]Rolex and motorsports have long been synonymous. In fact, the brand has roots dating back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier at the wheel of Bluebird. The brand has continued ever since in the fast paced world – supporting such events as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Goodwood Revival, and Formula 1. The brand is also the presenter, sponsor, official timekeeper, official watch of most of the festivities that took place in California last week at the Monterey Classic Car week.
The week-long events that brought car collectors and enthusiasts from around the world to Monterey, include the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Pebble Beach Tour D’ Elegance presented by Rolex, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, and the famed Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance held on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Here, we bring you a breakdown of each of those inspiring events.
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
Taking place annual at the exclusive Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is a veritable showcase of motor racing fanatics. Rolex has been the Official Timepiece of the event since 2005, and its clocks can be seen throughout the property. The event is more like a lavish garden party with hundreds of vehicles – both cars and motorcycles — ranging from early 1900’s to present day on display.
This event has no judging panel. Instead, voting is done by the participants, who vote for best car in each class and for the “Rolex Best of Show” award. This year’s winner, admitted in to the Rolex Circle of Champions, was a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Pinin Farina Spyder that has been curated and serviced, but never restored. Owner of the car not only gets the recognition, but also the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, considered the ultimate racing driver’s watch.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Rolex has been the title sponsor of this breathtaking multi-day event since 2010. It is the largest event during the Classic Car Week with more than 500 cars participating in the vintage racing that takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – which has been the home to the golden years of sports car racing since 1957, when the races were taken off the road due to the dangers and brought to the track.
The reunion brings together the best of every era of vintage vehicles – 550 to be exact — This raceway is particularly intense due to the 11 turns over the 2.2-mile counter-clockwise course, which includes the famed Corkscrew – a 1,000-foot crooked plunge of track. There are 15 different categories or classes of cars, with a special emphasis this year on BMW, which celebrates its 100th anniversary. There were an impressive 64 BMWs entered in the Reunion, ranging from a 1937 BMW 328 to a 2001 M3 GTR. The winners at this event receive not only the Spirit of Monterey Award, but also the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.
Tour D’ Elegance presented by Rolex
Marking the day before The Pebble Beach Concours takes place, more than 150 classic and vintage cars set of on the Tour D’ Elegance, presented by Rolex. The scenic 80-mile drive showcases the world’s most beautiful vintage and modern day supercars – flaunting luxurious looks and sleek style. The Tour weaves around the Monterey Peninsula with breathtaking views of the ocean and nature.
Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance
The festivities of Monterey Classic Car Week culminate with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – wherein 200 prized automobiles are invited to attend and compete for one single “Best of Show” prize. The event, for which Rolex has been the Official Timepiece since 1997, is held on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links course with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. Cars in each class are judged on design, historical authenticity and finishing. The best cars are selected as First in Class, and those winners drive to the front of the Lodge to receive their honors – knowing that one of them will be selected as one of the three final nominees for Best of Show, and hopefully as the winner of the coveted victory.
This year the winner was a 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet, owned by Richard Mattei. Mattei received a brown dialed Rolex Datejust 41 in Everose gold and stainless steel and housing the in-house-made Caliber 3235 self-winding movement with 14 patents.