Although many try to lay claim to the ultimate 'car guy' weekend, in North America, at least, the events on the Monterey Peninsula in August have no equal. From shows, concours, exhibits, parties and get-togethers, to wine tasting, soirées, fetes, lunches, dinners and track events, only time shifting and a personal teletransportation device would get you to every event in time. Don’t worry, however, as even with the time-space continuum figured out, you likely didn’t get a ticket in time, either.
But it is the auctions and not the other events we are focusing on here. For this year, there are an incredible six auction companies representing ten full days or evenings of auctions, all compressed into four very long days.
In alphabetical order this is the line-up:
The Bonhams event, held on the grounds of the Quail Lodge Country Club, is featuring a 1939 Ex-works Team, Auto Union D-Type Grand Prix, single-seat racecar, Chassis #19. More pedestrian entries include world-class European and American classics, along with a smattering of muscle cars and future classics. Pedestrian indeed…
Gooding and Company has prime real estate on the grounds of Pebble Beach, albeit near the equestrian center. A short walk from the lawn at Pebble Beach, Gooding's line-up includes over 170 antique, classic, sports, race and exotic cars, a true something for everyone - that is, if everyone’s wallet or cell phone has a personal banker attached. This is the place to see and be seen, a tent with more automotive royalty on display than in the finest automotive museums.
Kruse appears alongside the Concorso Italiano, the long-running, formerly all-Italian concours that now encompasses other marques. The Kruse offering will include a few surprises, no doubt, along with a potential for a bargain or two. Note that you must have a ticket for the Concorso to be allowed admission into the Kruse event.
The newcomer to the peninsula is Mecum, well known for its American Muscle Car offerings. Held at the Hyatt Hotel, just a few miles from downtown Monterey, Mecum has the ex-Frank Sinatra 1957 Cadillac painted, of course, in 'Ol' Blue Eyes' blue, along with a vibrant and exciting line-up of classics with a heavily American accent.
The granddaddy of auction events on the peninsula is presented by RM Auctions at the Portola Hotel and Spa in downtown Monterey. Started by Rick Cole, the event has now morphed into a three-night affair for the first time. This year, the first night will be exclusively a collection of wood-bodied automobiles, while Friday and Saturday will rock with offerings as diverse as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and a healthy selection of American classics. If you are looking for a Jaguar C-type, this just might be the venue you want to park at.
Just across the street from the Portola at the Monterey Marriott, Russo and Steele will be pumping up the volume with its own high-energy brand of auctioneering. This year’s features include a 1960 Ferrari 250GT Series II PF Cabriolet included in its 150-car collection to be offered over two evenings. Always good for a rollicking time, R and S will be providing mega entertainment whether you are bidding or just watching from the sidelines.
If you can avoid pesky things like sleep, you are likely to be able to attend perhaps four of the six events. If you are trying for six of six, it is best to seek professional advice - or better still, professional help.