August 19th 2016
THE STORY SO FAR
After a 26-hour day to get form London Heathrow to Monterey California, the first few days have not slowed and given little opportunity to pause for breath. Events have been coming thick and fast since our arrival on Monday, starting with the Automobilia On Tuesday morning and finishing with the 'Pebble Beach Tour D’Elegance' on Thursday afternoon.
The highlights of the show to date have been the ‘Concours on the Avenue’ on Tuesday and the 'Tour D’Elegance'. Both shows had some of the finest examples of classic cars and of course a few E-types one of which was an original lightweight. The events featured some of the finest restorations you could set your eyes on, with Porsche examples a-plenty, and a few unrestored original examples.
The spectacle has not been limited to the events themselves as classic and super cars have filled the surrounding streets and parking lots. This Monterey Car Week to date is shaping up to be an unforgettable one and we aren’t done yet. We plan to share our experience and have captured footage through out, keep an eye out on social media for the updates.
MONTEREY CAR WEEK 2016, OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
We’re now back in the UK and thought we would just round off our review of our amazing and first time at Monterey Car week. Needless to say we were completely blown away by the whole experience not just at the shows and events but also by the general standard of cars driven around the streets of Monterey. To see the number of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McClarens etc on the road was so amazing that there was a risk of becoming blasé about what in other circumstances would be regarded as drop dead gorgeous cars.
We wanted to have as diverse and wide ranging experience of the Monterey car week as we could so we tried to attend some of the smaller and less prestigious events as well as the hero shows. The Little Car Show in downtown Pacific Grove was certainly a more relaxed experience than the previous day’s Concours on the Avenue, and although the standard of cars on display was not at the level of the previous day it was infectious to feel the passion and enthusiasm of the owners who each believed that their car was the best in class and were happy to share their war stories about the blood sweat and tears they have invested in their cars. For us each of them is a concourse winner and the show perfectly complemented what was to come.
At the other end of the spectrum and for us one of the highlights of the week was the Annual Tour d’Elegance. The event offered the opportunity for many spectators and members of the public to view the participants of the grandfather event of the classic car calendar, the 66th Annual Concours d’Elegance Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. The range and quality of cars was mind blowing but for us the highlight was the GT40, expertly restored by Rare Drive and RK Motors and featured in Octane’s August edition. We also loved the lightweight Jaguar E-Type as featured by none other than UK based Gregor Fisken of Fiskens Automotive. Of course we’re biased but a beautiful sounding classic and of course a car of true pedigree.
The latter part of Monterey Car Week saw the start of the highly anticipated Pebble Beach 2016 auction season. All of the houses had truly exceptional lots although for us RM's Friday evening auction was a highlight with nothing less than the 1956 Le Mans winning Jaguar D-Type taking centre stage. In what can only be described as a once in a lifetime spectacle, this 1954 Jaguar D-Type was sold for a touch under $24,000,000 (yes, that’s million). The opportunity to have seen an auction where a British racing record value was achieved was quite something. The hush in the room when the hammer went down was deafening!
The following day we decided to go to Leguna Seca Mazda Raceway to experience something completely different. The Raceway is an iconic venue, having featured in many-a Gran Tuorismo Playstation game, the Corkscrew at Leguna is now infamous and seeing a Ferrrari 250 GT, Jaguar D-Type/E-Type, GT40 amongst others racing at Laguna was a real change of pace and a not to be missed experience. While we were there we were also fortunate to listen to Sir Jackie Stewart sharing his stories about his time in F1 and other motor sports. A three time F1 world champion marks him as one of motor sports greats but his passion for motor racing safety amazing and what he has achieved in this arena is outstanding.
The final event on the final day of the 66th Annual Pebble Beach and Monterey Car Week event was the Conours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. The event was nothing short of incredible and the array of classic, concept and attendee cars was eye watering. A show revered by specialists, enthusiasts and annual crusaders alike, the 66th winner, the 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet, was no less deserving. A classic car so unassuming it almost passes you by, yet so majestic its difficult not stop and look, a paradox like this is truly deserving of the title of car in show 2016 and ended our week at Monterey Car Week 2016.
The trip was a long one but an immensely enjoyable and educational work-out. It was our first we’ve attended the prestigious Concours d’Elegance but the 2016 event was an awesome experience and we certainly hope to be a more active participant in years to come.
Thank you for following us and keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.