Monterey Car Week exuded the vibes of automotive passion back in full swing. Even 700 miles away at SCM World Headquarters in Portland, the energy was apparent.
Unofficial auction results totaled more than $460m, besting 2015’s previous high of $394m.
SCM had a full team on site, led by Executive Editor Jeff Sabatini. From the opening “Best of the Best” dinner to the firing of the confetti cannons, Jeff, Senior Editor Rory Jurnecka, Auction Editor Paul Oeschger and Concours Ambassador Somer Hooker were everywhere. You couldn’t enter an auction tent without bumping into an SCM Auction Analyst, including Carl Bomstead, B. Mitchell Carlson and Michael Leven. SCM Contributors could be found at events all week, from Logan Grey at Automobilia Monterey, to Prescott Kelly at Werks Reunion, to Steve Ahlgrim wherever Ferraris could be found, to Mark Brinker showing a car (again) at Pebble Beach.
Universally, their reports were upbeat about the enthusiasm and the energy they encountered. And people’s willingness to spend money. Lots of money.
I’ll confess I took a break from cars last Saturday and attended the Evergreen Museum Air Show.
I drove the SCM 1991 S4 Alfa Spider in the 90-degree heat, top up with a/c on. The car only overheated a little, which I count as a great success.
Watching the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in their F-16s had its own visual and aural excitement.
I didn’t once think of an Isetta while I watched them accelerate straight up.
Social media has taken Monterey Car Week to an entirely new level.
Gone are the days when I had to sit gavel-to-gavel at a Rick Cole Auction writing down hammer prices. If I didn’t do that, there was no other way to get timely results.
At one point this weekend I had livestreams playing on four different devices covering auctions and events.
This week’s newsletter is chock-full of auction and event results. Let’s pour over them together, and next week we’ll start our analysis and reflections.