Tour d'Elegance rolls into Carmel despite shorter route

Soberanes Fire impacts Car Week ride

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif - Thousands of people at the Tour d'Elegance in Carmel didn't let the Soberanes Fire stop them from seeing some of the most rare cars in the world.

This is driver Paul Petrovich's seventh tour, but on Thursday there was a big difference in the route.

"A couple of us got lost and we had to use our GPS to find the route," said Petrovich. "But it all ended up great."

The Soberanes Fire forced tour organizers to alter the route and cut it in half so firefighters could have more access to highway one. Different than years past, Petrovich said, but still an awesome time.

"It was a beautiful drive around 17 Mile Drive, which we normally don't do, we usually go down (Highway) 1," said Petrovich," "It was a great experience."

The route may be a shorter route with lower speeds, tough for a race car driver like Petrovich, but that didn't stop him from putting the pedal down.

"I opened it up, got into fourth gear, about a 125 miles an hour and it was pretty fun," said Petrovich.

Drivers come from all over the world for the event, each driver with a story to tell. Michael Eckstein's journey is all about remembering his dad, who was a long time member of the Iso Bizzarrini Club.

"He past away a little over a year ago," said Eckstein. "So in his honor the club actually had this car invited, it was his favorite car."

As thousands packed Ocean Avenue to see the classics, another draw is sending car fans into a clothing store called The Club to buy some very popular car shirts.

"The inspiration comes from the cars," said fashion designer Robert Stock with the clothing company, Robert-Graham. "The cars are fantastic."

Stock is the man behind the high-end car shirts.

"The people who love these cars love these shirts and they come back every year to buy a new shirt," said Stock.

For the last eight years Stock has been selling his shirts only at The Club in Carmel, each year, they sell out, Stock said.

"And people collect them like they collect cars, it's fascinating and it's been great," said Stock.

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