BEAUTY SPOT

McLaren was once again a star attraction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where our latest handbuilt cars complemented the elegant classics of the past.

 

 

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a key event in McLaren’s busy calendar. Four years ago, McLaren launched McLaren Special Operations (MSO) here, the bespoke division that tailors McLaren cars to customers’ unique tastes. McLaren returned for the 66th running of the annual event to showcase a number of exciting cars, two of which were specially tailored to MSO’s exacting standards.

 

The champagne flowed at Pebble Beach to celebrate, amongst other things, the unveiling of the new McLaren 570GT Concept by MSO.

 

Sunday began early for guests of the 2016 McLaren Rally, who’d driven from Los Angeles to the Monterey Peninsula in the days leading up to Pebble Beach. Arriving at 6.30am for what’s fondly known as the ‘Dawn Patrol’, they watched as the sun rose and the first of 200 of the most prized collectors’ cars in the world drove onto the Pebble Beach Golf Links for judging.

Positioned just behind the concours cars, the McLaren Brand Centre afforded fantastic views over the exquisite classics and the Pacific Ocean. Guests were treated to luxurious hospitality, and were welcomed by the stunning sight of a McLaren P1™ supercar parked just outside the main entrance.

Specially prepared by MSO and kindly offered for display by an enthusiastic McLaren customer, this unique McLaren P1™ was finished in visual carbon fibre with a high-gloss lacquer and subtle orange tint that emphasised its all-carbon construction.

 

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is one of the most prestigious car events in the world, and judging the historic cars is a serious business.

 

Inside the McLaren Brand Centre, video screens looped footage of McLaren’s Can-Am glory days. The 50th anniversary of the series’ inaugural race was celebrated just a day earlier at the nearby Laguna Seca racetrack.

Modern-day motorsport was represented at Pebble Beach with the McLaren 570S GT4. Based on the 570S road car with its carbon fibre MonoCell II and twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the GT4 offers drivers the perfect introduction to GT racing. Having debuted at the historic Brands Hatch circuit in England earlier this year, the GT4 was on display to celebrate its maiden win at Snetterton, UK.

By midday, visitor cars were crammed in along both sides of 17-Mile Drive for as far as the eye could see, motorsport fans were mingling with idols like Sir Jackie Stewart, Derek Bell and Sir Stirling Moss, and the crowds were flocking around both the Concours classics and the modern concept cars on display.

 

The new 570S GT4 was on show inside the McLaren Brand Centre after making its race debut in the UK earlier this year.

 

Among the latter was the new McLaren 570GT Concept by MSO. Finished in eye-catching Pearl White paintwork with Piano Black detailing, the bespoke 570GT also featured a ‘By McLaren’ Saddle Tan luxury interior and a titanium exhaust inspired by the sold-out McLaren 675LT. An Electro-Chromic glass roof added further exclusivity, with a five-stage tint that could be adjusted via the touch-sensitive headlining.

The day drifted by and late in the afternoon, after much deliberation, the judges whittled the Concours d’Elegance field down to a top three: a 1931 Stutz DV-32 LeBaron, a 1938 Delahaye 165 Figoni and Falaschi, and a 1936 Lancia Astura Pininfarina Cabriolet.

With much fanfare, the Lancia Astura – once owned by Eric Clapton and now the proud possession of Richard Mattei of Arizona – was crowned winner of the 66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s light years away from the high-tech McLarens, but we can all recognise a beautiful car when we see one. 

 

Clockwise from top left: the unmistakable Sir Jackie Stewart; a display of Indy racers; Edward Loh, Jay Leno and Adam Carolla pose for pictures; the 2016 winner, Richard Mattei, with his 1936 Lancia.

 

 

 

 

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