Even from my home on the forest covered hillside of Monterey I could tell there was something special happening this week on the Monterey Peninsula. Private jets have been flying in to Monterey Airport (MRY) all week in what is noticeably the busiest flight traffic since February’s ATT Pro-Am PGA Golf Tournament. This is Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula. Thousands of the world’s most valuable cars and hundreds of millions of dollars are passing through the normally sleepy hamlets around the Monterey Peninsula.
This weekend is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Mount Everest and Superbowl of car shows and auctions in what is considered the longest running and premier auto show in the world. The first Concours d’Elegance was held in Pebble Beach in 1950 with only around 30 cars being judged.
This year the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance features 110 judges for 31 car categories. Last year’s Best of Show, a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo, is up for auction this year in Pebble Beach in the Gooding & Company auction.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is just one of many auto events around the Monterey Peninsula during what is now called ‘Car Week’. There are some 1,100 cars being auctioned in a series of shows around the Monterey Peninsula and sales this week are forecast to reach $325 million with more than 100 cars expected to sell at over $1 million each.
Hyatt Regency Monterey is hosting the Mecum Auction with the Modena replica 1963 Ferrari from the John Hughes movie Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.
The Ferris vehicle is not an actual 1963 Ferrari California Spyder, but a replica produced by the specialized carmaker Modena called the Modena Spyder. The car is one of three built for the film.
CNBC August 16, 2013
400,000 visitors are expected to visit the Monterey Peninsula this weekend. Traffic is congested with gridlock coming into the area in the day and leaving in the evening. The only way into Monterey from any direction is via two-lane roads and these roads are jam packed with visitors leaving again in the evening since there are no hotel rooms available.
Fortunately I can avoid driving my car around the Monterey Peninsula this weekend and simply walk around Monterey to see some of the spectacle.
Porsche outside Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey.
A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider is anticipated to be the highest selling car this week at Pebble Beach at a price of around $14 to $17 million. The original owner in North Carolina paid $14,500 for this rare car when it was manufactured, one of only ten made. That would be about $100,000 in today’s money adjusting for inflation.
I guess the adage “A new car loses value once it is driven off the dealer’s lot” is not true in this case.
The Los Angeles Times has a photo of the 1967 Ferrari.
RM Auction is held at Portola Plaza Hotel and the historical Custom House Plaza in Monterey.
The price for a ticket to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for Sunday’s show is $225.
Concours d’Elegance is a classy event for car enthusiasts and Car Week raises millions for charities like United Way and the ASPCA.
Lamborghini at RM Auctions in Monterey
Next week the cars and jets will leave town. There will be fewer tourists on the Monterey Peninsula.
Walking down to the wharf and Cannery Row and the Coast Guard jetty will once again be deep reflective thought activities I enjoy when the loudest sounds will likely be the natural sounds of seashore life in these normally sedate coastal towns on the Monterey Peninsula.
California sea lions on the Coast Guard jetty in Monterey from Wednesday, August 14.