On Saturday, August 18, I’m driving south from Portland, OR to Monterey.
This will be my third year doing this — it took me 27 years to figure out that the perfect way to get to Monterey Car Week is in a classic car.
Every year, SCM sponsors a class of Alfas at Concorso Italiano. Two years ago it was Duettos, and we had a glorious time driving the 1967 SCM Roundtail down. Last year, it was GTVs. SCM contributor Robert Cumberford joined me to drive the 1967 GTV. It performed flawlessly until it got to Monterey and the master cylinder failed. (I carry a spare now.)
This year, the featured model will be Alfa 4-door sedans. I’ll be driving the 1967 Giulia Super. My co-pilot and travelling mechanics (I do have room for 3 more people) not yet determined.
You don’t need to have a four-door Alfa, or even an Alfa, to be a part of this adventure. Just bring a willing spirit and the desire to drive great roads.
So if you’re thinking of going to Monterey and would like to be a part of this ragtag group, here’s the plan:
We leave Saturday, August 18 at around 9 a.m. from the Portland area. We travel south on Interstate 5 until we hit Eugene and then the fun begins. Highway 126 to Florence on the Oregon Coast is fantastic.
We’ll have great fish and chips there, then head south on U.S. Highway 101 to Eureka. My favorite restaurant there is Sea Grill, which has great fresh seafood.
I find a basic hotel, preferably with a Starbucks nearby.
The next day is sports car heaven. We go through Fortuna to the Lost Coast highway. Martin Swig and the California Mille introduced me to his hidden gem. I feel as though I am paying tribute to him and everything he did for me and the hobby each time I drive it. Then it’s on to Ferndale and Petrolia, ending the day in Novato.
On Monday morning, we will start late enough to miss the morning rush hour. We will cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take Highway 280 to Highway 17 and arrive in Monterey in the mid-afternoon. This gets us to Car Week in time for the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel — the unofficial kick-off of the week.
There is no official organization to the tour. I will have route instructions and some goodies. Any car is welcome, although Alfas are preferred, 4-door Alfas most of all this year. I won’t book your reservations for lodging or food, but I can help coordinate.
What I’ve found over the years is that this is a one-way trip for me. After enjoying my vintage car during Monterey Car Week, I have it car shipped back to Portland by a commercial carrier. It’s not expensive — generally under $1,000 — as there are so many carriers already in Monterey. I’m so whipped after the week of non-stop activities that I just want to get on plane and fly north.
If you are interested, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a glorious way to enjoy our old cars, on some of the most fantastic roads in the world.
I’m going for sure; let me know if you want to join the gang.