WORDS: DAVID LILLYWHITE | PHOTOGRAPHY: PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE
The first special classes and features for the 2024 running of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance have been announced, continuing the 2023 policy of stretching the breadth of cars on show into the 1990s, while still including Veteran/Brass Era machinery. Car owners have until January 5, 2024 to enter suitable cars (see below for details.)
The 73rd concours will celebrate an expanded range of cars from pioneering Packards and the Speedsters associated with the 125-year-old marque, to the supercars that raced in the BPR and FIA GT Series of the 1990s. There are two Italian-focussed classes – Maserati and the Coachwork of Pietro Frua – while the Wedge-Shaped Concepts and Prototypes class is likely to be highly popular. Here are the classes in more detail:
Packard 125th anniversary
Packards have won Best of Show at Pebble Beach on four occasions, so it’s fitting that the 2024 concours will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the marque’s founding. There will be a special class for early Packards, ranging from pioneering single-cylinder horseless carriages to the era of the massive Dominant Six in 1915, along with a curated display of models in the 1930 Packard Speedster Series, which was essentially a line-up of factory hot rods based on a custom-built shortened chassis with myriad performance options and available in five unique bodystyles, including the quintessential boat-tail. The brand was synonymous with American luxury for nearly six decades, from 1899 to 1958 – expect some spectacular examples.
The first car from the Maserati brothers was produced in 1926, and the Maserati company achieved remarkable success with its competition models right through to the early 1960s. From 1948, under the management of the Orsi family, the company also started to produce non-racing sports machines, and GT cars emerged, a policy that has continued through the brand’s ownership by Ferrari, partnership with Alfa Romeo and current ownership by Stellantis. Many of the greats will be represented in this class.
Pietro Frua was central to the golden age of Italian coachbuilding. His work, which started with Farina before he founded his own design studio, evolved from the rounded lines of the early 1950s to the sleek, squared-off shapes of the 1960s. He penned often-groundbreaking designs that were sometimes surprising but always beautiful, bodying many marques along the way – although he’s probably best known for his smooth, low-slung designs for Maserati.
Wedge-Shaped Concepts and Prototypes
Wedge-shaped designs really came to the fore with concept cars of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, although there had been a few designs during the 1950s that hinted at the shape. From Ghia Gilda Streamline S to the Alfa Romeo Carabo, Ferrari Modulo 512 (pictured top of page) and the Lancia Stratos HF Zero, these stunning concepts influenced production models such as the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, DMC DeLorean, Lotus Esprit, Fiat X1/9, Lancia Stratos, Vector W2 — and even the Tesla Cybertruck of today. This is going to be a stunning class that we predict will dominate social media coverage of the concours.
1990s BPR and FIA GT RACE CARS
There’s a strong collector car movement towards the race cars of the 1990s at the moment. The iconic supercars of the 1994-on BPR Series, which became the FIA GT Series in 1997, are central to that. The protagonists included the McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Bugatti EB110, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, Porsche 911 GT1, Lotus Elise GT1 and Dodge Viper on tracks across Europe to China and the US. Expect to see plenty of these race cars on the concours field.
Applications for the 2024 event, to be held on August 18 as the finale and highlight of Monterey Car Week, California, are now being accepted — and are due by January 5, 2024. Links to the online entry form have already been sent out to regular participants, but others with a car they believe to be Pebble Beach worthy can send a brief description and images to email@example.com or click here to learn more.