From Corkscrew to Concours

Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach – the biggest car event on the USA’s west coast, when enthusiasts and collectors gather between scenic coast and dramatic mountains for terrific racing and displays of beautiful automobiles.

On the swooping Laguna Seca circuit on August 14-16, 145 Porsches spearhead a gathering of 450 historic racing cars for the Rolex Monterey Historic meeting. The weekend features two days of racing for sports, GT, IMSA, Can-Am and single-seaters, including two grids of pre-war cars.

The Stuttgart manufacturer is the featured marque at this 36th running of the event. Porsches from early 356 up to the GpC cars, including four 917s, will be on display and racing, while works drivers Vic Elford and Brian Redman, both winners of the Daytona 24 Hours among others in the German cars, will race the fabled 917K against period rivals from all the important marques including Ferrari 512 and GT40. Expect Sir Stirling Moss and Desiré Wilson too.

The week running up to Laguna is packed with choices. Visit Concorso Italiano at the Laguna Golf Ranch – 15 Ferrari 288GTOs! – while at the nearby Quail Lodge Resort, Friday’s Motorsports Gathering is an element of the Louis Vuitton concours events. Here displays pay tribute to 50 years of the Daytona Speedway, BMW’s Motorsports division and BMW hero Hans Stuck, while the Bonhams & Butterfields auction tops out with a D-type Auto Union driven by Stuck Sr. And Porsche will unveil the new Panamera.

Some of the world’s most beautiful vehicles will be at the Pebble Beach resort where the famous concours d’elegance takes place on Sunday. This year a Bentley is the thing to bring, with all four Birkin blowers joining works racing Le Mans Bentleys, Woolf Barnato’s VdP 8-litre and elegant road cars including the debut of the new Grand Bentley. Bugatti and maverick Italian coachbuilder Zagato share the limelight, while the centenaries of Morgan and Audi aren’t forgotten either.

You can watch the concours entrants on the road during the Pebble Tour on the Thursday, taking entrants along the famed 17-mile drive around the scenic peninsula and through the seaside town of Carmel, where there is a separate concours. Then visit RetroAuto, a showroom of high-quality automobilia, and view the automotive art show on the 18th green of the famous golf course. After that, enjoy some fresh seafood at Monterey before inspecting the evening auctions. At Gooding & Co the Lyons collection of Indycars is a highlight (see p76), and RM has two Indy Millers on offer. Russo & Steele offers ‘Sports and Muscle’ while Mecum is new to the event.

Backed by sea, sun and mountains, it’s no surprise that this lavish multiple meeting brings thousands of enthusiasts together for what must be America’s most glamorous vintage car gathering.