Cars and Watches: What a Weekend It’s Been

This past weekend was all about celebrating precision instruments and vintage luxury with the world-renowned Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week. It’s the time of year when lovers of vintage motor sports gather together in California for events such as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion — a cornerstone of the week – and the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

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1931 DELAGE D8 SS 100 FERNANDEZ ET DARRIN CABRIOLET AND 1929 ROLLS ROYCE PHANTOM I BREWSTER RIVIERA TOWN CAR NEGOTIATE THE CORKSCREW AT LAGUNA SECA. Photo By: Rolex / Stephan Cooper

Indeed, events include road rallies, long treks along the California coast line and more – all in a blend of showing off the finest period cars perfectly restored to their former glory. Even the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca features vintage car racing.

Rolex, which has been intimately involved in auto racing since 1935, and solidified its position in the sport in 1959 when it began its association with the Daytona International Speedway, actively supports the majority of events for the week – wherein hundreds of top vehicles show what they are made of. For the Rolex Monterey Motor Sports Reunion, approximately 550 vehicles from 27 countries were invited to compete and are accepted based on the car’s authenticity, race provenance and period correctness.

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This amazing race is known as one of the most iconic of its type, with touring and racing cars that are almost unrivaled in their categories. Held at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track – with its legendary corkscrew turn (with five-story elevation and 11 turns) — the multi-day races are a blend of nostalgia and classicism, of roaring engines and whirring hums. The gentlemen racers and owners who line the paddocks include many top celebrities. At the end of the event, the Spirit of Monterey award goes to a top candidate – who also wins a stainless steel and gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. The winner this year was Mike Eddy, the owner of a 1964 Ford Falcon, driven it in Group 7A (for 1966-1972 Trans Ams). The Cosmograph Daytona, introduced in 1963, was designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers. The chronograph watch features a bezel with tachometric scale that allows drivers to perfectly measure speed.

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THE BEST OF SHOW 2014, THIS 1954 FERRARI 375 MM SCAGLIETTI COUPE, WAS ORDERED BY FILM DIRECTOR ROBERTO ROSSELLINI AND IS OWNED BY JON SHIRLEY. Photo By: Rolex / Tom O’Nea

This year also ushered in some important celebrations: the 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary of Italian automaker Maserati; the unveiling of the new Jaguar prototype Continuation Lightweight E-Type (six will be built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new special division). All of the festivities culminated yesterday at the highlight event: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where the finest cars in the world were on display at the famed 18<sup>th</sup> fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Here, unlike the technical precision of racing at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, cars are put to a different test – that of being historically accurate in technical merit and style. More than 700 cars applied to be at the Concours, but only a couple of hundred were granted admittance. The stakes are high, the cars judged in precise categories such as Early Steam Cars or Pre-War.  So, in the end, the winner of the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours Best of Show was a perfectly presented ’54 Ferrari 375 MM owned by Jon Shirley.

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