Gallery: The 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Gallery: The 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Gallery: The 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The very best of the classic Californian event

This may not be the event for everyone. Not least because tickets cost $375. But that’s to get in to the, you know, public area. That’s not very exclusive is it? To get into the inner sanctum you have to enter a lottery to get a ticket to the Quail motorsport event. If you’re lucky – that means you win – then you get to spend another $600.

But what’s a thousand dollars when you can experience seeing some of the most amazing models you will ever see. And the cars are equally terrific. This is where millionaires and billionaires come to ogle the cars or simply to display their own exotica.

We bumped into Gary Wales, who rather likes England when he visits from the US as he has a friend down in the New Forest, and he stays in their house. That’s Beaulieu Palace House. It’s not on Airbnb. He has just restored a 1938 Bentley Speedster, but didn’t have much of an idea about its value. ‘People offer me half a million dollars,’ he says carelessly, ‘but it’s not for sale’.

Michael Fuchs likes cars, that much is clear by his presence here. That and his car collection that he reckons is ‘about 160 cars’, but he’s not certain. He’s just commissioned a matching pair of cars, a McLaren 720S and Rolls-Royce Dawn. They’re in a very special colour. Let’s leave it at that.

Pebble Beach forms just part of the Monterey car week, and there are plenty of events to go to, plenty of sublime cars to see. But if you wanted to rough it then there are some events that are – I realize this is laughable – free to get in. One of them is another Concourse, but this time it’s not d’Elegance but d’Lemons.

Living up to its name, this is an event for vehicles that are the ‘oddball, mundane and truly awful of the automotive world.’ The highlight simply had to be a 1996 Volvo 850 with a colour scheme that made it look like a cow. When you pressed a button inside it made a mooing noise. When you’ve spent time looking at endless lines of exotic Ferraris, it was the perfect antidote.

Buying used: Volvo 850 R

Take BTCC heritage, add a rare manual-plus-LSD combo, and multiply by today's classic car market for this £20k nineties estate...Volvo

In pictures: Driving from London to Brighton in a Victorian car

We take part in the Veteran Car RunThe London to Brighton Run is the world’s oldest motorsport event. These days, it’s called the

Car brands go online

Which manufacturers will sell you a car without having to visit the showroom?Dealerships have gone to great lengths to seem more attractive

Top ten: hot hatches under £2k

Two grand for a hot hatch? Sounds good to usYou’d need £31,000 to buy the latest hot hatch god, the Honda Civic Type R. While that