – albeit somewhat tenuously seemingly hung off the back of the fact that the development car ran in 1961 – was mind-blowing. In total there were 22 GTOs on display, of the 39 built. An average value of each car must be at least £10 million.
As you might imagine, competition among the car owners for recognition from the judges is quite intense. I witnessed one GTO owner starting his engine for the benefit of assessment, only to be hurriedly told there was fuel leaking from a carburettor. Presumably this rather rich man was used to giving orders and being in charge of a mega-business, but not today – instead he was left to apologise like a naughty schoolboy as the judges scribbled notes onto their scoring cards.