Our personal hashtag here at NoBraking is #IsItAugustYet because we live for Monterey Car Week; a combination of historic car racing, exquisite car shows, auctions, concepts, and or of course, the crowning jewel to finish the weekend the legendary Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Monterey Car Week is special because luxury cars, race cars, concept cars, vintage cars, exotic cars, super cars, and hyper cars can all be found tootling around the roads of Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey, heading to one of the many events on the California peninsula. For the last 19 years, Rolex has been an integral part of Monterey’s Car Week. This year the participants and organizers came together to make this year’s festivities worthy of remembrance with incredible racing and many firsts for the various concours.
Car Week is the most important week in the calendar year for the global collector car community. This is in large part due to the sheer number of auctions as well as the prestige associated with the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Few other events around the world offer the variety that Monterey does, with events for nearly every type of car and every kind of collector.
This year’s car week saw BMW celebrating their 100th anniversary at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion and at the Concours d’Elegance. Although the legendary German auto maker is 100 years old, they’ve only been in the United States for 40+ years which made the affair even more special as rare models such as the Elvis Presley 507 Roadster and many Art Cars were on display alongside iconic models American’s are more familiar with.
The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex is widely regarded as one of the best ways to appreciate the rare and priceless cars of Car Week. It’s one of the few chances to see these incredibly rare cars in motion and hear their engines as they parade past. The Tour was forced to forego its traditional route due to the wildfires that are currently plaguing the region. The event’s organizers were able to find an excellent alternative route that wound its way through the hills surrounding Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea as well as 17 Mile Drive.
The 2016 Tour d’Elegance was led by an imposing and stunning Maybach DS8 Zeppelin, the second vehicle to be equipped with a V12 engine and so heavy that it required a special license to drive. It was also the first vehicle with an eight speed transmission and had a top speed in excess of 100 miles per hour. Other cars on the tour included the 1966 Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 originally driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon and a gorgeous Chapron-bodied 1938 Delahaye Type 135M Roadster belonging to the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Since 2002, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, has become one of the most celebrated events of Car Week. Set at the beautiful Quail Lodge & Golf Club, it pairs the world’s finest automobiles with incredible food and a number of experiences provided by various event sponsors. For 2016, the themes for The Quail included Rivalries of the Ages, the 100th anniversary of BMW, a retrospective of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura.
The Quail differs from other events in that rather than using a panel of judges to decide which cars deserve awards, those participating in each class select the winners from among their own, as well as the Rolex Best of Show which will be admitted to the Rolex Circle of Champions. This year’s overall winner was the 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Pininfarina Spyder.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a historic racing event unlike any other in the world. This year saw more than 550 vehicles in attendance with 64 cars on hand from this year’s featured marque, BMW. 2016 also marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary Canadian-American Challenge Cup, better known as Can-Am.
Last but certainly not least the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance began as it always does, early, with 228 cars from 16 countries and 30 states rolling onto the 17th and 18th greens under the cover of darkness. The cars were judged on a combination of their historical accuracy, technical merit and style. In the end, it was a 1936 Lancia Asturia Pininfarina Cabriolet – the first Lancia so honored at Pebble Beach – that took the show’s top honor. The Lancia had been the recipient of a six-year restoration and once belonged to Eric Clapton. The vehicle’s owner, Richard Mattei of Arizona, is a newcomer to Pebble Beach with 2016 being the first time he’d entered into the field.
Among the other marques and models honored at Pebble Beach were the works of coachbuilder Henri Chapron, French carmaker Delahaye, Bizzarrini, the Lamborghini Miura, 100 Years of BMW and the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40’s 1966 win at Le Mans with 17 GT40s in attendance including the race-winning car.
Now all we can do is count down the days to August when we head back to Monterey for Car Week 2017.