Pebble Beach, Monday 22 August 2016 – With a seaside chill in the air 150 cars set off on the world-renowned Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex on Thursday. While recent local forest fires altered the Tour’s traditional route, participants and car aficionados turned out in droves to witness the world’s most beautiful vintage and modern day supercars in action. It is this appreciation for the past and its inherent values that binds Rolex so closely together with the world of classic cars.
On Portola Road, the gentle hum of engines peppered by the occasional roar provided the melodious soundtrack to the start of the Tour as some of the greatest classics of all time coughed and sputtered their way over the start line, to the delight of entrants and spectators alike. Leaving Pebble Beach® behind, this moving motoring museum weaved its way around the Monterey Peninsula’s picturesque coastal roads, tracing part of the historic 17-Mile Drive® lined with Californian pine and cypress trees. As the sun tried to break through the clouds, the motorcade paused for a gourmet lunch in the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, allowing both locals and international visitors to catch a glimpse of the vehicles up close as they dazzled and glistened on Ocean Avenue. Spectators were also keen to see some of motor sport’s most celebrated drivers, such as Formula One’s Sir Stirling Moss, in the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupé.
The cars finally came to rest on Sunday on the famed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links® joined by a further 78 vehicles for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. This magnificent competition, which marks the denouement of the Pebble Beach Automotive Week™, is the pinnacle of Concours events around the world, where excellence triumphs over speed. Connoisseurs gather to admire these masterpieces, not only savouring the beauty and elegance of some of the most prized automobiles and motorcycles in the world but also enjoying the company of others who share their passion for them.
The 2016 running of the Concours commemorated BMW’s 100-year anniversary; on display as part of the German manufacturer’s hand-picked selection was Elvis Presley’s BMW 507, making its public debut after a two-year-long restoration. Each and every one of the 228 vehicles invited to roll on to the fairway was in immaculate condition, the perfect reflection of their owners’ labour of love. It is with this same care and attention to detail that Rolex creates its own precious timepieces – making the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 the perfect reward for the Concours’ most coveted prize of all, the Best of Show Award.
This year’s winner was the 1936 Lancia Asturia Pinin Farina Cabriolet, one of six similar cars built for a Lancia dealer in Biella, Italy. This particular vehicle, which once belonged to guitarist Eric Clapton, has undergone two complete restorations, the most recent one taking five years, and now resides with its owner Richard Mattei in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
At the closing of this mesmerizing week, The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chairman, Sandra Button, commented: “The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the grand finale of Pebble Beach Automotive Week. We started in motor sports and now celebrate all of our motoring heritage, where excellence and elegance are in abundance. To have a prestigious brand such as Rolex so intricately involved as the Official Timepiece is testament to the event’s position as the pinnacle of Concours events around the world”.
Encapsulating speed, endurance and elegance, both the prestigious Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance perfectly embody Rolex’s values and demonstrate why the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry became the Official Timepiece of the Concours in 1997 and presenting sponsor of the Tour in 2007.
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex's close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier at the wheel of Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, supporting renowned endurance races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona® and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; iconic classic car events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Goodwood Revival; as well as the leading motor sport series, Formula One.
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex's close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier at the wheel of Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, supporting renowned endurance races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; iconic classic car events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Goodwood Revival; the leading motor sport series, Formula 1®.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as superlative chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programmes.
Virginie Chevailler, Rolex SA
+41 22 302 26 19
Sophie Stansfield, Influence Sports
+44 7541 237 399