For over 42 years during the third week of August, thousands of car aficionados, enthusiasts and hobbyists alike from around the world, journey to the historic and quaint picturesque town of Carmel, California located just 90 minutes south of San Francisco on the Monterey Peninsula to experience the “Monterey Car Week”. Automotive enthusiasts gather at this event to celebrate and enjoy the one thing they all have in common – passion for the automobile.
It all started over 66 years ago by some sports car fanatics and SCCA as the “Del Monte Trophy” or “Pebble Beach Road Races”, where competitive car enthusiasts raced through the winding narrow and often dangerous roads amongst the tall trees of the Del Monte Forest. In 1956 a new purpose built race track was constructed and the event was moved in 1957 to the new race facility known as “Laguna Seca”. The track became famous due to is uniquely designed 2.3 mile 11 (12) turn course layout featuring numerous elevation changes and the infamous “Corkscrew” left/right downhill twitchy turn. Northern California has a very strong car culture and racing is very popular. Eventually the word spread and more and more people started to show up for the races. The setting was ideal because the Monterey Peninsula had a lot to offer visitors besides racing. There were other things to do like; golfing, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback and bike riding which appealed to many outdoor-minded people. The nearby quaint little town of Carmel by the Sea had a beautiful natural beach and a long picturesque shoreline.
In August of 1974, Steve Earl started the “Monterey Historic Automobile Races” at Laguna Seca to commemorate racing cars of the past. Owners of true vintage race cars could participate in racing their vintage cars on the track in a structured and safe competition racing environment. Over time other small peripheral car gatherings started to take place. In 1986 Rick Cole started the first collector car auction in downtown Monterey at what is now known as the Portola Hotel. This drew even more people and spawned a huge interest from other car organizations.
That was then, this is now… Monterey Car Week has evolved into a week-long automotive festival with some of the most outstanding and historic cars, memorabilia and personalities from all over the world. There are now 5 classic car auctions and countless car shows, cruises and outings. The automotive gatherings alone are world class and all lead up to Sunday’s prestigious world renowned automotive display known as “The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance” held on the fairways at the Lodge at Pebble Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Here is a preview of some of the entertaining automotive functions taking place during this spectacular automotive week.
The opening event, the CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA CONCOURS ON THE AVENUE in downtown Carmel celebrates the finest in automotive design, racing and engineering. Carmel-by-the-Sea’s world-famous Ocean Avenue will be closed to traffic and the downtown streets will be filled with collector cars and other significant and historic motorized artifacts. Enjoy the day strolling through the quaint and picturesque seaside town lined with charming shops, superb restaurants and eclectic art galleries. Enjoy some outstanding vintage and classic cars from the turn of the century to 1973.
Classic Motorsports Magazine will host a Monterey Kickoff Cruise-In for auction week. Kick it off in style along with the staff of Classic Motorsports. We’ll be gathering with a few hundred of our closest friends at beautiful Folktale Winery. Bring your cool classic car and enjoy fine wines, food and music.
McCall’s Motorworks Revival, now celebrating its 25th year at the Monterey Jet Center. The “Kick-Off” party commemorates the famous August automotive week in Monterey, California. This exclusive event features gourmet food for the more than 2800 guests along with a collection of private jets, contemporary and vintage cars and bikes.
Carmel Mission Classic, is a self-guided tour accompanied by beautiful live harp music as you stroll the grounds of the crown jewel of the Monterey Peninsula, the Historic Carmel Mission. Enjoy wine tasting by some of Monterey County’s finest vineyards. A gourmet food bar will also be available by a local chef.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Described as a rolling museum springing to life, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the largest event held during the famed Monterey Classic Car Week, and is the only event where cars are doing what they were originally intended to which is race. Approximately 550 race cars are invited to compete in the world’s premier motoring event, and are accepted based on the car’s authenticity, race provenance and period correctness.
Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented by Rolex, is an annual driving event that delights entrants and spectators alike. The traditional Tour traces portions of the original 17-Mile Drive, traverses nearby mountains and valleys, and pauses for a 2 hour lunch break in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea. This is an opportunity for onlookers to see some of the great cars that will be featured at Sunday’s concours event.
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, For the past fourteen years, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, has provided an unparalleled and exclusive experience for motorsports enthusiasts and collectors from around the world. Guest will enjoy rare collections of fine automobiles and motorcycles in a garden-party setting on the rolling greens of Quail Lodge & Golf Club.
Concorso Italiano, Benvenuto! Concorso Italiano’s unique format features more 1000 vehicles of Italian origin. The atmosphere is accentuated by the vehicles on display, conversations between people who love and appreciate them, and elements of Italian style such as fashion, food, music and art – all of this on the beautiful grounds of the Black Horse Golf Club.
Werks Reunion, is the largest gathering of Porsches! Expect to view a breathtaking array of Porsches from rare classics to current models and everything in between at this free-to-spectators event. Display your own cherished car in Porsche Corrals or enter the Porsche Concours and compete for a chance to win in more than 20 categories. Porsche Club of America (PCA) welcomes all Porsche clubs, owners, and enthusiasts.
