CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE TOUR
August 5th to August 19th
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND, this FULLY ESCORTED SELF DRIVE tour will take you from Los Angeles through the California wine country north to Eureka and the amazing redwoods of the Avenue of Giants then south to Napa Valley and on to Monterey for Speed Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. You will see iconic events, attractions and motor collections culminating with a drive down the fabled Highway 1 back to Los Angeles and our Gala Farewell Dinner at the Langham Harrington Hotel in Pasadena.
In 1950 the first Pebble Beach Concours was held in conjunction with the first Pebble Beach Road Race. Racing great Phil Hill, who went on to become a successful Formula 1 driver, won the race in a Jaguar XK120. Best of Show went to a 1950 Edwards R26 Special Sports Roadster owned by its creator Sterling Edwards. Since that time the event has grown to become one of the world’s most prestigious concours events and entries are now by invitation only.
Your traveling companions are like minded people with an interest in classic motoring and relaxed touring. We stay in wonderful Four and Five Star accommodations and you depart from your hotel each day in your own luxury car and in your own time as every day’s itinerary is plotted on our GPS units that will lead you through the days attractions and finally to your hotel each evening.
If you love touring and Pebble Beach is on your bucket list, this is an outstanding opportunity to join us for one of our most popular events.
Our tour starts today with your arrival into Los Angeles.
If arriving by air take the shuttle from LAX direct to the Marriott Hotel and spend the remainder of your day relaxing after your flight. Check in with your tour escorts upon arrival and later join them for an informal evening to meet your fellow travellers.
Over breakfast this morning we will have a short briefing to review the tour details and operation of your GPS navigators.
Mid morning, we collect our cars at the hotel then head north on the 405 Freeway then to Highway 101 up the coast through Santa Barbara and on to our first night at Los Olivos in the heart of California wine country.
There's time this afternoon to explore the restaurants, wineries and stores of this fascinating village. The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn our hotel for tonight and we have reserved the exclusive Bear & Star Restaurant for our Welcome Dinner this evening.
We continue north through the lush farmlands and vineyards of wine country to San Jose and this afternoon tour the Winchester Mystery House recently featured in the movie starring Helen Mirren. The Winchester House is an historic San Jose landmark that was once the personal residence of Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester the widow of William Wirt Winchester and the heiress to a large portion of the Winchester Repeating Arms Fortune. From 1886 to 1922 construction never ceased as the original 8 roomed farmhouse grew into the world's most unusual and sprawling mansion with over 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors and 47 stairways and fireplaces.
Our hotel tonight is the luxurious Hotel Valencia a short walk from the Winchester House. Dinner tonight is your choice.
A shorter day today as we skirt the lower regions of the Sonoma Valley before turning off towards the coast for the oceanside run up to Bodega Bay.
The route will take us through the Mt Tamalpais State Park to Muir Beach then along Highway 1 north to our lunch stop at the Hog Bay Oyster Farm (weather permitting) where you can shuck your own or order from the menu. Alfred Hitchcock fans can take a short detour to visit the site of the filming of "The Birds" and see the home and church sans crows. After lunch it’s just 30 minutes to the luxurious Bodega Bay Lodge and dinner in a private room overlooking the ocean.
We continue north along the coast before heading back inland to connect with the 101 north to the pioneer town of Eureka. This lively seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon has hundreds of ornate 19th-century homes, like the Carson Mansion, a paragon of Queen Anne architecture now housing a private club at the end of Second Street, reflect the prosperity of Eureka’s formative years, when lumber was king. The entire city is a state historic landmark, a captivating mix of nature and culture with a small-town feel.
But before we turn away from the coast, we pass through Jenner and make a short detour to one of California’s largest seal colonies. Our hotel for tonight is the Carter House Inns, a collection of historic Victorian era timber houses that have been converted to an interesting inn.
Dinner is included tonight and the dining room has the reputation of having one of the finest wine cellars in northern California.
Leaving the luxury of the Carter House this morning, just south of town we turn off the freeway for the Avenue of the Giants, the world-famous scenic drive that parallels Freeway 101 with over 50,000 acres of redwood groves. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500-mile redwood belt so this is definitely a “camera ready” day.
