The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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Everywhere You Go At Monterey Car Week Will Blow Your Mind

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In an event called “Car Week,” it shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone that there’s a lot to see. There were so many incredible cars around, driving around the town of Carmel and checking the posh hotels nearby made for a whole car show in itself. You don’t even need to fork over a few hundred dollars for tickets to some fancy shows to see some interesting stuff.

During quieter days of Car Week, i.e. when there weren’t any big shows going on, I spent some time going to Carmel-by-the-sea and various hotels scattered around the area in search for some random cars around. As this was my first visit to Car Week I had no idea what to expect.

I do wonder if the residents of Carmel miss seeing all the crazy and interesting cars this week brings for the other 51 weeks of the year. When else do you see a Porsche 911 GT2 RS parked casually on a residential street?

Down the road was a white and black Bugatti combo with an EB110 SS and a Veyron Supersport. On another day there was a Volcano Yellow McLaren P1 just sitting stationary in Race Mode. Another random hypercar sighting in Carmel yielded a black carbon body Koenigsegg CCXRS outside a Starbucks.

I guess driving with a convoy of other Koenigseggs under the Monterey sun can build up a thirst.

While most of Car Week occurs during the actual week, some of crazier stuff comes out during the weekend as events wrap up. I found one matte black and gold Lamborghini Murcielago SV was parked outside a restaurant just a block away from the factory-painted mint Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

On Ocean Avenue, the main high street in Carmel, a random BMW M1 drove past us. And the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 that was at the RM Auctions driving around on Monday morning. There were also a couple of Lamborghini Centenarios out. One was refueling and the other sitting nicely at the valet of the Marriott.

The valet lots are always worth checking out because with a week full of supercars trying to out-do each other, only the best are kept in front while the “lesser” cars are moved to another parking lot.

The Inn at Spanish Bay was a prime example of this. On the first day there was a Ferrari Daytona and F12tdf combo parked outside. But as the week went by and more cars showed up the Ferrari GTs disappeared to make way for cars such as a LaFerrari Aperta and Coupe, a one-off pink McLaren 720S, a Swiss-registered Mercedes-Benz 300SL, a Ferrari F40, one of the new Ford GT Heritage Edition cars, a Jaguar XJ220, and a Mazda Porter Cab imported from Japan, driven by Autodromo watches founder and friend of Jalopnik Bradley Price.

The Hilton houses the car from the Fuel Run rally, which included a pair of Ferrari F50s. The Hyatt Regency were where the two white and black Bugattis were staying as well as a silver and yellow Ferrari F12tdf, and a Porsche 993 Carrera RS.

The Fairway One at Pebble Beach became known as the “Ferrari House” during the week, as it became a base for Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary celebrations in Monterey. The lineup outside was a jaw-dropping selection of some of Ferrari’s best modern cars including the 1 of 6 Ferrari Sergio, a few more Ferrari F12tdf, and around half a doze LaFerraris. I did try to go into the Ferrari Store inside one of the buildings, but apparently I needed an invite or a ticket to get in. How very typical of Ferrari—you can’t even buy swag without buying some other stuff first.

Parking lots at events such as The Quail were also a great place to check for some random wonderful finds. It’s quite difficult to get into the car lot unless you already have tickets to the show, but if you do you might see it’s worth checking out.

I only did a quick walkabout, I didn’t want to be too far away from the free food and drinks for too long, but I did see a Porsche 993 GT, a very green Porsche 918 Spyder, a Nissan EXA (quite random), a one of 50 Lamborghini Murcielago LP650, a Gulf livery McLaren 675LT, another new Ford GT, several 911s remade by Singer, and remnants of the Pagani convoy.

Not to be outdone, Pebble Beach had some interesting cars scattered around as well. The highlight was the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR sitting outside the AMG house randomly one afternoon.

This was the car that made me want to go to Car Week as I’d never seen one properly in Japan. The Mercedes 300SEL 6.3 in front of it was a decent bonus too.

Elsewhere, there was a RUF CTR2 and a Jaguar XJR-15 parked outside The Lodge. We also stumbled across the Volkswagen iD Buzz Concept doing a photo shoot on the beach at 17 Mile Road. It was pretty cool to see a concept driving around on public roads. Then to wrap it all off once the Concours was done on Sunday and all the cars had packed up, the Pagani Zonda HP was moved to a car park and sat by itself for a few hours until the sunset.

If that wasn’t enough just driving around randomly and visiting various places you’d see some special cars. McLaren had the XP4 F1 on display at their house in celebration of the F1’s 25th Anniversary. Koenigsegg had a rally around Monterey for their owners and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bugatti Veyron.

Among one of the coolest cars around Car Week was the Porsche 911 Sport Classic, though the owner doesn’t like calling it a Sport Classic, just yet. Owned by a SoCal resident, the ‘911SC’ is an ongoing project that began six months ago after he decided to “make” his own Sport Classic using a manual Carrera S as a base since they were never sold in North America. All the parts came from Porsche including the bumpers, Fuchs alloys, and the ducktail.

There were so many more other cars dotted around, it was impossible to see them all in a week. For many, shows like The Quail and the Pebble Beach Concours are the main attractions for Car Week, but there’s so much to it than that.

You could equally enjoy it without having to pay ridiculous sums of money just to see cars parked on a golf course lawn.

Unlike other events I’ve been to most of the cars on show can also be seen driving around town or the roads within Pebble Beach. For me it’s more enjoyable seeing these cars actually being driven and that’s what made Car Week great for me, that and the awesome people coming together for cars.

Car Week is a whole experience in itself and I’d recommend going at least once. I’ll definitely be back next year.