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Inside the elite, detail-obsessed world of the people who judge the Oscars of classic cars

Behind the scenes at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most prestigious car show in the world.

2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance attendees walk among the cars in the Class N, Lamborghini Miura cars at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Attendees at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance line up to see the vintage cars driven onto the Pebble Beach Golf Links, including this 1947 Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet, at the so-called Dawn Patrol. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judge Conrad Stevenson looks over a 1956 Maserati 200SI Fantuzzi Sports Racer belonging to Max Gierardo of London at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach golf course on Aug. 18 in California. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judge Conrad Stevenson inspects a 1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Touring Coupé belonging to Dennis and Susan Garrity of Green Bay, Wisc., in the O-2 Postwar Touring class at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
People view cars on display at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach golf course on Aug. 18 in California. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Chief Class Judge Matt Stone, center, confers with judge Paul F. Sable, left, observer Josh Scherling, judge Lorenz Eisner and judge Tom Meadows while looking at a 1954 Ford Comète Monte Carlo Facel Métallon Coupé from Joseph and Gayle Hensler of Fair Oaks, Calif., at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Marion and Ralph Stadler of Switzerland at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Bags in the trunk of a car on display at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judge Jerry F. Rosenstock and Chief Class Judge Simon Kidston inspect a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Coupé from William and Christopher Sharples from New York at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judge Paul F. Sable, center, looks over a 1957 Chrysler 300B Boano Coupe Speciale in Class O-2, Postwar Touring from Kim and Stephen Bruno of Boca Raton, Fla., at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
A 1937 Horch 853 Gläser Sport Cabriolet from Valerie and Aaron Weiss of San Marino at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Chrysler Thunderbolt LeBaron Convertible from Roger Willbanks of Denver at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judges look over a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Erdmann & Rossi Special Cabriolet from the Keller Collection at the Pyramids of Petaluma, Calif., at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Class F-3 Bentley Centennial 6 1/2 litre entrants line the shore line of the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Bugatti Type 22 Torpedo, from Alan Travis of Phoenix at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
People walk among the cars on the field at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judges Tom Meadows and Lorez Eisner inspect the front of a 1957 Chrysler 300B Boano Coupe Speciale in Class O-2, Postwar Touring, from Kim and Stephen Bruno of Boca Raton, Fla., at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Judge Conrad Stevenson, left, gives a thumbs up to fellow judge Ron Hein while inspecting a 1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Touring Coupé belonging to Dennis and Susan Garrity of Green Bay, Wisc., in the O-2 Postwar Touring class at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Michael Kadoorie of Hong Kong drives his 1931 Bentley 8 liter Gurney Nutting Sport Tourer onto the main ramp after winning the Best of Show award at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Bentleuy 4 1/2 Liter Birkin Blower Number 4 Vanden Plas Le Mans Tourer from Ralph Lauren from New York is backed into position at the 69th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
Docents gather before the staging of the cars on the field at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
A tool kit is seen on the grass at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach, Calif., golf course on Aug. 18. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)
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