Courtesy of Frank Filipponio

The biggest event of the week, and the one that put Monterey on the classic car map, is the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Arguably the most exclusive, invite-only field of classic cars in the world. Although other concours and auctions have sprouted up all over the peninsula to fill the week's schedule, for many people this time in August is still referred to as Pebble.

Eight years ago, the organizers of the show started to see a pattern of over-restoration developing in the contestants and decided they wanted to emphasize drivable vehicles over trailer queens. So they initiated this tour on which contestants can earn additional points for the Concours judging by showing they can still get up and go. No boulevard parade this, they have the cars wind up and around the coast on a 50 mile trek down the shore and back to the Polo Grounds in Pebble Beach.

Our new bestest friends at Haggerty Insurance helped make the 5 am wakeup call worthwhile by handing out free donuts and coffee. The cars
were dropped from their trailers, lined up and photographed before heading out on the Tour. Wound our way through 17-Mile Drive's canopied blacktop before hitting PCH South and the rocky Pacific coastline. Just a little mountain goat footwork got us a good vantage to capture some of the images to share with all of you.

Amazing to see and hear some of these classsics chugging up and over. Not all of them could match the speed of the lead group's Ferraris, Mercedes-Benzes and Jaguars, but they provided a lot of entertainment for the Pebble Groupies, and even additional motivation for a few cyclists who managed to keep up with the slowest groups. OK, the bikes actually passed a few of the cars, but who's complaining. Best part of the Tour is that it gives locals a chance to see the cars for free in case they don't have the $175 for a ticket to Sunday's main event.

Full gallery of the Tour after the jump.

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