Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 90th Anniversary of the ’32 Ford Celebration
The best way to describe the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to my Hot Rod buddies is to think of it as the Grand National Roadster Show of classic and exotic cars. Just like the Roadster Show, Pebble Beach is one of the oldest and most prestigious car events in the world.
Each year in August cars come from all over the United States and the world to compete in themed classes and to try and win the coveted “Best in Show” award. To do so would mean your car was the “Best of the Best” and needless to say, its total value just went way up!
But it wasn’t until the late ‘90s that Pebble Beach began to recognize the hot rods as “collector cars” and over the years they’ve had special classes for Custom Mercs, Famous Hot Rod Magazine Cover Cars, and more. But this year Pebble Beach wanted to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the ’32 Ford with “1932 Ford Historic Hot Rods”. The class featured a dozen amazing Deuce roadsters from the past.
The Thursday before Pebble Beach they hold a “Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance” where the cars entered in the event drive from Pebble Beach along Highway 1 to Big Sur, then make their way back. If your car is stuck in a tie for first place in your class on Sunday, the fact that you completed the tour on Thursday gives you the extra points to break the tie. So, on Thursday morning I drive down to the Bixby Bridge just north of Big Sur to take pictures of the cars as they cross the bridge.
Another perk of the Pebble Beach event is the Classic Car Forums. The forums are held over several days and cover a variety of things from interviews with famous race car drivers, to the best way to sell your classic car. But this year we wanted to attend “Deuces Wild – The 1932 Ford Celebrates its 90th Anniversary” with Ken Gross, Bruce Meyer, Roy Brizio, David Steele & Jay Ward. Topics during the forum included the history on the ’32 Ford and why hot rodders love them. The best was when Ken Gross asked each of them to tell us a good ’32 Ford story. David Steele shared my favorite story about speeding in the dead of night somewhere between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and getting pulled over while driving a borrowed ’32 roadster with open headers, and no proof of insurance! Great stuff!
Sunday morning was cold and foggy with a heavy mist. Most of the ‘32s had set up the night before and were still covered when I got there. The Hot Rods were parked on the 17th green which was nice because there’s a cove behind it with boats anchored just offshore. Makes for a nice back drop. The sun came up, but the fog and gray clouds hung around all day. As it warmed up more and more of the ‘32s were unveiled and you begin realizing just how much hot rod history was lined up.
A dozen cars that have appeared in or on the cover of your favorite hot rod magazines included the roadsters from; Lee Titus, Bob McGee, Ed Stewart, Gray Baskerville, Ian Cusey, Ken Gross, Roy MacKenny, Kirk White, Randy Lauen, Ray Brown, Ted Wingate, and Tom McMullen. A stout lineup!
The crowd really loved the ’32 Fords and I can’t wait to come back in ten years to see what the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has in store for the 100th Anniversary of the 1932 Ford.
1st Place: Bob McGee Roadster, owned by Bruce Meyers, Beverly Hills, CA
2nd Place: The Pacific Gunsight Special, owned by Kim McCullough, Pompton Plains, NY
3rd Place: Ian Cusey Roadster, owned by Bruce Owens, Wellington, TX
Dean Batchelor Award: Lee Titus Roadster owned by Ross & Beth Myers, Boyertown, PA
Photos by Roy Sorenson