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Gearing up for Monterey Car Week with some of the world's most exclusive motors

All you need to know about the world’s most prestigious automotive event.

Image: Newspress

MONTEREY CAR WEEK takes place in sunny California, along the magnificent Monterey Peninsula that runs along the central California coast.

It’s close by the areas of Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was Mayor, Pebble Beach, famed for its golf courses and Monterey, home to the ‘longest running jazz festival in the world’.

This annual motor show and races attract well-heeled petrolheads and car enthusiasts from all over the world who come to see some of the rarest, most exclusive and expensive cars ever built. And it’s all in the name of charity (in its 65-year history over $21 million has been raised benefiting over 100 nonprofit programmes).

Source: Newspress

This year’s Monterey Car Week is already in full swing: it kicked off last Monday, 8 August with the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic. This is a nine-day epic road trip covering 1,500 miles of some of the most scenic roads the west coast of America has to offer.

Only quality and thoroughbred cars manufactured before 1968 are eligible to take part in this trip, which costs entrants $11,000.

Source: pebblebeachconcours.net

Writing for Autoweek.com, automotive journalist extraordinaire, Ken Gross said of the Motoring Classic:

People think you’re crazy to drive 1,600 miles in a vintage car. I think, if you have a suitable vehicle, you’re crazy if you don’t use it

While the parade of vintage motors makes its way down the Pacific Coast the rest of the Monterey Car Week kicks off proper on Tuesday 16 August, with the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue.

This concours… that’s the French word for contest, naturellement… sees 175 motors presented from multiple marques from 1940 through to 1973 with Porsche and Ferraris through to 1989.

Also taking place is Automobilia Monterey, which is the largest show in the United States for original vintage automotive collectables.

Source: Newspress

Wednesday sees the Carmel Mission Classic take place and The Little Car Show, which is a display of 100 little cars 25 years and older with engines up to 1,601cc.

The Pebble Beach Motoring Classic road trip also arrives into town to much fanfare.

Source: Newspress

Thursday sees the start of the world-famous auctions and the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forums, which features luminaries of the automotive world discussing a whole array of motoring topics.

This year, racing legend Sir Stirling Moss will be giving a talk called ‘Life in the Pits’ and TV host and petrolhead Jay Leno will be chatting about the secrets to car valuation.

The Pebble Beach RetroAuto, which is a well-curated marketplace for automotive enthusiasts, springs into action today and the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance also takes place. During this tour, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance participants drive their cars along parts of 17-Mile Drive and Highway One to Big Sur. This tour gives spectators the chance to see ultra-rare cars in action.

Source: Kimball Studios

Speaking of action, today also sees the beginning of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

The Rolex Reunion is a four-day celebration, which takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and is the largest event held during Car Week and the only event that sees cars take to the race track to do what they were originally intended to do… race.

Approximately 550 pre and postwar race and sports cars that represent the pinnacle of their class are accepted to partake in the Reunion, with selection to the event based on the car’s authenticity, race provenance and period correctness.

Source: Newspress

This year, BMW is the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and there will be 64 vintage BMW race cars taking to the track – with the largest gathering of BMW M1 ProCars ever assembled in the States, and all five IMSA factory-specced 3.0 CSL cars together for the first time since they raced in 1975 and 1976.

Friday’s events include Legends of the Autobahn, Exotics on Cannery Row, the Bonhams Quail Lodge auction and the first day of the RM Sotheby’s auctions.

This year a 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra, the ‘most important American sports car in history’ will go under the hammer. This car is said to be priceless so it will be interesting to see if another world record for a car sold at auction will be set.

Source: Newspress

Saturday sees more auctions, racing and forums take place as well as the Concours d’Lemons, which celebrates the oddball, mundane and truly awful of the automotive world.

The Concorso Italiano is also held today and features 800 to 1,000 vehicles of Italian origin.

Saturday also sees the first of the Pebble Beach Auctions, presented by Gooding & Company. This year, there is a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione going under the hammer with an estimated price tag of $18,000,000 to $20,000,000.

Source: Pawel Litwinski

On the final day of the Monterey Car Week, the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) Exhibition auction take place and the spectacular display that is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Source: Newspress

The Concours d’Elegance sees 200 of the most prized collector cars in the world roll onto the famed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. This is one of the most competitive events in the automotive world.

Just having your car selected to take part is a huge honour but winning the best in class can add huge value to your car and give you bragging rights for life. The cars are judged for their historical accuracy, technical merit and style, with the best winning rewards and recognition.Winning the event’s top award, Best in Show, is, according to Forbes…

one of the most important achievements possible in the world of pristine vintage automobiles.

Source: pebblebeachconcours.net

Things to look out for during this year’s Concours d’Elegance include the BMW 507 driven by Elvis Presley while he was doing military service in Germany. This car disappeared for 50 years before resurfacing, but now, after nearly two years of restoration, BMW Group Classic is presenting the roadster for the first time in a public arena.

Not only are vintage and classic cars presented at the event but so too are the latest models and concept cars by some of the world’s biggest and best car manufacturers. This year is no exception and sees the world debut of the Mercedes-Maybach concept and the US debut of the McLaren 570S GT4 race car.

The Bugatti Chiron and Vision Gran Turismo concept will also be on show, the first time the two cars have appeared together.

Source: pebblebeachconcours.net

So, as you can see, Monterey Car Week truly has something to offer every enthusiast. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones going to the event you can keep up to date with all that’s happening over on the event’s official website.

READ: The most expensive cars sold at auction>

READ: My best road trip – Kenmare, Killarney and West Cork>

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