By Natasha Dorsainvil
If a waft of motor oil sends you into a welcomed, dreamy daze and the sight of a classically-restored piece of automotive machinery sends a wave of chills up your spine, a visit to Pebble Beach and Monterey this August will be teeming with many reasons to faint.
For an extended weekend this summer, two prominent golf courses and a private airport in Northern California will host three elite auto events. More than just glittery car shows, the exhibitions will showcase an auto enthusiast’s dream menu of yesterday’s classic models and tomorrow’s ultra sophisticated concepts.
After celebrating the end of the Motoring Classic, stop by the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center to admire the automotive masterpieces that will be entered in the Pebble Beach Auction.
Pebble Beach Automotive Weekend will kick off on Wednesday, August 12, and will conclude on Sunday, August 16, with the 59th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Set on the scenic 18th fairway of the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links, this year’s event aims to add to the $12 million already secured from years of fundraising efforts, with Pebble Beach Company Foundation, United Way Monterey County, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County designated as the 2009 nonprofit beneficiaries. The start of the celebration of all things auto will be marked by the VIP-only McCall Motorworks Revival 2009, which will support the efforts of the California Highway Patrol Foundation and the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation. Just east of these events, the Concorso Italiano plans to showcase approximately 1,000 of the best in Italian automobiles and motorcycles at its Laguna Seca Golf Ranch location on Friday.
But these are not the only events that will have auto aficionados salivating. Stay on track of all the week’s happenings with this daily guide to all things auto.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12
Pebble Beach Motoring Classic Exhibit and Auction Viewing
Long before your arrival to Pebble Beach, a caravan will have embarked upon a 1,500-mile journey from just outside of Seattle, Washington. The elegant automotive train, which consisted of up to 30 entrants from past and present Pebble Beach Concours events, departed on August 3 and, during the course of 10 days, wound through the Cascades with views of the Pacific Coast as a constant driving companion. The journey ends today, with a grand entrance at The Lodge at Pebble Beach before an audience of auto lovers, who will, no doubt, be eagerly awaiting the arrival with childlike expectation.
After celebrating the end of the Motoring Classic, stop by the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center to admire the automotive masterpieces that will be entered in the Pebble Beach Auction, presented by famed auction house, Gooding & Company. Last year’s lots included a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra, a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, and a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB. The participating vehicles will be on display through Sunday, August 16, though the bidding starts on the 15th.
McCall Motorworks Revival 2009
Celebrating its 18th year, the McCall Motorworks Revival is billed as the area’s most exclusive luxury lifestyle annual event during the busy week. Held on charming Monterey Peninsula, the location is idyllic for the discriminating VIP crowd of more than 2,500. The Monterey Jet Center will treat guests to an evening packed with elegant, yet powerful autos and jetcraft from Porsche, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Piaggio, and others. The select invitees will enjoy free rein of the generous hangar and tarmac venue, mingling alongside racetrack legends like Jim Hall, Wayne Rainey, and Jim Busby, just to name a few. The region’s renowned chefs will be showcasing their own culinary delights, paired with award-winning wines and French Champagne.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13
Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance and Exhibits
To continue your ultimate auto aficionado week, begin your Thursday with motorized art appreciation. The cars featured in this Rolex-sponsored driving event will also rev their engines for the Concours D’Elegance. For tour drivers, part of the parade route will include the scenic 17-Mile Drive, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rolling emerald courses, and perhaps a peek at a pod of seals. A scheduled stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea will energize entrants with a gourmet lunch and camaraderie that is sure to provide ample shoptalk while perusing the Ocean Avenue displays. The tour ends at 3 p.m. with a Champagne welcome for participants at Pebble Beach.
Thursday also marks the start of the highly anticipated auto exhibitions. For those not taking part in the Tour d’Elegance, the special manufacturers’ displays always prove to be quite the crowd-pleaser. Ferrari, Infiniti, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz are just some of the revered names who will be eager to whet your automotive appetite. The exhibitions will continue through Sunday, August 16.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14
Pebble Beach RetroAuto
Buy, sell, and appreciate memorabilia from the world of automobilia at the RetroAuto pavilion. From historic auto parts to luxury add-ons designed to boost the driving experience, to fine art and photography, an abundance of retail temptations will goad you into boosting the economy until the exhibit ends on Sunday.
