Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented by Rolex Celebrates its 20th Year

Start of the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2015

The beloved driving event returns to scenic Big Sur on Thursday, August 17

Pebble Beach CA, July 21 2017 - The 20th Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance returns to its traditional route tracing Highway 1 to Big Sur, allowing spectators, entrants and judges to enjoy these cars in motion and at speed—the way they were designed to be. 

Pacific coast drive near Big Sur

Sean Jacobs, Director of the Tour d’Elegance since 2008, explains the driving event’s significance: “The Tour started out of the desire to make sure these beautiful cars were still able to serve their original purpose: to drive. When you see a Duesenberg passing by a Ferrari GTO on Highway 1, it’s a pretty mind-blowing experience.” 

Judging a 1952 Jaguar XK 120 Open Two Seater

Participants took to the road for the first Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance in 1998. Soon after, the Tour was made an integral part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judging process; cars that successfully complete the Tour d'Elegance have the advantage if they tie in class competition on Concours Sunday. That advantage has often determined which cars win their class—and it has even had an impact on which car is named Best of Show.

Pebble Beach Scene

The Tour also points to the fact that the 17-Mile Drive is at the heart of Pebble Beach, and the Concours began in tandem with another driving event—Pebble Beach Road Races.

“The Tour pays homage to the roots of the event and emphasizes that the core of the Pebble Beach Concours is to show that the cars are more than immobile pieces of art,” Jacobs said.

Cobra cruising Carmel Valley

Last year, as a result of the wildfire to the east of Big Sur, the Tour was shortened and rerouted to local roads with limited speeds. Consequently, some great race cars were unable to participate because they couldn’t get up to speed. The judging advantage was then eliminated for the year.

Bixby Creek Bridge

California Highway Patrol recently gave the Tour the green light to return to its traditional route. The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remains out due to recent landslides, but the Tour turns around just before it. The scenic 70-mile Tour route weaves through forests of intertwined Cypress and towering Monterey Pine trees, traverses sun-drenched mountains and valleys, parallels the crashing Pacific surf along the Big Sur coastline, and tours charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The start of the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2015

Spectators are welcome to view the automobiles as they line up for the start of the Tour at 8 am near the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, or from 11:30 am to 2 pm as they pose on Carmel’s Ocean Avenue.

For more information and a map of the Tour d’Elegance, as well as a Visitor Guide for Pebble Beach Automotive Week, please visit

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Pictured below: 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Alloy Boano Coupe at the start of the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2015; and 1935 Packard 1207 Twelve Sport Phaeton at Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2014

Source: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Photos: Randy Berg

1956 Ferrari 250 GT Alloy Boano Coupe at the start of the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2015
1935 Packard 1207 Twelve Sport Phaeton at Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance 2014

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