n 1991, I attended the Pebble Beach
Concours d’ Elegance for the first
time and brought the show’s poster home
with me. Writing about the 2015 event re-
minded me of it. Did I still have it? I did,
framed and hanging in a hallway. It’s a
nice one, a print of a painting of a Rolls-
Royce facing a Pierce-Arrow, parked in the
evening in front of a mansion, their bright
work and fender lines illuminated by
house lights beneath the branches of a
tree. Chauffeurs stand at attention beside
them. Between the limousines, a man and
a woman in formal evening attire, embrace
inside the house behind two stories of win-
dows. Tall chauffeurs stand like statues, a
scene right out of “The Great Gatsby.” I
could imagine Edward Hermann, long
time fixture in the automobile concours
world before his passing, playing piano,
hidden behind a mansion wall as he did in
the 1974 film.
During the Amelia Island Concours in
March 2014, I first heard what I consid-
ered to be a rumor that Ford Mustangs
might be accepted in the Pebble Beach
Concours in 2015. Couldn’t happen, I
thought. It’s a Concours d’ Elegance. As
much as many people love Mustangs, I’m
not sure anyone ever called them “ele-
gant.” What would the Ferrari and
Packard crowd say? Hadn’t one of the Peb-
ble bigwigs said something like, “
will never be a Mustang at Pebble Beach,”
when the subject was brought up during
the 2013 Cobra weekend? The thought lin-
gered. How could a rumor this nutty be
completely without some truth, some pos-
sibility of it? It couldn’t be. I brushed it off
like an urban legend.
Sometime in the summer, or maybe it
was the fall, I heard it again. I did a little
investigation and discovered it was true.
But it sounded like the cars would be on
display only, not part of the judged compe-
tition. The “Mustangs” would probably be
relegated to the putting green, between
the buildings for a few hours the day be-
fore the show, I thought. The space that
was reserved for concept cars on Sunday.
One of my friends asked if I planned
on going. He said he was going to take his
car to the Rolex Monterey Reunion at the
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track where
early GT350s were the featured race cars.
No, I said, too much trouble, too expensive.
Then it happened. Sometime after Laguna
Seca announced the GT350 would be the
honored race car in its 50th anniversary, I
learned the Pebble Beach Concours de-
cided to include a GT350 Class in the
judged competition. I knew two owners
with cars that were accepted into the
group. When would THAT happen again?
It didn’t take long to rethink my decision.
I had to be there.
The SHELBY AMERICAN
Winter 2016 40
– Story and Photos by Harvey Sherman
They said it would never happen.