The 31-mile road called the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California is one of the best stretches of highway in all of California. The Avenue of the Giants was the original stretch of Route 101 until a freeway bypass was created in 1960. After that time the road was given a new designation of and maintained by the state. The park itself exists mostly because of a road trip three men took in 1917. When they were driving through the area and witnessed the destruction of these mighty trees, they set up a movement to protect the area and turn it into a state park.
There’s plenty to see on the way through and before we turn onto the northern section of Highway 1 towards the coast just south of Leggett, you’ll find the Drive Thru Tree. The coast is about 20 miles away and we again turn south and continue to follow Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast through Fort Bragg and Mendocino to Little River and the Heritage House Resort, our hotel for tonight.
Napa Valley is home for the next two nights and it’s a short run back across the mountains for lunch at Calistoga then off to Castello di Amorosa for a taste of Napa’s finest.
The winery is housed in an authentically-styled, 13th century medieval Tuscan-style castle which took 15 years to construct using medieval designs and construction methods. The castle includes 5 defensive towers with battlements, 1,000 pound hand-hewn doors from Italy, 107 Rooms (95 devoted to winemaking), a Great Hall with a 22ft high coffered ceiling featuring hand-painted frescoes inspired by Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Buon Governo” (Good Government) in Siena Italy and a 500 year-old fireplace. All the ironwork was hand-forged by Italian artisans over an open flame and authentic features include a church, drawbridge, torture chamber, even secret passage ways.
Leave at your leisure and it’s just 30 minutes to our hotel for the next two nights, the Embassy Suites at Napa where there is a drinks reception in the hotel from 5.30.
Mid morning we board the Napa Valley Wine Train for the three-hour journey from the historic town of Napa, through one of the world's most well known wine valleys to the quaint village of St. Helena, and back.
We’ll enjoy a freshly prepared lunch and a glass or two of the local product inside the fully restored 1952 Vista Dome car. The train begins its journey at the McKinstry Street Station in Napa then travels north to St. Helena, where the locomotive disconnects from the north facing side of the Train and reconnects to the south side in preparation for the return journey.
The tracks run through the heart of the world famous wine region and stops at different wineries en-route. Drinks reception at the hotel this evening.
On the way to Monterey we take an East Bay route to Danville, an upmarket community west of San Francisco to visit the Blackhawk Museum where over 100 years of automotive genius and design excellence is gathered together in a collection of over 50 vehicles ranging from vintage and luxury cars from Italy, France, England and the United States representing an exciting period of history.
The museum also houses “The Spirit of the Old West” exhibit tracing the history of the United States and is regarded as the most significant collection outside the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The Museum is located in one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the East Bay, The Blackhawk Plaza, an assortment of boutiques, restaurants and galleries complete with a stream running through it's manicured landscaping from the fountain atop the Museum's plaza. After lunch we'll follow Highway 101 for the run down to Monterey, the home of Speed Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance arriving with ample time to explore Cannery Row as our hotel is in the heart of Downtown Monterey.
Speed Week features over 20 spectacular events ranging from classic motor racing at Laguna Seca to fine arts events and auctions of some of the world’s most desirable automobiles. Originally a small social event paired with a road race through the pine and cypress forests of Pebble Beach, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has grown into one of the top-ranking collector car shows in the world.
Today is a free day to explore the events around Monterey and region. Nearby is Carmel-by-the-Sea home to an eclectic range of restaurants and shops and a drive down 17 Mile Drive is not to be missed. Options today include Mecum Auctions in Monterey, RetroAuto, Exotics on Cannery Row and The Rolex Monterey at Laguna Seca (tickets extra). If you prefer to remain with the group, we will be leading a drive through the local area to Legends of the Autobahn and arriving back in Monterey mid afternoon.
Another free day to explore the events. Mecum Auctions are on again as is the Rolex Monterey historic racing or for a change of pace try the Concours d’Lemons. This afternoon use your passes into Pebble Beach to preview the cars at the Gooding & Co Auctions which start tonight about 5 pm. Russo & Steele auctions are also on tonight in Downtown Monterey.
Today features what, for many fans, is the highlight of the tour. People from all over the globe come to compete or simply enjoy the event here at Pebble Beach on the third Sunday in August. 200 of the most prized collector cars and motorcycles in the world roll onto what is often called the best finishing hole in golf — the famed eighteenth fairway at Pebble Beach.
Parking is not allowed close to the event, however our Club d’Elegance tickets provide for access to the VIP parking area where there is a shuttle to take us to the club for breakfast.
