No daylight, no problem: Get a taste of what it's like to see cars entering the Concours early in the day.

It takes a lot to get me up before sun rise, but Sunday morning during Monterey Car Week is an exception. Dawn Patrol is exactly what it sounds like: Just as the first tendrils of light flicker across the Pebble Beach golf course, dozens of car enthusiasts gather to watch as the participants in the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance make their way onto the lawn.

It’s early and chilly out as I join the crowds waiting; fortunately representatives from classic-car insurer Hagerty are there with coffee, donuts, and even limited-edition hats to keep us company. Soon, the first cars begin their procession out ahead of fans, their drivers waving, honking horns, or a combination of both. Classic luxury cars, like Bentleys and Packards and Dusenbergs, awe in their quietness; exotic racing cars, like a bright-yellow Ferrari and an ultra-sleek Abarth, shatter the air with raucous snarls and roars.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Dawn Patrol
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Dawn Patrol

Attending Dawn Patrol has a bit of an insider-club feel to it. The Concours d’Elegance doesn’t open to the general public until 10:30 a.m., so being there at 6:30 to see cars arriving on the lawn allows us to beat the crowds. It’s not, strictly speaking, necessary to watch, of course: all the cars you see driving through Dawn Patrol – check out this video or our Facebook Live feed for an idea of what it looks like – will be parked up later on the golf course. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a few hours’ worth of sleep in favor of hearing incredibly rare and valuable vintage cars run under the own power, it’s worth the early-morning trek.

Take an up-close look at all the stars of Dawn Patrol at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in our huge gallery below, and be sure to follow all of our other show coverage here, including a massive gallery of all the entrants in this year's event. The best news? You won’t have to leave your hotel at 4:30 a.m. to see all of these cars at dawn.

Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer /

Gallery: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Dawn Patrol

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