While the skies were gloomy and even a bit weepy this year, at least we didn't have fog like last year. The Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance is one of our favorite events in Monterey every year, and it's nice to actually see the cars. The Tour, if you're not familiar, is an event that includes a large portion of the entrants in Sunday's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, but as its name implies, the cars are moving. The best part is that it's free to anyone with a lawn chair.
The cars leave the Pebble Beach grounds around 8:30AM and snake through 17-Mile drive, loop through Monterey and then head down Highway 1 to Big Sur before turning around and coming back up into Carmel for lunch. Mercedes-Benz was the sponsor this year so there were plenty of SLS, SLK, S Class, GL, ML... LMNOP models on hand to serve escort duty for the "real" media, VIPs and racers like Sir Stirling Moss, who led the whole parade in an old Gullwing. Nice cars for sure, but the Tour is also our first glimpse at what's going to be vying for Best of Show on the 18th fairway at Pebble on Sunday.
Unlike last year when the Horch just shown like a freshly polished diamond in a coal pile, we didn't spot any clear favorites this year. That's not to say there aren't a ton of great cars here this year – just not one superstar. Several cars did manage to stand out as the entries chugged past us along PCH though.
That's the magical part of the Tour, the cars careening down the coast with hundreds of spectators and photographers lining every turn-out. All five of your senses are involved here, with everything from horseless carriages to 1950s dream cars whizzing by, spewing an intoxicating mix of fuel vapor, oil, exhaust, brakes, clutch and various other overheated material scents as the ground rumbles under your feet, particularly with the race cars. And come on, how often do you get to see GP cars on the street?
Check out the amazing gallery of 109 high-res images by clicking below. We're still in the process of labeling them all, so shout it out in the comments if you can identify any of the ones we're missing.
Photos Copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / Frank Filipponio / AOL