Concorso Italiano in Monterey
For those with a weakness for Italian craftsmanship, Concorso Italiano in nearby Monterey should be the first agenda item for Friday. In its 24th year, the Concorso will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 288 Ferrari GTO and the 50th anniversary of the DeTomaso Pantera at the 2009 event.
Because of the outdoor venue, parking is on the fairway, and flat-soled footwear is highly recommended. While the Concorso will occupy four fairways, the entire Laguna Seca Golf Ranch will be open to participants and spectators. Indulge in sensory overload in your admiration of the exotic Lamborghinis, Fiats, Ferraris, and Maseratis as touching and testing the luxury sensations are encouraged. The Concorso Centerpiece Display will feature rare and unique gems like the Bertone-designed BAT 11, an Alfa Romeo prototype, and a 1965 Ghia Gilda. The Concorso won’t be limited to luxury cars, though. Expect a large presence of Ducati motorcycles and look out for the fuselage of a Piaggio Aero display on the greens. Perhaps the most talked about exhibit is the stunningly lavish Alfa 8C Competizione. Concorso owner Tom McDowell calls the new Alfa 8C an “outside of the box” design that will stir much of enthusiasm among car lovers.
VIP guests can dine on delectable treats at the lunch buffet at Concorso, while spectators and other participants will have plenty of their own divine culinary options from which to choose. Although the event has an Italian theme, the cuisine will follow a mainstream menu to satisfy the varied tastes of those in attendance. After lunch, guests can enjoy a 45-minute fashion show featuring designs from local boutiques.
In the afternoon hours, after showcasing a Fiat from his legendary personal collection, Jay Leno will be awarded the “La Bella Macchina” award in honor of his fervent automotive pursuits. This will be the first time the award is presented to a collector and Leno is sure to bring the bellyaching laughter to the show. During the ceremony, officials will also crown the day’s best car as “Best in Show”. Since 1992, best showing winners have included classes like a 1967 Lamborghini 400 GT, a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Super Sport, and a 1953 Maserati A6GCS.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15
Pebble Beach Auction
Looking for another prized addition to your toy collection? If you’re familiar with the Pebble Beach Auctions from years past, then you know to expect hefty competition from fellow car collectors on this day. Past auctions have pulled in world-record lot sales. A 1936 Duesenberg SJ Speedster once sold for more than $4.45 million and a 1967 Ferrari 275 sold for more than $3.9 million. If other Concours events keep you from staking claim on your vehicle of choice today, be sure to stop by the Equestrian Center for an auction schedule. Sunday will be your last chance to participate in the paddle wars.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 16
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and AFAS Exhibition
Finally, the big day has arrived-the culminating event of Pebble Beach Automotive Weekend. Plan to make your way to the Pebble Beach Golf Links’ 18th fairway by dawn to mark your party’s preferred spot. And though it’s not our style to recommend sensible shoes, for the Concours d’Elegance flats will prove to be your best friend. Grass friendly clothes are also recommended, as the cars on display will be dotted around the fairway waiting to be judged, adored, or purchased, if the price is right. Additionally, don’t forget the picnic gear-an untimely trip for a refill on refreshments might mean you miss one of your favorites in the seemingly endless parade of Bentleys, Bugattis, Audis, Morgans, Ferraris, and antique Packards. If you did not heed our advice and indeed left the picnic back in your luxury suite, pick up a sandwich from the Pebble Beach Market near The Lodge at Pebble Beach conference center or, if you’re in the mood for a sit-down meal, visit the Tap Room or the Gallery Restaurant on The Lodge’s grounds. Just make sure your timing is right because the award presentation begins after 1 p.m. and runs to 4:30 p.m.
Although the Concours d’Elegance is the centerpiece of the Pebble Beach car event, other activities are still running through Sunday. The Automotive Fine Arts Society Exhibition is a good way to wind down what could be called an exhausting week. Still outdoors, you’ll be able to check out the latest works from some of today’s most skilled industry craftspeople and perhaps purchase something that you’ll want show off at next year’s Concours.