Two historic Alfa Romeos lead the participants away from from the Polo Field, kicking off the first leg of the this year's Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance in August. The Italian brand has a long association with the Monetery Conconours. Photo: Jeffrey S. Field.

Just days after the Goodwood Festival of Speed announced that Alfa Romeo would be honoured next year on the occasion of the brand's centenary, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has announced that the Italian car maker will be one of the three featured marques at next year's 60th edition of the California event.

There will be more Italian flavour on the famous greens next year because as well as featuring Alfa Romeo, the 2010 field at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance will showcase Italian designer Ghia while a special class will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

"Determining the list of classes is the first step in bringing the world's best automobiles to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance," said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. "We always try to offer an exciting blend of antique, classic and postwar cars, elegant coachbuilt automobiles and historic racecars. And our 60th anniversary celebration promises to be spectacular." First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is often said to be the world's premier celebration of the automobile. Each year, a selection of the most beautiful and rare automobiles are invited to appear on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links in an event that has raised more than US$13 million for charity during its 59-year existence.

Featured marque Alfa Romeo, the Italian automaker best known for its stylish sports cars, will be celebrating its centennial in 2010. Founded in Milan, Alfa Romeo has always been known for building fast, dependable and technologically advanced cars. Special classes will illustrate the history of Alfa Romeo and highlight the elegant yet sporting coachwork on Alfa Romeo 8C road, race and sports cars of the 1930s.

Alfa Romeo's reappearance at a "featured marque" has come round again very soon after it held the same position during the 2005 edition when seven important awards were devoted by the organisers entirely to the historic Italian 'sporty' brand. In fact that year more than sixty - mostly very significant - Alfa Romeo cars from through the firm's history turned up for the highly prestigious event, and crowing a excellent showing for the Milanese carmaker, a further seven of the special trophies available were also claimed by Alfa Romeo. Rounding out Alfa Romeo's headline appearance in 2005 was the first ever public presentation of the Alfa 8C Spider, which had been built by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo almost two years prior but tucked away as the 8C project stalled. Then however the 8C Spider was just a concept sports car, dragged out into the open by Alfa Romeo to fulfil a long-standing tradition that sees a Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance featured marque presenting a new concept for show. At the time there were no production plans in the pipeline for the 8C Spider.

Also taking centre stage in Monterey next year will be Carrozzeria Ghia SpA. Established in 1915 in Turin, Ghia is one of the most famous Italian automobile design and coachbuilding firms. It initially made lightweight aluminium-bodied cars, first achieving fame with the Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 in the 1920s. More recently, Ghia designed special bodies for Fiat, Ford and Chrysler and many other manufacturers. A special class of Ghia-designed vehicles will salute this design heritage.

The final two featured marques will be America's Pierce-Arrow and Britain's Jaguar. The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company of Buffalo, New York, built the "Car of Presidents." Six U.S. Presidents from 1909 to 1936 - William H. Taft to Franklin D. Roosevelt - enjoyed the luxury and comfort of Pierce-Arrows. Classes at Pebble Beach will salute both earlier and later models. Finally the 75th anniversary of Jaguar will be celebrated, and other special classes will focus on the centennial of the Indianapolis 500 auto race; Hot Rod lakesters and Bonneville racers; and American motorcycles through 1959 - following up on the success of last year's first motorcycle class. There will also be a few surprises to mark the 60th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

2009 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed