Around this time every year, the who’s who of the world of heritage cars heads to California, specifically to Monterey Bay. It’s a week-long celebration of classic and vintage cars, with the grand finale being the Concours d’Elegance, held at the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The breathtaking location overlooking the Pacific Ocean will play host to around 200 of the rarest and the most beautiful pieces of automotive art in the world. And this has been going on since 1950.
This year is special for us. As you’re reading this, around 15 glistening examples of some of the finest cars which were once owned by India’s royalty are being given the spit-and-polish treatment (collectors say the cars are being ‘pebbled’) in anticipation of the Concours tomorrow — which is always held on the third Sunday of August. This is the first, and perhaps the last time, in the history of Pebble Beach that there is a special Cars of the Maharajas class. Cars belonging to Indian royalty are not new to Pebble; many maharaja-owned cars have earlier starred in what is considered the world’s premier classic-car beauty contest. This is the first time that there is a class devoted exclusively to these peerless automobiles, and what’s even more spectacular is that Indian collectors have shipped their cars all the way to the US to compete in the event. It is indeed an acknowledgment of the fact that India is a treasure trove of heritage cars.
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