Car Lover's Weekend - The Monterey Historic Races and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Car Show
2007 Best in Show, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
The Perfect Weekend for Car Lovers
Every year in mid August, the cities of Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach are transformed to a car lover's haven. The streets are lined with luxury cars and trailers all visiting the area for two big events, the Monterey Historic Races and the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegace. If you love vintage cars, car racing and car auctions you should make the trip to Monterey, California in August for these exciting events.
2007 Monterey Historics
The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races
August 15-17th, 2008
Laguna Seca Raceway - Monterey, California
Admission: $65 for Saturday, check website for more options
This year is the 35th anniversary of the Monterey Historic Races. The races are the largest event held during the renowned classic car weekend in Monterey California. More than 40,000 visitors worldwide annually attend the Historic Races.
The Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races are a tribute of motor racing history, historic automobiles and the people who made them. Each year, more than 375 of the finest historic race and sports cars are entered in 14 race groups that span nearly every era of motorsports history.
The races take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but Saturday is the most popular day.
August 14-16 2008
Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center
5pm - 1am
The RM Car auction is a fun place to check out on Friday night. It takes place in a conference center and there is are tons of vintage cars on display. You can also watch the live car auction. Admission is $40 per person unless you can convince a registered bidder to bring you along.
1950 Talbot Lago at Monterey Historics
Best of Class Winner - 2006 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance
The Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance
Sunday August 17, 2008
The Lodge at Pebble Beach
9am - 4:30pm
Admission: $150/person if purchased in advance
First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is often said to be the world's premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and rare automobiles are invited to appear on the famed eighteenth fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links each year, and connoisseurs of art and technology congregate to see them.
The car show is only part of the fun, there is also a vintage car auction presented by Gooding & Company. These auctions can be very exciting, a few years ago we watched a bidding war over a yellow 1935 Duesenberg that sold for over $4.4 million. Last year that same car won Best in Show! This year, Oprah Winfrey is auctioning some of her cars at this auction including a 1988 Rolls-Royce Corniche II Convertible that was a gift from John Travolta.
After the official awards are given, Jay Leno, a car enthusiast himself annouces the winners of the various charity raffles for cars, expensive jewelry and other items. To date the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has raised over $10 million for local, national and international charitable organizations. Jay's comments are always entertaining, sometimes slightly innappropriate and usually poke fun at the winners. So even though you may have won a new BMW or a Rolex, chances are that Jay is going to give you a hard time. Its probably worth it though.
First Place - 2005 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance
What to See and Do in the Area
Here are some fun things to do if you are spending additional time in the area:
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium
- 17 Mile Drive
- Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley
- Visit Big Sur
- Whale Watching or Kayaking
Where to Stay
If you are reading this less than 2 months before the event, chances are that most hotels are booked. This is one of the biggest events of the year in Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach and hotel rates are at their peak and often require a 3 night minimum. A great alternative for last minute planners (like myself) is CraigsList or VRBO.com (vacation rental by owner) where you can find rooms, apartments and homes for rent in the area. I have been able to find rooms every year that are much nicer and more affordable than the hotels. If you are actually planning ahead, here is a link to some local hotels.
What to Bring, What to Wear
Weather can range from cool and windy to hot and sunny. Bring a warm jacket, water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and dress in layers. The races are very casual, it can be very dusty so pants, sweaters, tshirts are appopriate. It is also extremely loud (it is car racing after all) so if you are bringing young children you might want to bring ear plugs although they are usually at the event.
The Concourse takes place on a golf course and many people dress up for this daytime event. Styles range from dressy to resort casual. Temperatures are often cool in the morning and evening, and warm during the day, so layering is recommended.
Where to Eat
At both events, there are multiple concession stands with food and drinks. At Pebble Beach there are also two sit down restaurants but they get very busy and are available on a first come, first serve basis. Here is a partial list of restaurants in the area, reservations are always recommended at this time of year:
Expect long lines and long waits, its just part of the deal. At Pebble Beach, parking is free ad shuttles will bring you to and from the event. If you have a disability, there are special shuttles and parking.
For more information about the event please visit the links below.