For one week every August, the center of the car world shifts away from Detroit, from Germany, from Silicon Valley, and settles on California’s Monterey Peninsula. In the space of a few days, auction houses sell off hundreds of fantastic vehicles for absurd amounts of money. Historic cars race at the nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track, while the intentionally terrible cars of the Concours de LeMons go on display at a local park.

The wealthy elbow each other to grasp the free caviar and champagne at the more exclusive Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, where classic cars don’t race or compete—they just show off. Luxury automakers vie for the attention and wallets of potential customers with pop-up shops and exorbitant dinners.

The defining event of the week, the kernel around which this extravagance puffs, is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s a fierce, if quiet, competition in which 200 cars line up on the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course. There, they compete for the favor of judges who value historical accuracy and that more elusive quality—elegance—above all else. But it’s also a place to see and be seen, where all the dogs are fancy, all the hats are striking, and all the metal gleams. Here’s a look.

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Meet the Swankiest People of America’s Swankiest Car Competition