The epitome of class, beauty and high-dollar automobiles, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance showcased an estimated 200 of the world's most rare, desirable, pristine and well-preserved cars you will ever see. As a highlight of Monterey Car Week, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is sprawled across a picturesque golf course overlooking Monterey Bay in California.
People from around the world came to experience, see and be among these wonderful automotive examples. Even the judges are what you might call automotive celebrities or motorsports legends including Sir Jackie Stewart, Jay Leno, Alain de Cadenet and many many others.
Although it was hard to choose, we couldn't help but be drawn to the wonderful collection of Aston Martins elegantly placed in designated sections across the field. We came away with five top examples of what Aston Martin has produced over the past 100 years. Below is each of the five in no particular order.
Not only is this car one of three, this is the first DB2/4. Built as a U.S. competition car, it is run by an Aston Martin Works racing engine.
1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Roadster
Owner: Bill & Linda Pope
1st in class
This dark red beauty is an Aston Martin, but the body so resembled an Italian-bred car. From the exaggerated curved fenders to the non-signature Aston Martin grille we had to find out more.
This is one of only three DB2/4 Bertone Roadsters built. And yes that is the same Bertone that began in 1912 as a horse-drawn carriage builder. How the Italian coachwork company came to work with the British automaker is a story in itself. Arnolt (an industrialist at the time) commissioned Bertone to work on a number of cars. Franco Scaglione then pinned up a design and that is how this car came into being.
Not only is this car one of three, this is the first DB2/4. Built as a U.S. competition car, it is run by an Aston Martin Works racing engine. Throughout its life the car was raced competitively by James Hartman until he died in a racing accident. His wife then stored the car for many years until it went to auction where the current owners purchased in 2002.
Only 50 of the Abbey-bodied cars were produced out of 180-some 2L cars.
1939 Aston Martin 15/98 Abbey Coachwork SWB Sports
Owner: Don Rose
When you think of Aston Martin, visions of James Bond and high-horsepower machines come to mind. But remember that the British automaker has been around for the last 100 years and although shapes and power have changed, beauty has not.
This subtle grey 2L sports model was the last to sell before WWII in 1939. Rose's particular car is a short wheelbase open sports model bodied by Abbey. Only 50 of the Abbey-bodied cars were produced out of 180-some 2L cars. This car is the last of those 50 Abbey-bodied cars.
Found in boxes by well-known Aston Martin restorer Kevin Kay, the owner was asked to join Kay in restoring the car. Because build sheets at the time were not always completely filled out, the color of the car remains a mystery. But we happen to think the current grey is a wonderful choice. Currently used as a show and competition car, owner Rose says this car, like any other needs to be driven. Owning the '39 Aston for the last three years, Rose has taken part in hill climbs and tours.
Being only one of three made in special lightweight form (saving about 200 pounds), this particular car was driven by legends...
1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Coupe
Owner: James L. Freeman
This tasteful British Racing Green and red DB4 GT screamed for attention. At first glance, you will be drawn in by its beautiful condition without knowing its extensive racing history. Built in 1960 to run in the GT World Championship, this was Aston Martins attempt to continue racing. Being only one of three made in special lightweight form (saving about 200 pounds), this particular car was driven by legends such as Jimmy Clarke and took home many podium finishes including a third place at Goodwood.
The owner purchased the car in the early '80s and has raced it in close to 200 meetings with over 100 podiums including winning multiple times at the Motorsports Reunion. You might be wondering what the significance of the red nose and rims is: The red nose was to distinguish this car from others during night races for the officials holding flags. The red rims were an addition made later by the owner to tie in the scheme.
1925 Aston Martin 16-Valve Twin-Cam Grand Prix Brooklands Racer
Owner: Mitch & Wendy Gross
This was the oldest Aston Martin displayed at the show. With an obvious racing heritage we asked the owner of its history. George Eyston raced it at the JCC200 (taking home 3rd place), the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) Whitsun meeting (taking home 1st) and the very first British GP at Brooklands in 1926 (retired from the race). Well-regarded journalist Lauence Pomeroy also owned it in the '40s and '50s.
Current owner Gross has owned the 1925 Brooklands Racer for about six to seven years after having it restored to its original glory. He has not raced it though, fearing that the rare and delicate engine cannot be replaced. Being that Aston Martin made about six of these specifically for racing with possibly two still in running condition, Gross is probably right.
Only two of these DBR2's were produced...the one notable difference between the two is the exhaust placement.
1957 Aston Martin DBR2/2
Owner: Gregory Whitten
With many vintage racing participant stickers on the window, it was obvious that this DBR2/2 had a racing history. Originally developed on a chassis to accommodate a Lagonda engine, Aston Martin had decided to try its luck at Le Mans. Unfortunately for the British automaker, it didn't fare so well, which caused the engines to be switched out for a larger 4.2L to be raced in America.
Stirling Moss raced it when it made its stateside debut. Only two of these DBR2's were produced, this being DRB2/2 (DBR2/1 being the first). The one notable difference between the two is the the exhaust placement. DBR2/2 has the exhaust on the left side which makes for less heat under the driver (right-hand drive car), while DBR2/1 has the exhaust on the right.
With so many rare and beautiful cars in one place, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance provides spectators and participants alike a venue to coexist and share their stories, passions and love for all things automotive. Although we featured the marque of Aston Martin, we also found many other important automobiles. Below you will find a gallery of various show cars including those that won awards at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Let us know which of the featured cars is your favorite in the comment section below along with what you would like to see from next year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elelgance.