Legends of the Autobahn, started out as a stand-alone BMW concours. Event organizers, recognizing the potential for a “German alternative” event during the annual Monterey Sports Car Weekend have now included cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz and Audi and other German marques held at the prestigious Nicklaus Club-Monterey in Monterey, California.
The Little Car Show, features up to 100 vehicles 40 years and older. These are micro, mini and arcane vehicles under 1,601cc and all electric vehicles. In addition, one block downtown will be devoted to “Orphan Cars of the Fifties”. The show will be renamed “The Little Car Show +”, the “+” representing the 1950’s orphan cars. Orphan cars are cars that were made by companies that are no longer in existence i.e. Crosley, Hudson, Kaiser, Nash, Packard, Studebaker, Willys etc… The show in Downtown Pacific Grove will be followed by a tour/parade around the city’s scenic waterfront and beaches beginning at Lover’s Point and following Ocean View Boulevard to Asilomar.
Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally, is open to old, rare cars, and to everyone with special wheels to drive. Participants stage in the afternoon on Lighthouse Avenue, allowing spectators to peruse the captivating collection. Afterward, they take an evening drive around the Peninsula, and then return to P.G.’s Chautauqua Hall for a barbecue and awards dinner.
Exotics on Cannery Row, is an open event featuring vintage, contemporary and exotic cars lining the streets and parking lots of Cannery Row for automotive enthusiasts and collectors to enjoy.
Wheels of the Future, will showcase, highlight and demonstrate the latest in alternative fuel cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, mopeds, and every other type of renewable energy mode of transportation. The mission of Wheels of the Future is to foster understanding and create excitement about alternative fuel vehicles in order to help increase the number of clean and renewable energy vehicles on U.S. roads. Wheels of the Future will be take place both inside and outside of the American Tin Cannery in Pacific Grove.
Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum, for the automotive buff who enjoys dialogue, is presented by Credit Suisse and features luminaries of the automotive world discussing the most relevant topics facing the collector car world today. The Classic Car Forum includes must-see panels and exclusive interviews with key names in the automotive world.
Automotive Fine Arts Society Exhibition, showcases the latest creations of the finest automotive artists of our day. These works are displayed annually at the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) Exhibition — located right on the show field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Concours ticket required for admittance.
Automobilia Monterey Expo, is one of the largest automobilia shows in America, and the only time during Concours Week to find these 45+/- top international dealers in a single venue. Enjoy the relaxed indoor setting while buying only original vintage posters, photographs, rally plates, badges & pins, hood ornaments, signs, original art, display items, scale models, literature & books, signed items, postcards, stamps, unique scarves/ties, and much more.
Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, representing a variety of retail and manufacturing categories, including rare collectables, historic automobilia, art and literature as well as luxury items, technological tools and official Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance merchandise.
This year the auctions houses, Gooding, Bonham, Russo and Steele, Mecum and Rick Cole are absolutely filled with the most, rare, racing, historic, exotic and unique cars offered for sale to a discerning worldwide audience. Vintage European exotics like Ferraris are as strong as ever and are expected to appreciate even more with other Italian exotics like Lamborghini and Maserati not far behind. On the German front, Porsche and Mercedes are doing well. This year BMW is the featured marque at Laguna Seca and will probably have a positive affect on BMW valuations. Coming from the UK, Aston Martins and Jaguars are still sought after. Here at home in the USA, heavy American classics like Duesenbergs, Auburns, Cords and Packards are always a safe bet. V12 Lincolns, V16 Cadillacs and 50’s convertibles are still relatively good buys as well. For the baby boomer, muscle cars are still the rage. So all in all this year’s Monterey Car Week is sure to set records and create everlasting memories.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is the most prestigious automotive event of its kind. It is the show that commands the finest automobiles from around the world to compete for top honors. It is not a contest of speed, but of elegance. Automobiles and motorcycles are judged for their historical accuracy, their technical merit and their style, and the best garner universal reward, recognition and status.
Concours d’LeMons, on a lighter more humorous note, the Concours d’LeMons returns once again to Laguna Grande Park in Seaside, CA. Hoopties, Rust Buckets, Misfits, Mistakes and the worst of the automotive world will be on display and as always celebrity judges will be accepting bribes for our thrift shop sourced trophies. The best part is that the show is free for participants and spectators, so you’ll get exactly what you pay for.
Dodi’s Auto Sales, also while in Monterey, stop by a say hi to Dodi. Dodi specializes in vintage European cars like Porsches and Mercedes, but also has a good selection of domestic cars and motorcycles. His showroom is like a small museum loaded with automotive treasures. Wayne Carini, host of Velocity Channel’s “Chasing Classic Cars” is a regular customer of Dodi’s as Dodi’s Auto Sales has been featured on Wayne’s TV show. Together they have put together misfit relics for Alan Gabraith’s “Concours d’ LeMons” annual event.
To sum it up, this is the most spectacular and comprehensive automotive event in the United States and for the most serious of serious car aficionados, one to surely attend. Join team Nostalgic Radio and Cars for this exciting annual event!