Rolex celebrates automotive heritage and influence in California
California, 15 August 2021 –
This afternoon’s crowning of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier as the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® Best of Show brought to a close this year’s car celebrations in California. Rolex has supported classic automotive events on the West Coast for 24 years through its relationships with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. These events pay tribute to those who dedicate their lives to preserving and remembering the past, while continuing to influence the future.
The perfectly curated and maintained cars entered into this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® rolled on to the fairway today at dawn. Amid the notorious Californian fog, this morning’s meticulous judging took place to decide the Best in Class winners and the esteemed main award. In homage to its 70th
anniversary, the Concours welcomed back several of its previous Best of Show recipients, as well as winners of the original Pebble Beach Road Races. While eight electric cars from the late 19th
and early 20th
centuries graced the golf greens, emphasizing how technologies of the past continue to be relevant today. Away from the 17th
holes, pioneering cars of tomorrow lined up on the concept lawn, challenging notions of future mobility.
In recognition of the style, authenticity and technical precision of the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier, Rolex awarded a specially engraved Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 to the car’s owners, Arturo
and Deborah Keller.
Following the prize-giving ceremony they said: “It’s our triple crown, we have now won three times [at the Concours]. This is an incredibly special car, that we really love, and it is very satisfying to win this prize and receive a Rolex. Since I was very young, having seen them race around the world, I’ve always been in love with Mercedes.”
presented by Rolex
Earlier on in the week, crowds gathered on a mild Thursday to witness the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex, the prelude to the Concours. A diverse array of designs, dimensions, colours and vintages lined up on Portola Road for this display of automotive heritage in motion. A revised route this year saw the motorcade travel along sections of the 17-Mile Drive heading into Carmel Valley and then down to Big Sur, before returning to Pebble Beach. The event celebrates the ongoing vigour and performance of these incredible vehicles, set against the stunning Californian backdrop.
From Thursday to Sunday, close to 400 racing cars competed at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Cars spanning 106 years of automotive history took on this legendary 3.602-km (2.238-mile) circuit, showcasing the evolution of materials, engines and downforce levels – from the wood and steel of the early 20th
century Ragtime Racers, through to the turbocharged Indy Cars of the 1960s and 1970s, and the ground effect aerodynamics and carbon fibre of 1980s Formula 1® machines. For the drivers, it’s a chance to live out their childhood dreams, racing wheel-to-wheel in the cars their heroes once drove.
In 2021, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion honoured Ford in Trans-Am and the 55th
anniversary of the Pony Car Wars. The four-day event celebrated Ford’s influence on the series and the era-defining, championship-winning Mustangs. Throughout the Reunion, spectators of all ages soaked up the atmosphere in the infield and grandstands, appreciating the workmanship and racing pedigree of these vintage cars.
A Motorsports Gathering
On Friday, the Quail Lodge & Golf Club welcomed some of the finest classic and modern vehicles in the world for The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. 5,000 guests enjoyed this exclusive garden party, revelling in the automotive unveilings – including the much-anticipated Lamborghini Countach – and the breadth of motorized heritage on display. Rolex has partnered with the event since 2005, supporting The Quail’s commitment to the people behind the restoration of these vehicles. A 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K was also the proud recipient of the peer-judged Rolex Best of Show this year, with a Special Roadster edition taking the honours. In the Rolex Circle of Champions following their victory, owner K. Heinz Keller
and preserver Alfredo Garcia
said: “It’s amazing to win at one of the best places in the world. We’ve been through extensive preservation on this car and brought it back to life. Throughout this process, we’re trying our best to teach younger generations to continue to look after these cars – I promote that every day of my life.”
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering form an unrivalled collection of motoring events, bringing together passionate car custodians. Rolex supports their ongoing desire to share these automotive masterpieces with the world, and in doing so keeping the past alive and helping drive future innovations and technologies.
Rolex Best of Show awarded to 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster
at The quail,
A Motorsports Gathering
Carmel, 13 August 2021 –
The Quail Lodge & Golf Club welcomed some of the finest vintage and modern vehicles in the world today for The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2021.
Rolex has been the Official Timepiece since 2005, supporting the event’s appreciation of avant-garde automobiles and the efforts of previous and current generations to push the boundaries of engineering, design and style.
This afternoon, the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was awarded the 2021 Rolex Best of Show and admitted into the Rolex Circle of Champions alongside the event’s individual class winners. In recognition of the owners’ precision and dedication to preserve these automotive artworks and share them with the world, Rolex presented an Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 to the headline car. This year’s proud recipients, owner K. Heinz Keller
and preserver Alfredo Garcia,
said: “It’s amazing to win today at one of the best places in the world. We’ve been through extensive preservation on this car and brought it back to life. It takes hours, days, weeks and months to bring a vehicle to The Quail, and we literally did the last finishing touches on it yesterday. Throughout this process, we’re trying our best to teach younger generations to continue to look after these cars – I promote that every day of my life.”
In recent years, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering has become a melting pot for leading automotive manufacturers, wishing to showcase their latest futuristic concepts and inspiring road-going machines. Making headlines this morning was the US public debut of the Lotus Emira and the appearance of the Audi Skysphere roadster, the first in the German carmaker’s new family of concept vehicles. Throughout the day, revellers basked in the glorious Californian sunshine at this splendid garden party, enjoying a return to outdoor events and the culinary delights on offer. Rolex timepieces adorned the golf greens, symbolizing the Swiss watch brand’s ongoing commitment to this outstanding celebration, and its endeavour to continuously bring together the past, present and future of the automobile.
Rolex’s close ties with motor sport date 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 (483 km/h) at the wheel of his car, Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, its support extending to revered endurance events such as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2013, Rolex became associated with Formula 1®, the pinnacle of motor sport, having supported Rolex Testimonee Sir Jackie Stewart since 1968. The three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion has been joined by fellow high achievers from the world of motor sport: Tom Kristensen, the record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and Mark Webber, the multiple Formula 1® race winner and 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion. The brand also has a global appreciation for classic automotive events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Goodwood Revival.
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.
The word “Perpetual”
is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.