2008 PEBBLE BEACH TOUR d'ELEGANCE ADDS NEW ROUTE FOR ANTIQUE CARS,
HIGHLIGHTED BY A STOP AT HISTORIC CARMEL MISSION
14 Antique vehicles begin in the Del Monte Forest and trace portions of 17-Mile Drive, then cruise along the coastline to 237-year-old Carmel Mission
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 12, 2008) - In 1771, when Father Junipero Serra founded the Carmel Mission, it was a sanctuary for his followers. Two hundred thirty-seven years later, the Mission's historic courtyard, set at the mouth of the Carmel River on California's central coast, will serve as a sanctuary for 14 antique vehicles tracing a special Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance route designed just for them.
The Thursday, Aug. 14 Veteran car route, featuring antique cars built prior to 1916, starts at 9:30 a.m. at Collins Field in Pebble Beach. These vehicles will leave just an hour after more youthful Concours entries depart from that venue and head down Highway One on the main route of the 11th annual Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex.
"We want to give every car at the Concours the opportunity to do what cars were meant to do-to prove themselves as roadworthy," said Sandra Kasky Button, Pebble Beach Concours Chairman. "These great antiques will start in the Del Monte Forest, and then will cruise along Carmel Bay on Scenic Road to the Carmel Mission. I'm so excited about seeing these automotive time capsules rolling into the Mission that my husband Martin and I will be traveling with these Veteran cars."
Cars created by some of the earliest auto manufacturers, including Peerless, Franklin, Pungs Finch, National, Queen and White, will be among the vehicles strolling through the Mission's carriage gates (built to accommodate real carriages) and into the central courtyard. From there, Tour participants will receive a behind-the-scenes walk around the Mission.
"I can't think of a more receptive, understanding group to learn about the restoration and conservation of the Mission," says Lou Sanna, Carmel Mission Managing Curator & Director of Facilities. "The Carmel Mission was in total ruins until its initial restoration in the 1880s, and numerous major restorations have followed, beginning in the 1930s. Today, like the antique cars that will be visiting, the mission is in remarkable shape for its age."
The Carmel Mission, one in the chain of 21 California missions built between 1769 and 1823 from San Diego up the coast to Sonoma, attracts visitors from around the world to see its unique Moorish influences, stately stone church and beautiful gardens. In fact, the Carmel Mission is considered the most beautiful of the missions; it was the favorite of Father Serra, known as "presidente of the missions," and it's where he is buried.
"Every one of the missions represents a significant chapter in the history of California, especially the Carmel Mission, which served as Father Serra's headquarters," says Button. "Similarly, every one of these antique cars represents a significant chapter in the history of the automobile."
The Carmel Mission is ready to welcome the public to this Aug. 14 event, with the antique vehicles scheduled to enter the carriage gates at approximately 10:15 a.m.