Pebble Beach Dawn Patrol
It’s a new tradition at Pebble Beach, one that robs hundreds of fans of a good night’s sleep. At 6 am on the day of the famous concours, the cars being shown that day begin to enter the field. It’s dark and often cold and damp. None of this keeps hundreds from finding their way to the field’s entrance to watch the arrivals. Appropriately, this is called the Dawn Patrol.
Many years ago, Hagerty Insurance began providing coffee and donuts to add to the allure…then they added hats. Get there early and Hagerty will hand you a special Dawn Patrol hat. Not surprisingly, in a hobby where collecting is honored, you’ll find many attendees delighted to tell you about their collection of Dawn Patrol hats.
A Dawn Patrol hat
First of eight Shelby GT350s that were shown at the concours to celebrate the 50th anniversary of these special Mustangs.
Concours chairwoman Sandra Button hands a welcome package to an entrant with a D-Type Jaguar.
This magnificent 1939 Bugatti Type 57C was given to the Shah of Iran as a wedding present and now resides in the Petersen Museum.
How is this for an automotive moniker? A 1905 Pope-Toledo Type IV Roi des Belges Tonneau.
No, your eyes don’t deceive you, this 1955 Porsche 550RS Spyder has a huge wing, which is good for downforce and shade on hot days. Helpful at this year’s very warm concours. Back in its day, race organizers quickly banned the Porsche’s wing.
Winding its way down the lines of admirers is the 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta that won the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, Luigi Chinetti doing the lion’s share of the driving.
Which is your favorite in this trio? The ex-Briggs Cunningham 1961 Fiat Abarth Coupe, the Ferrari Barchetta behind it or the Shelby GT350 after that?
How about a car’s name–1903 Thomas Model 18 Shelden Rear Entrance Tonneau–that is almost as long as lines of “Dawn Patrollers.”
This extraordinary Japanese-owned 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe would go on to win its class.
An ex-Scuderia Filipinetti 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta was brought from the United Kingdom.
Mercedes-Benz’ C-111 Wankel-powered experimental car gets the attention of all the Hagerty “red hats.”
Briggs Cunningham’s first car, the Cadillac-powered C-1 from the Collier Collection at Revs in Naples, Florida, winds through the crowd.
The always lovely 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Sport Touring “Flying Star” Spider is guided to its place on the field.
This amazing little 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport Ghia Coupe was one of the three finalists for Best of Show. Wouldn’t that have been fun?
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My friends call me a Nerdy Grease Monkey, I've loved cars since I was knee high to a grasshopper but my professional career took me into the United States Marine Corps and the Cyber Security Technology field. Over the past few decades, I have become a self-taught photographer and videographer having my work published in various venues, magazines, and websites. I can be found any given weekend at some sort of automotive event, either in my, Shelby ripping up a track or maybe my Lightning zipping down the 1/4 mile.