The Motorworks Revival — known simply as the Jet Center Party — has been hosted for the past 23 years by Gordon McCall and takes place on the Wednesday preceding the Pebble Beach Concours.
In the beginning, it was a low-key, invitation-only party for concours entrants and select friends that set the tone for the coming week. It was the unofficial kickoff for the week, but things have certainly changed. Tickets are still hard to get — and not cheap. Although the Monterey Classic Car Week starts earlier now than it did a few years ago, this doesn’t deter the 3,000 supporters from attending the party.
Presented in two massive hangars and a large section of the tarmac at the Monterey Jet Center, the Jet Center Party is the kind of luxury lifestyle bash that causes financial advisors sleepless nights.
Fast cars and cool concepts
A bevy of exotic private jets were open for viewing, and million-dollar supercars were proudly presented. However, you cannot truly experience the luxury lifestyle without the appropriate jewelry or other accouterments, so numerous vendors were available for consultation. In addition, hand-picked caterers offered their finest fare, and upscale wines were available at every turn.
A few of the exotics that caught my eye included the Toyota FT-1 concept that was finished in graphite with tan leather — and the exciting, pricey Pagani Zonda and Huayra. Singer offered two of their retrofitted Porsche 911s, and Lamborghini had an impressive display with the new Huracán and a personalized Aventador.
It was not all million-dollar exotics and private aircraft, as vintage cars were displayed around period planes that parked on the tarmac. One plane was an early — but still frequently flown — Chinese fighter jet.
To see and be seen
American racing icon Dan Gurney and his son Alex were hanging around his turbine-powered Indy car, and Jay Leno’s massive Blastolene Special was on display at the entrance of one of the hangars. It appeared to be about 35 feet long and was hard to miss, but I’m not sure I would want to drive it in rush-hour traffic.
Steve McQueen’s Jaguar XK-SS was on display, and so was the original 1962 Mustang concept car. Next to it was the 50th anniversary 2015 Mustang, and it’s hard to believe that the marque has been part of our lives for that long.
The Motorworks Revival is the event, for some, to see and be seen. People-watching is very much a part of the event, and one well-dressed lady was overheard saying: “Just because you can wiggle your way into it does not mean you should wear it.”
The Motorworks Revival is not all glitz, glitter and luxury lifestyles, as the California Highway Patrol’s 11-99 Foundation is the most worthy benefactor. Two Highway Patrol officers sang the national anthem to open the event. Proceeds benefit the welfare of CHP employees and families in need. An admirable cause — and the perfect way to start Monterey Classic Car Week. ♦