Welcome to Monterey Week, the greatest (car) show on Earth

Fifty years ago, the world had Woodstock. It was too big, too unruly, and too expensive to ever happen again. The automotive world has its own gathering of the gods, and it too happens in the middle of August. Best of all, it’s kept on running each year, better all the time, and not getting stopped it its tracks. This is the automotive nirvana known as Monterey Week, which is getting cranked up right now. It’s an occasion to view pure beauty, revel in gorgeous scenery, see famous people, and maybe spend lots of money. You can go home with anything from a T-shirt and sunburn to a 100-point classic priced in eight figures. That’s Monterey.

There’s too much going on in Monterey to easily sum it up in a few photos. I’ve included this one from Mecum’s 2018 Monterey auction to give you an indication of what kind of vehicles are for sale on the peninsula, all over the place, with major auctions going on all week. Plus, full disclosure, I wrote some of the entries in Mecum’s catalog for this year’s sale. If you didn’t bring enough of a credit line to buy a car, the chances to see stunning cars are absolutely everywhere. I once saw the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. coupes driving down the street as a group in downtown Monterey. There’s the Concorso Italiano, the Monterey Historics, the Quail, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, the Concours on the Avenue in nearby Carmel, and the Legends of the Autobahn show, among others. The pinnacle is Sunday, the 69th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, indisputably the world’s most prestigious judged showing of historic cars. It’s unbelievable. I’ve run into Jay Leno, Sir Stirling Moss and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page on the show field. If you like cars, you’ve simply got to experience Monterey Week during your lifetime. It’s expensive, but keep in mind that a lot of the events during the week raise very significant money for local charities. You’ve got to go.

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