Club d'Elegance Tickets include VIP patron badge, VIP parking, shuttle service to and from the Concours, a full breakfast, an elegant buffet luncheon, a signed poster and other commemorative gifts.
Club d’Elegance is next to the Gooding & Company Tent and is within easy walking distance or a short shuttle ride away from the 18th fairway. The automobile and manufacturer displays are also nearby.
Highway 1 South hugs the coast for an exhilarating driving experience. There are great opportunities to stop for lunch or coffee on this twisting, cliff-hugging, 123-mile (198-kilometer) route that takes us along the coast to our beachfront hotel at Mandalay Bay where there is a drinks reception in the hotel from 5.30. En route is Hearst Castle which is well worth the visit if you have time as are State Street and Stearns Wharf at Santa Barbara just a short detour off the route.
Today starts with a private tour of the Mullin Automotive Museum. The core of the collection includes 140 masterpieces of French coachwork and craftsmanship by such famous names as Bugatti, Delage, Delahaye and Voisin. Also on display is the US$35,000,000 “Lady of The Lake” (Yes 35 Million US Dollars) the Bugatti rescued from a Swiss Lake after being interred since the beginning of WW11 and is now preserved in a glass case in the same condition as it was recovered. There is also an outstanding collection of art and furniture created by Ettorre Bugatti.
Later we are treated to a private guided tour of the Nethercutt Collection featuring over 250 automobiles dating from 1898 to 1997. Occupying two large buildings, on view are various Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winners and cars once owned by movie stars, royalty and other notable personalities. Behind the museum in a specially prepared area are a fully restored steam locomotive and Pullman car custom built for the daughter of pioneer “lucky” Baldwin.
Our Hotel for tonight and the venue for our Farewell Dinner is the Langham Huntington in Pasadena.
After breakfast this morning it’s time to bid farewell to newfound friends, continue touring or head home.
The cars need to be returned to the Marriott Hotel at LAX who provide a shuttle to the airport, however if you can manage one more car collection The Petersen Collection in downtown LA with its streetscape dioramas, and rotating exhibit spaces of over 300,000 square feet is on the way.
It’s also a great opportunity for lunch, some last minute shopping on Wilshire Boulevard and the Museum of Art and the La Brea Tar Pits are just across the road.
• 14 Nights accommodation in Luxury 5 Star hotels
• 14 Days Luxury Car Hire - Options available
• 5 Dinners including Welcome and Farewell dinners
• Full breakfast every day
• Club Elegance VIP Entry to The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
• Legends of The Autobahn
• Napa Valley Wine Train with Vista Dome lunch
• Blackhawk Automotive Museum
• The Mullin Automotive Museum
• The Nethercutt Collection Private Tour
• Catalogue entry to Gooding & Co Auctions
• Comprehensive Road Book with Daily Route Notes
• GPS Navigator with Full Route Planning
• Classic Driving Tours Travel Pack
Standard cars for the tour are BMW 5 Series, Infiniti Q50, Dodge Challenger (or similar) or choose from a range of SUV or exotics at additional cost.
FEATURE DINING EXPERIENCES
• Welcome Dinner at the Award Winning Bear & Star at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn
• Dinner at Carter House Inns
• Buffet Breakfast and Luncheon at Club D’Elegance Pebble Beach
• Private Dinner at the Bodega Bay Lodge
• Grand Farewell Dinner at the Langham Huntington Pasadena
UK£6,495 - A$12,995 - US$ 8,450
Per Person based on two sharing a room and car hire
A non-refundable deposit of UK£500 or a$1,500 or US$1,000 per person is required to be sent with the Booking Form and received by us in clear funds to secure your booking. The balance owing for the Tour is due and payable four months prior to Tour departure, however you may remit payment of the Tour prior to this date. All Tour prices (Tour Prices) are based on the exchange rate for the US Dollar applicable on the 1st of June 2019, include taxes, and are subject to change and availability. Price increases may occur by reason of matters outside our control, which include, but are not limited to, adverse currency fluctuations, variations in international shipping and transportation costs, fuel surcharges and other taxes, fees or charges. Please see the Classic Driving Tours Purchase Terms & Conditions for more information.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
• Return airfares to USA and airport transfers
• Cost of meals and drinks and entry to places of interest other than those specifically included in the final itinerary
• Personal expenses
• Fuel and Tolls