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Automakers swarm to Pebble Beach

Classic Car extravaganza offers new as well as old for car afficionados

Published: August 17, 2012, 5:00 PM

2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta

There was a time when the Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance – arguably the premier Classic Car event in North America – was exclusively the domain of old cars. Not any more.

About a decade ago, manufacturers of luxury and exotic cars began to recognize the affluence of both the participants and those in attendance – and consequently the marketing opportunity the Concours offered.

Ever since then, they have increasingly used Pebble Beach as a showcase for current product and a launch pad for concept vehicles and new offerings.

This weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance, and the multiple events surrounding it, is no exception.

Bentley, BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari and McLaren are among the manufacturers with displays or product debuts at the famous golf course on California's Monterey peninsula.

Bentley’s fastest ever production model, the 616-hp Continental GT Speed, will make its North American debut on the Pebble Beach concept lawn. So will the Bentley EXP 9 F SUV concept – the controversial luxury utility vehicle introduced at last year's Geneva auto show.

BMW will use the occasion for the world debut of a new BMW Zagato concept, the second collaboration between these two companies. The new 2013 BMW 7 Series will also make its North American debut with a special highlight on the new 540-hp BMW ALPINA B7 super-sedan.

Cadillac

Cadillac, in addition to a showcase of current models, will feature the two new, custom-built Fleetwood Convertibles from 1934 and 1937 – a 1934 rumbleseat roadster, model 5802 and a 1937 Phaeton model 5859. That's right; they're new!

Both were part of Cadillac’s made-to-order Fleetwood collection, featured in the "build books" that customers used to select options for their cars. All other body styles were built for customers, but these two lavish models went unselected.

So an American restoration/coach-builder undertook to build them now, from original Cadillac blueprints.

Ferrari's F12berlinetta, introduced at the 2012 Geneva auto show, will make its North American debut at Pebble Beach's first tee. With a 730-hp V-12 engine, it is said to be the most powerful Ferrari road car ever.

McLaren will debut a racing concept variant of its 12C supercar designed specifically for the North American market. The track-focused, one-off concept, finished in historic McLaren Orange, is called the 12C Can-Am Edition.

And there's more – much more – including the creme de la creme of Classic cars from all over the world.

Mercer and Fiat are this year's feature marques and the poster art for the event was painted by renowed Canadian automotive artist, Jay Koka.