Coronavirus concerns crash Monterey Auto Week

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With increasing health concerns because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Concours d’Elegance, the annual finale to Monterey Auto Week, scheduled Sunday, Aug. With 16, has been canceled.

Many other connected shows, exhibits, and auctions during the nearly two-week extravaganza, have also already been canceled or soon will have official similar announcements.

Monterey Auto Week is still on for 2020 despite coronavirus threat.
The Concours d’Elegance most of the events scheduled for Monterey Auto Week, Aug. 7-16, have beeb canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Image © James Raia/2018.

“My heart goes out to all of the people who are involved in the Pebble Beach Concours and who are impacted by this decision,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button in a press release. “Many of our entrants have been working on a special car for years, and this was to be their moment.

Coronavirus affects travel

“Some of our overseas entrants were nearing the point of putting their cars on boats and planes, and their own travel arrangements have long been made. The same is true for many of our international cadre of judges.”

While not all of the more than 30 events include annual festivities on the Monterey Peninsula have been officially canceled, it’s expected the entire schedule of events beginning Aug. 7, will be canceled.

Legends of the Autobahn, Monterey Automobilia, auctions by RM Sotheby’s, Mecum and Russo & Steele have been canceled as well as the Pacific Grove Auto Rally and Concours d’Lemons.

The Concours d’Elegance, which was scheduled to feature its 70th anniversary, will now be held Aug. 15, 2021.

“We thank all of the enthusiasts who have gathered at Pebble Beach time and again to renew long-standing friendships, celebrate great cars and give so generously to Concours charities — and who have already expressed their support for the coming celebration no matter the date,” said Button.

Organizers detailed the featured classes for next year’s event will remain as planned for this year’s festivities. Featured classes will include for Pininfarina coachwork, Porsche’s famous 917, the Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, Miller racing cars, Iso, early electric cars, and the famed Carrera Panamericana.

Founded in 1950 as an adjunct to the Pebble Beach Road Race, a race event sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America and conducted on a circuit of closed public roads, the Concours d’Elegance built slowly. It then accelerated into global prominence.

The first two years were held on a practice hole and driving range adjacent to the Beach Club at what was then called the Del Monte Lodge and is now The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Thirty vehicles were showcased the first year, but only 23 in 1951.

For its third edition, the Concours d’Elegance was moved to its current location. With rare exceptions, its legacy has grown annually. Increasingly rare, infamous famous and odd vehicles made by eccentric engineers and wealthy dreamers have accelerated the event’s prominence.

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