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There are plenty of reasons to hang around Pebble Beach this time of year, including the fact that manufacturers love to use the Concours d'Elegance as an excuse to roll out some of the more inventive concepts of days gone by. This year, Porsche parked the evolutionary ancestor to the mighty Panamera at its display.

Herbert Hartge has been producing his Bavarian specials for more than 30 years now. And as each new generation of BMWs gets better and better, these tuned versions have managed to keep pushing the envelope even further. The Beckingen Bimmers have grown into some of the fastest German tuner cars, model for model. Generally known for their prodigious horsepower bumps, wheel and suspension upgrades and the like, last year's Essen project struck some as Hartge's goodbye to good sense.