Hugo Modderman’s 1950 Delahaye Guillore Atlas is one of only five still in existence. Copyright © 2011 Hugo Modderman.

Journey to Pebble Beach

Vintage vehicles from around the world have begun arriving on the Monterey Peninsula in preparation for the Aug. 21 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In 2011, there are 44 classic automobiles crossing international borders to participate in “the world’s Concours.”

“It takes a great deal of effort and time for Concours participants from Europe or Australia to bring their cars here,” said Sandra Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “For them, the reward comes when their car is one of the select few to drive onto the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Concours Sunday.”

More than 220 beautiful and elegant vehicles are traveling from 14 different countries—and one principality—to participate in the Concours. In some cases the trip takes days; for others, it takes weeks or months. Here’s how three overseas participants are getting to Pebble Beach.

From Zurich

For Dr. Christian Jenny’s Jaguar E-type—the very E-type (chassis 885005) that was first unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show fifty years ago—the journey began in Zurich, Switzerland, and involved transport to Luxembourg, then a transatlantic flight to California via the cargo airline Cargolux. Another transporter delivered the car to the Monterey Peninsula, wrapping up a 5,870-mile trip.

“I consider a classic automobile to be a living cultural object of historical value, and I feel an obligation to its creators to present the car to the public,” said Dr. Jenny. “Exhibiting a classic automobile at a Concours is an honor, and it will be the ultimate honor for 885005 to be shown at Pebble Beach. No name is better known among enthusiasts.”

From Brisbane

The 1946 Allard J1 Supercharged owned by Peter and Robin Briggs began its trek to Pebble Beach on July 29, departing from Brisbane, Australia. One of the original Allard team cars that raced under the moniker “Candidi Provocatores” (the white challengers), the car is now in Concours-ready condition, having undergone months of preparation and a 7,060-mile trip to California.

After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 1, the car was trucked 1,150 miles north to Seattle, Washington. Then Peter, Robin and their Allard are taking part in the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, a nine-day, 1,500-mile tour through the Pacific Northwest on their way to Pebble Beach.

From Monte Carlo

Hugo Modderman’s 1950 Delahaye Guillore Atlas, one of only five still in existence, has taken a somewhat circuitous path from Europe to the Aug. 21 Concours. Through experience he discovered “the fastest way to get a car to the U.S. is to ship it from Rotterdam, Holland.” Fastest, that is, if you’re not going by air.

“The stories of how cars from around the world travel to the Concours each year are always an interesting component of our event’s story,” says Button. “But Hugo’s adventure may require an entire chapter.”

Starting in Monaco, Hugo drove three hours through southern France to Alessandria, Italy and loaded the Delahaye on the Autotrain for a 15-hour trip north through Switzerland and on to Dusseldorf, Germany. From there, Modderman again was behind the wheel for a two-and-a-half hour drive to Rotterdam, where the car was loaded onto an APL container vessel for a 27-day voyage across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and through the Panama Canal to Oakland.

From there it would have been a quick two-hour jaunt south to Pebble Beach. But the Delahaye, like the Allard, is participating in the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, so it was trucked 800 miles north to Seattle, Washington. It is now in the final stages of its 6,040-mile journey to “the world’s Concours.”