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Brit muscle leaves California dreamin'.

Byline: Richard Hammond

EVERY year in August there's a concourse competition at Pebble Beach on California's Monterey peninsular.

It's been running for 62 years now and is without doubt the world's flashiest motor show.

Car manufacturers - the top end ones - have recently started using the event as a venue to unveil their concept cars and mega expensive new models, and on the Friday there's something called the Quail gathering, for which tickets cost around pounds 300.

It all sounds a bit poncy for me - I'd rather be rummaging around at a British auto jumble - but it must be an amazing spectacle all the same. Here's a selection of this year's Pebble Beach stars...

BMW ZAGATO ROADSTER

BMW and Italian coachbuilding legend Zagato have already collaborated to produce a one-off Z4 coupe, but for Pebble Beach they have joined forces again to create a Z4 Zagato Roadster. Amazingly, it took Zagato just six weeks from start to finish. BMW hasn't said whether it's going to take either car any further, but for it to team up with Zagato must mean something.

BUGATTI VEYRON GRAND SPORT VITESSE

If a normal Bugatti Veyron is too boring for you, then how about a limited edition Grand Sport Vitesse model in Bianco and New Light Blue colour scheme? The colours are copied from a 1928 Bugatti Type 37A now owned by chat show host Jay Leno, and the cabin comes in light brown leather. Yours for pounds 1.74million.

MCLAREN

McLaren had three cars at Pebble Beach. The first was a one-off called the 12C Can-Am Edition, which gets its name from the Canadian-American racing series of the 60s and 70s that featured cars typically powered by massive American V8s.

The 12C Can-Am weighs just 1,200kg, has 30% more downforce and packs 630bhp - more power than any other MP4-12C, including the GT3 racers.

The second McLaren is another one-off, this one was built for a customer who already owns an F1, SLR and MP4-12C. The mystery customer's car (it could be Jay Leno as I think he has all three) is called the X-1 and has a totally unique body and powertrain. God knows how much that cost to have built.

And last but not least was the new MP4-12C Spider, which had its first public outing.

ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM COUPE AVIATOR COLLECTION

Rolls brought to California one of its 35 special edition Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection models that celebrates Charles Rolls's love of, and contribution to, aviation.

The special edition features new colour and trim combinations, the interior is inspired by a cockpit and the transmission tunnel is finished in anodised aluminium.

BENTLEY MULSANNE CONVERTIBLE CONCEPT

Bentley took along its EXP 9 SUV and Continental GT Speed.

If this week's road test GTC sounds a bit feeble for you then the Speed's 616bhp should more than do the job. Top speed is 205mph and 0-60mph takes 4.0sec. That makes it the fastest car Bentley has ever made.

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ONE-OFF McLaren's 12C Can-Am
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 24, 2012
Words:500
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