|Ana Llorente and her 1956 Motobecane 175ZC salt flat racer
|'Mr. Cool Hunting'and the Best in Show winning '37 Peugeot 515SP with Bernardet sidecar
French motorcycles are exotically mysterious to English speakers, as little is published celebrating the long list of 'firsts' credited to French ingeneurs, and the heritage of remarkably elegant machines which followed in the first half of the 20th Century. The dawn of motorcycling (1870-1920) is dominated by French inventions and experiments, and the French probably invented motorcycling; the earliest recorded concept of a powered two-wheeler, back in 1818, is an etching of a ‘Velocipedraisiavaporiana’, or steam-powered draisine (the 'hobby horse', a pedalless bicycle), supposedly demonstrated in the Luxembourg Gardens. Steam power was gaining traction all over Europe; the print may have been satiric, but the concept was right on - a motorcycle, ridden by a handsome young man, no less.
|Pebble Motorcycle Concours judges Jim Thomas, Tom Meadows, and Somer Hooker look over a second Peugeot 515, this a '38 model owned by Bryan Bossier of Sinless Cycles
|It came late, but it did arrive: the one-and-only four-cylinder Majestic, with a Cleveland engine, the Franco-American hybrid many thought didn't exist, or was a replica. I'll run a full article on this machine soon!
|1931 Peugeot P107S Tour de France in military spec
In 1901 Werner patented the 'right' placement of a motor, in place of the pedal crank at the bottom of the frame, then one-upped themselves by creating the first-ever vertical twin motor (think Triumph) in 1904, before the death of the Werner brothers Michel and Eugene in 1907 finished the enterprise.
|The judges watch John Lawless start his 1949 Peugeot 156, a 150cc two-stroke single in original paint
|John Light shares a 1960s video of his grandmother riding his 1945 Motobécane D45A Pebble entry, in original condition
|The irrepressible Bryan Bossier with his Peugeot 515. Note the chrome tank emblem - a Deco version of the Peugeot 'lion' logo in profile
|A short lineup on the Pebble lawn: 9 entries this year. French motorcyles weren't imported to the US prewar, and appeared mostly in the 1960s/70s as mopeds. American consciousness of French motorcycle history is only now dawning, and a few interesting machines are trickling across the Atlantic, but the best and most technically interesting French motorcycles are in France! And jealously guarded there as national treasures; coaxing owners to ship their machines to California for the Concours proved impossible. Pebble Beach has no 'draw' among European motorcyclists, who have their own priorities.
|Dashboard of the Majestic; pure Art Deco. The 'cracquelure' paint job was an original option for Majestics.
|John Light's sons will likely inherit their great-grandmother's Motobécane
|Another view of the Peugeot 515 with Bernardet sidecar...look at those cast-aluminum mufflers!
|The grass wasn't the only place to find bikes at Pebble: MidAmerica Auctions pitched its tent of bikes too
|Alfa Romeo 8C; part of a 28-strong exhibit of 1930s Alfa 8-cylinder cars
|Alloy-bodied Rolls reflects the morning fog
|1914 American Underslung - nearly a motorcycle with such big wheels!
|Looking like a 1950s Barris custom car, half coach and half Rolls...
|Seen on the streets of Carmel; Roger Rabbit's custom trike
|1920s yacht with nefarious history; ex-Al Capone
|His gold LV bag matched my shoes...
|In the MidAmerica tent; a Crocker speedway bike
|Deco upon Deco: where's Gatsby?
|They're all babes, but for the day, they became the East Side Moto Ladies
|The 'Preservation' class grows each year as Pebble wakes up to the burgeoning trend for original machines. Roger Hoffman's '55 Ferrari 250 Europa GT V12 engine, pretty much as it left the factory. Found in Sicily at an automotive mechanic's shop.
|The inside of Roger's Ferrari 250 Europa, complete with priapic shift lever.
|Twin superchargers for this '35 Frazer Nash TT Replica; Prewar Preservation class
|The Indycar display's pop graphics helped banish the grey weather
|10 vintage Indy racers, which sounded amazing when fired up
|Can you hear me now?
|Yes, your nails match the Ferrari; yes, you should buy it.
|Styling does not equal Function, but it can raise a smile
|Cool gear; vintage '24 Heures du Mans' Hermés tie, vintage Steve McQueen Persol sunnies
|Euro-cop: Dutch 'Rijkspolitie''74 Porsche 911 Targa. Owner Guus Reinerink was blasting Euro-disco from the loudspeaker...
|Porsche 911 Competition class
|Even Indycar collectors enjoy a nice bottle of vin rouge now an then
|Would you like your Indycar in yellow? What shade?
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