Monterey Car Week 2014

The days surrounding the Monterey Motorsport Reunion and the Pebble Beach Concourse are a sensory overload for even the most seasoned automotive connoisseur.  You will stare and gawk at so many examples of automotive excellence that at some point you will feel like some kind of gear-head pervert. Drop into the Monterey Peninsula by Thursday and the region is transformed into California's version of Monaco. Its not just the organized events that offer a buffet of choices. The public roads and streets also become the hottest place to car spot. Carmel, a brief 5 minutes down the road from Monterey typically provides the best viewing of exotics from all eras.  When arriving Friday afternoon within the first 10 minutes several Ferrari 458 Italias were spotted and a McLaren P1. From there on, it was a non-stop parade of Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini and two Bugatti Veyrons'.  Its hard to decide if the non-stop parade of priceless classics, or the examples of the latest and greatest hypercars was more exciting.   I can confirm that spotting the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder brought about a case of stuttering and mental confusion.  Not to mention Porsche display at Laguna Seca that had the 917, 918 and 919. 

Below is a breakdown of some of what was seen and heard.  [sample galleries below and full Flickr gallery link at bottom of page]

Legends of the Autobahn:

This event took place at the Nicklaus club very close to Laguna Seca. This event is organized by the Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche clubs of America. Though this year, Porsche did not participate as they had a separate event at Laguna Seca Raceway. Legends may be one of the cheapest deals during Monterey Car Week, other than just walking the streets of Carmel. Entry is free but parking is $20. Given whats available to see, its money well spent.

Arriving at the course the banner read "Legends of the Utobaun." "Utobaun?" What is that? I think they meant "Autobahn" but I imagine that if you say "Utobaun" you need to lift your pinky while sipping a cappuccino.

The Streets:

As mentioned before the streets of Monterey and Carmel were transformed. Carmel's Ocean Ave is lined with the best examples of automotive excellence. As one walks around the air is constantly filled with the sound of high revving Italian engines racing to the stoplights. If someone asked, whats the one event that should be seen during Monterey car week, it would be simple walking the public streets of Carmel and downtown Monterey.

Pebble Beach:

The Pebble Beach Concourse is among the top car events in the world. Not only are history's finest examples of automotive examples on display but this is also the place that the major manufacturers unveil their latest creations. However, be warned access is expensive and frankly out of the range of most racing fans. I was able to get access to a few key areas around the concourse.  By my quick estimation the parking garage just outside the spa area contained over $20 million in hypercars. 

The Lamborghini Hurican Super Trofeo was to be unveiled for the first time at Pebble. TLP was first on the scene as we spotted it being unloaded from its trailer prior to being displayed for the first time.  

Laguna Seca:

Home of the Monterey Motorsport Reunion, otherwise known to true car fans as the Monterey Historics. The concept itself is mad. Groups together the finest examples of racing heritage and send them on track in 10 lap sprint races.  At any given time one can look at the track and see millions of dollars going wheel to wheel mere inches from disaster.  Maserati, this year's marque had a great tent and display of cars.  Porsche may have also stolen the show with their display mentioned earlier.  The paddock is a candy land of historic racing cars, automotive oddities and car owners/drivers not afraid to risk the polish and shine of their fenders to put on a good show.  If one doesn't make it to all the other events then it is vital to attend this one.

 

Click for the the full Flickr gallery of all images 

 

Thanks to contributors David Barnes and Kelly Lane.

A Case of the Mondays on a Friday.

A Case of the Mondays on a Friday.

Monterey Dispatch #1