Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance canceled for 2020

70th anniversary celebration will take place in 2021, Gooding also cancels its Pebble Beach auction

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Pebble Beach
Confetti welcomes Michael Kadoorie's 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer, the 2019 Pebble Beach Best of Show winner, to the top of the awards ramp | Larry Edsall photo

The 70th anniversary Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has been canceled for 2020 because of coronavirus concerns, it was announced Wednesday. The world-renowned concours that serves as the centerpiece for Monterey Car Week every August will be back for 2021 to celebrate its seventh decade, concours officials said.

“Knowing that entrants, judges, volunteers and guests face ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance have decided to cancel the show, which was scheduled for August 16, 2020,” the news release stated. 

The concours has been canceled only once before, in 1960 due to inclement weather.

Gooding & Company also announced the postponement of its Pebble Beach auction until 2021, and it is anticipated that other Monterey Car Week events will follow suit, though to date only the Legends of the Autobhan car show has made a formal announcement.
 
“My heart goes out to all of the people who are involved in the Pebble Beach Concours and who are impacted by this decision,” concours chairwoman Sandra Button was quoted in the Wednesday evening announcement. “Many of our entrants have been working on a special car for years, and this was to be their moment. 

“Some of our overseas entrants were nearing the point of putting their cars on boats and planes, and their own travel arrangements have long been made. The same is true for many of our international cadre of judges. 
 
“We thank all of the enthusiasts who have gathered at Pebble Beach time and again to renew long-standing friendships, celebrate great cars and give so generously to Concours charities — and who have already expressed their support for the coming celebration no matter the date.”
 
The committee’s news release said that car owners whose vehicles had been accepted for the anniversary celebration had been notified that if the event was canceled in 2020, their cars would be invited for 2021. The date for 2021 is August 15.

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Pebble Beach celebrates cars and people | Howard Koby photo

Special features had been planned for the 70th-year celebration of the concours, which was started in 1950, and they will be carried over to next year. Considered to be among the most-prestigious of all classic car events, the show is held each year on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Monterey, California, peninsula.

“Features will remain as planned, with a display of past Best of Show winners along the edge of Stillwater Cove, and special classes focusing on Pininfarina coachwork, Porsche 917, Talbot-Lago Grand Sport, Miller racing, Iso, Early Electrics and the Carrera Panamericana,” the committee said in the news release.

“This event does more than celebrate great cars; it benefits so many people in need,” William L. Perocchi, chief executive of the Pebble Beach Company, was quoted in the announcement. “Ultimately, the continued health and safety of everyone associated with the Concours is our number one priority, which led us to this difficult decision. We recognize that cancelling the 2020 event will be disappointing to many, although we are confident it is appropriate under these unique circumstances.” 

Tickets purchased for the 2020 date will be valid next year, the committee noted. 

Scores of collector car concours, shows, auctions and other events have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 fears.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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