The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2011 will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the automobile by showcasing the marques that trace their lineage to Benz and Daimler, with particular attention to Mercedes-Benz. The August 21, 2011 celebration on the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links will chronicle early racing greats, coachbuilt classics, and preservation cars.
The birth of the automobile is marked by Carl Benz’ patent of the first gas-powered vehicle, a three-wheeler, in January 1886. Gottlieb Daimler followed with a four-wheeler just a few months later, beginning the competition to create cars with more speed and style.
“From the beginning of the automobile to the modern industry of today, Mercedes-Benz has always been at the apex of automotive technology and style,” said Sandra Button, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Chairman. “This year, the Concours will exhibit some of the earliest vehicles the marque has ever produced, including the White Knights that first established Mercedes and Benz as a racing powerhouse.”
The Knights, donning Germany’s national white auto racing color, earned the company its lofty reputation on the track long before the “Silver Arrow” racers made their debut in 1934. Several White Knights will be prominently lined up along the edge of Carmel Bay, including a “Blitzen-Benz,” the model that set the world record for fastest speed on land (141 mph) in 1911. Similar to a bicycle, its rear wheels are turned by chains.
The anniversary tribute will also include a Preservation Class devoted solely to the successors of Benz. “This special class will feature a remarkable display of Benz, Daimler, Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz vehicles from around the globe,” said Button. “These unrestored entries exemplify the marque‘s long history and contribution to the world of automobiles.”
The tribute will also feature an array of the vehicles often cited as the pinnacle of beauty and technology in the classic era: the Mercedes-Benz 380K through 770. “These are the Mercedes that have so often won the top award at the Concours,” said Button. “These cars set the standard for supercharged powerhouses, and they bore sophisticated coachwork that demonstrated beauty while underscoring that power.”
In addition to the 125th anniversary of the automobile and Mercedes-Benz, the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will also feature the Stutz Centennial, 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GTO, Edwardian Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts and Italian Motorcycles.