My Monterey Car Week

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It’s a good thing I like cars. Monterey Car Week is just about the busiest time of my year, and each day is saturated with cars.

This will be my 29th year of attending the festivities on the Monterey Peninsula. I missed one year, 1991, as Alexandra was born that year on August 15. I would assume that event qualified me for a hall pass, although some wags suggested I rent a mobile delivery room and park it in the infield at Laguna Seca. Alex’s mom was not amused.

Here are my tentative plans for the week. I always enjoy meeting subscribers and hearing your stories, so if we end up being at the same event, please say hello.

I’m going to start out by driving my 1967 Alfa Romeo from Portland Oregon and take Highway 101 south along the coast to Monterey. It should take two days, with an overnight in Eureka. I’m already looking forward to a typically excellent seafood meal at the Sea Grill there. The clam chowder is especially good.

I’ll roll into Monterey Monday night and get set up for the week ahead.

On Tuesday, I’ll head for the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue. This is my first time attending, as I usually don’t get to Monterey until Wednesday. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and I’m looking forward to listening to SCM’s Donald Osborne as the emcee.

That night, I’ll attend The Peninsula Classics for the Best of the Best Award. Organizers William Connor, Sir Michael Kadoorie, Bruce Meyer and Christian Philippsen (all longtime SCMers) are going to select one great car from many wonderful ones as the Best of the Best.

Wednesday I will try to swing by The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove, and then it’s over to the Jet Center for the Motorworks Revival. The many new, multi-million-dollar exotics on display always offer a completely different perspective on performance than the classics that tend to dominate the weekend.

On Thursday, my plan is to swing by Mecum, and then try to hit as many of the other auctions as I can, including Gooding, Bonhams, RM, Russo and Rick Cole. As I said at the beginning, it’s a good thing I like old cars.

I’ll also stop by Concorso Italiano to get last- minute information about my stint as emcee on Saturday.

Hagerty is having their reception at the Lodge at Pebble Beach Thursday night, and it’s always a good place to visit with friends.

On Friday, things really get going, as I am emcee of the Legends of the Autobahn. SCM has a booth there, and you’ll be treated to a magnificent display of BMWs, Mercedes and Audis.

That night I’ll once again try to cruise by the auctions, and Russo and Steele will be underway.

Saturday is my crazy day. We have our 15th Annual Insider’s Seminar at the Gooding Auction at Pebble Beach, and as soon as it’s over, I will scoot up the Peninsula to Concorso Italiano, where I will be emcee, along with Myles Kitchen. SCM has a lovely booth there — along with special new goodies for those who subscribe or renew.

My Duetto will be entered in the “50th Anniversary of the Duetto” judging  — I’m a sure bet for the “Red Duetto With ’67 Alfa Oregon Plates that was driven down Highway 1 to Concorso” award. I always try to find a way to win something.

After Concorso and a full day of looking at over 1,000 Italian cars, what should I do for a change? Yes – look at more cars! It’s over to RM Sotheby’s and Gooding to watch some of the most expensive cars on offer during the weekend cross the block. The prices paid for the heavy iron in Monterey are a good indication of where the market is headed. Remember that the Gooding Auction starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday!

Sunday is almost anticlimactic. I’ll get up early and be on the green at Pebble Beach as the morning mists are rising. It always seems like nearly every person in the world who subscribes to SCM is there, and I enjoy seeing old friends and new subscribers.

After the Best-Of-Show Award and Celebration, I will march up the hill to the Gooding Auction, and Chubb Insurance has graciously saved me a seat in their reserved section — where I plop myself down, give my feet a rest, and watch a few more millionaires pick up some baubles. After all, no one wants to go home from Monterey empty handed, and just by raising a paddle you can put another delectable collectible into your garage.

On Monday morning, I will get up early. I will have already dropped off my Duetto to have it shipped back to Portland, and I’ll drive my press car, a Chevrolet Volt – with a propulsion concept I admire – back to San Francisco for the flight home.

But wait there’s more! I get home Monday night, and Thursday morning at 6 a.m., I, along with my son Bradley, his friend and my good friend and long-time mentor Bill Woodard, will pile into the 1967 Alfa Giuila Super to head out on a six-day, 800-mile vintage Alfa Tour to Wallowa Lake in far eastern Oregon.

That shouldn’t surprise you. After all, what better way is there for a car guy to relax than getting into an old car and going on a road trip?

See you in Monterey! And thanks for being a part of the SCM gang.

 

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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  1. I would guess having those sunglasses and seeing all those polish chrome cars would get your blood running. If you truely enjoy what you doing and telling people “that my option” with a smile. I love your Sports Car Market and it a vital tool. But sometimes have an active life smelling fresh oil and even you new son in 1991 would give you paused. We all wear metal point toes shoes kicking the ties when we get older. But you know what you say. “That looks good to me”. Looking forward to your next “Worth: show. Never “judge” the color of the car by the outside.

  2. I can hardly think of a better way to spend some August days – cruising down the 101 to Monterey, top down, sunshine (well, we hope so!), and some of the best scenery on 4 wheels (or 2…). For all of your hard work on behalf of so many, Keith, have a great time! (You’ve earned it…)

  3. I’d love to know what the total cost of all those tickets would be for the average guy. I’m sure you get complimentary tix, but Pebble alone is now $375 at the gate! Yikes! It was just yesterday that I was complaining about it being $100……