News & Stories

Why It’s Time Again to Quit Your Job… And Head for Monterey, California

August 4, 2017 Events, In the News, Racing

By John Lamm

For total immersion in the automobile, nothing matches Monterey Car Week. The hardware varies from brass-era antiques to modern hybrid supercars. The venues vary from golf courses to a race track to a church.

It’s during the third week in August, the 15th to the 20th this year,  so wish your boss good luck and pack for Monterey.  There are ultra-exclusive events that cost $650 per ticket, but plenty of low-cost or even free automotive indulgences. Cars from The Revs Institute play roles in two marquee events.  Here’s our guide.

Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours

Tuesday, August 15

● Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours on the Avenue, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a freebee(yes!) chance to wander among some 175 cars — hot rods, muscle cars, Ferraris, etc.– along the main drag in calm Carmel. Bring a latte.


McCall Jet Center


Wednesday, August 16

  • Carmel Mission Classic, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This classic-car expo at the Carmel Mission, where now-sainted Fr. Junipero Sera toiled, costs $50 per ticket, including food and wine, with proceeds going to Catholic charities. Catch the blessing of the cars at 1 p.m. by Bishop Richard Garcia. Amen!
  • The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove, noon to 5 p.m. Really little, with micro and mini cars featured. No entry fee, but the Minis and Isettas will cost you a smile.
  • Prancing Ponies Car Show, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This Carmel event benefits the Prancing Ponies Foundation, which aims to “Create Women Leaders One Girl at a Time.” Hence women put their favorite cars on show in Carmel.
  • Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival 2017 at the Monterey Jet Center, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $395-550, with funds going to the California Highway Patrol’s 11-99 Foundation. Mix with vintage cars, war birds and modern personal jets.

The Revs 1938 Maserati 8CTF is front and center for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Group Shot

Thursday, August 17

  • Rolex Motorsports Reunion Thursday through Sunday, 7a.m to 6 p.m. It’s the first of four days of vintage car racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with 15 classes for 550 entries ranging from 1911 to 1991. Formula 1 champ Mika Häkkinen will demo a McLaren M23 GP car. Prices vary from $30 for just Thursday to $549 for a four-day Premier Pit Row Suite ticket. Watch for Rev’s 1964 Porsche 906 and 1964 Abarth Simca 2000 GT.
  • Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Another freebee. Most cars entered in the Sunday Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the week’s capstone event, cruise the peninsula, down Highway 1 and into Carmel on this route. Pack a picnic, stake a spot and enjoy car-and-people watching. Here’s the route:

Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance

    • Italian Stampede Rally, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. After rallying from Los Angles, this Lamborghini-heavy trek ends at Monterey’s Hilton Garden Inn. It’s a great, and free, opportunity to check out Italian supercars.

Friday, August 18

  • Porsche Werks Reunion, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some 500 Porsches compete for 20 prizes at Corral de Tierra Country Club just off Highway 68 near Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There are Porsche race cars, 356s, 911s, etc. Your prize: it’s free to spectators.

The Revs 908-2 Flunder at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

  • Legends of the Autobahn, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Another gratis Deutschland über alles event, minus Porsches but with BMWs, Mercedes-Benz’s and Audis. It’s also just off Highway 68 (be wary of traffic build up) at the Nicklaus Club. Make a day of these two events and finish with a brat and a beer.
  • The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. So long, freebee-ville. “The Quail” would set you back $650, except it’s long sold out. Plan for next year to see vintage race cars and Pagani supercars. Venue: Quail Lodge on Carmel Valley Road.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

  • Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally, 1 p.m to 5 p.m. Dozens of vintage and sports cars gather in downtown. Pacific Grove for an afternoon show leading to a 5 p.m. rally. A relaxed, strolling event that last year donated $23,000 to local charities. Admission: Free.
  • Exotics on Cannery Row, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Forget classic cars and ogle several hundred super, hyper and exotic cars along Monterey’s famed Cannery Row. Free.

Concours d’LeMons

Saturday, August 19

    • Concours d’LeMons, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This display of clapped-out clunkers calls itself, proudly, an “ugly stain on the Pebble Beach Auto Week.” It’s free and fun, with categories including “Rust Belt American Junk” and “Unmitigated Gaul.” (E.G. “LeCar”) Guaranteed to make you smile.
    • Concorso Italiano, 9:30 a.m. to p.m. You don’t have to speak Italian here, but you’ll wish you did after wandering through 800-plus Ferraris, Alfas, Lancias, Maseratis etc. at the Black Horse Country Club. Prices range from $175 to $475 and, being Italian, there’s plenty of food. For contrast, try LeMons in the a.m., Concorso in the p.m.
    • Ferrari at the Barnyard, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A relaxing way to Saturday finish wandering among Ferraris, possibly vino in hand. Low key with a low fee of $60, benefitting the Monterey Arts Council and Rotary Club.

The Revs Cunningham C5R at the Pebble Beach Concours Dawn Patrol

Sunday, August 20

  • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cornerstone of the Monterey Car Week and the reason everything you’ve read thus far exists. They’ve been honoring great automobiles here since1950 and this year some 200 cars — Ferraris and Isotta Fraschinis featured — will be judged. Among them is Rev’s 1908 Mors Grand Prix car. Prices range from $375 on Sunday to $750 (for a lavish hospitality suite), much of that for charity. Arrive at 6 a.m. to watch the Dawn Patrol as cars enter the field, and grab a free donut.

The Revs 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix RaceCar at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Now get packing.


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John Lamm started his automotive journalism career in 1965 as a racing photographer for Autoweek magazine. After a tour in Vietnam, he joined Motor Trend in 1969, then Road & Track in 1975, where he worked for 37 years. He has also written for Car and Driver and Automobile magazines. Credits include 10 books and Lamm has been honored with the International Motor Press Association’s Ken Purdy and the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor awards for writing. Lamm’s photo archives include hundreds of thousands of images ranging from an 1893 Benz Victoria to many of the latest automobiles. He is on the organizing committee for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for two decades. Lamm lives in San Clemente, California with his wife, Scheri.

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