TPW's American Correspondent Frank Rapisardi was lucky enough to attend what is one of the greatest automotive shows on earth. Thankfully he remembered to bring a notebook and pen to jot down what he saw.
In this entry Part 1 of a two part review of all the sights from last weeks show.

Second only to the natural beauty of Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula was this year's 57th Pebble Beach Concourse d' Elegance. As a member of the press, you could feel the presence of wealth increase daily during the week as owner's from 30 states and 12 countries rolled in with their Rolls Royces, dressed in Italian finery followed closely by an armada of enclosed automobile transporters carrying their precious cargoes . Press from around the world, famous giants of industry, movie celebrities, and several world famous race car drivers from the past all helped to set the stage for the show of all shows.

During the week preceding the show several automobile makers set up their displays and held press conferences for the world debut of their 2008 models, such as the Infiniti EX-35 that yours truly covered. When Sunday's show day finally arrived, you knew it was going to be a good one when a one million Euro Bugattie Veyron passes you as you enter.

Upon entering the grounds, " RetroAuto ", a giant tent holding all types of automobilia from a 30's Alfa Romeo steering wheel to an assortment of famous posters of world class automobile events, greets you. As you proceed behind the Lodge and to the Practice Putting Green, you come upon the concept cars . This year the 10,000 devotees in attendance were presented with the likes of the Spyker C12 Zagato, the Lexus LF-A, the Italdesign Mustang, and the Calloway C-16 Speedster Corvette.

On to this years featured marques, which were the Cord, Auburn, Duesenberg group and Aston Martin with a special recognition for the 1932 Ford, the quintessential hot rod platform nicknamed the " Deuce " which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year at Pebble Beach.

More on Peeble Beach after the jump.

The 57th Concourse displayed over 190 cars over the 18th fairway at the Pebble Beach Golf Links with an estimated value of well over $ 200 million US. Notables present were members of the DuPont and Cord families along with famous drivers from the past such as Sir Sterling Moss, an honorary judge , Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Parnelli Jones, and Jochen Mass. National USA television star , Jay Leno again served as the master of ceremonies. Leno remarked in 2004 when becoming a class winner himself for his 1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Holbrook Skiff, " Is this a great country or what...where a mere millionaire like myself can beat all these billionaires. "

The oldest car displayed was the 1897 Henriod Duc Kellner Phaeton from Sussex, England owned by Roy Fisher. " The Duesenberg Special " a somewhat aerodynamic, supercharged 400 horsepower 1935 SJ that set land and speed records in the '30s, and also sold for $4.45 million at the 2004 Pebble Beach Auction by Gooding and Co. was a standout . Also known as " The Morman Meteor " it competed in the Prewar Sports and Racing class for owner Harry Yeaggy of Cincinatti, Ohio . Seventeen rare Ferrari's, including two 250 GTOs, a blood red California Spyder, and an unrestored 1950 166MM Barchetta from Arizona lured you to the Ferrari section. Several prewar Alfas and Bugattis of note also graced the lawn nearby, while a never ending array of world class automobiles were spread out all over the 18th fairway..

Representing Aston Martin was a gaggle of very rare Astons displayed against the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, including a 1923 Side Valve Open Wheel Racer, the 12th Aston ever built and the oldest surviving example of the marque in the world, which still retains its original UK registration, original chassis, spare engine, and running gear.

Along side it was the 1934 1.5 liter Ulster Team Car that competed in the 1934 RAC Tourist Trophy race in Ulster, now owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and painted red to alleviate the superstitions of Italian team boss at the time, Bert Bertelli.

The Italian design houses of Bertone, Allemano, and Zagato were represented in the Astons by such beauties as the 1961 DB4GT Zagato Berlinetta. One of only twenty built to beat the Ferrari GTOs on the track, Ercole Spada designed one of the most beautiful cars ever built.

This years Concourse was not only highly successful for owners and fans alike but it also raised over $10 million dollars for assorted charities in the USA.

[Source: TPW's American Correspondent Frank Rapisardi]