Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Monterey Car Week and the 65th Annual Concours d’Elegance are almost here! From Aug. 11-16 collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts from around the globe will descend on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula for the best car show in the world—not to mention a bevy of other motorsports festivities. For six days, conspicuous consumption at its finest will be on full display with the showing of rare automobiles, exclusive auctions, champagne-fuled parties and ritzy dinners in villas and thrilling races and rallies. As you shift into gears for the revelries, let this guide steer you to the hautest events, which you certainly don’t want to miss.
TUESDAY, AUG. 11TH —WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12TH
Ease into the week with the Carmel-by- the-Sea Concours on The Avenue, presenting multi marques 1940 through 1973 with Porsche and Ferrari through 1989 along Ocean Avenue on from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. You’ll kick it up several notches on Wednesday when the festivities really get going with the Carmel Mission Classic and The Little Car Show. Head to Pebble Beach around 3 p.m. to see the participants in the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic—the ultimate road trip, which begins in Kirkland, Washington on Aug. 3 and covers 1,500 miles—roll into town. The place to be this evening is the Monterey Jet Center for Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival, the 24th anniversary of the red-carpet gala that officially kicks off Monterey Car Week and where high-powered VIPs enjoy gourmet food and award-winning wines.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13TH
Rise and shine early for the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance Presented by Rolex, your chance to see some of the entrants in the Concours d’Elegance cruise the original 17-Mile Drive, circle the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and pause for a time in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea before returning to Pebble Beach. The fun begins at 8 a.m.and ends at 3 p.m. with a champagne toast to the participants. Remember, the Tour and Concours are directly linked. If two vehicles tie in class competition at the Concours, the vehicle that has successfully completed the Tour gets the nod. Or opt for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a four-day celebration that gets underway on Thursday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and features approximately 550 legendary pre- and postwar race and sports cars that represent the pinnacle of their classes. This year, the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang will be the featured marque. Thursday also marks the beginning of Pebble Beach RetroAuto. Taking place for three days in the ballrooms of The Inn at Spanish Bay, this well-curated marketplace for the true automotive enthusiast showcases rare collectables, historic automobilia, art and literature, as well as luxury items and technological tools to enhance today’s driving experience. If you’re in the market for another unique car for your stable, you’ll want to be at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center for an auction to end all auctions— RM Sotheby’s The Pinnacle Portfolio, one of the most significant and valuable automobile collection to ever come to auction. Collectively, the value of this group, which includes one of the finest Ferrari 250 LMs in existence, a roadrace hybrid 1998 McLaren F1 “The Road Going LM” and a bookend pair of Bugatti Veyrons, comfortably exceeds the current record for a private collection sold at a single-day auction ($65.9 million).
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14TH
Ladies, put on your most eye-catching hat and gentlemen, don’t forget your baseball cap advertising your favorite luxury car brand when you head to the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in sunny Carmel Valley for The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, celebrating its 13th year as one of the premier events in the automotive world. The crown jewel in a whirlwind of events during Monterey Car Week, this exclusive experience showcases rare collections of fine automobiles and motorcycles in an intimate garden party setting on the ninth fairway. The 2015 themes include Long Tail Cars of Le Mans, Coachbuilt Ferraris and Iconic Pre-1965 Porsches. Traditional classes are Pre-War Sports and Racing, Post-War Racing, Post-War Sports, The Great Ferraris, Sports and Racing Motorcycles and Supercars. You can test drive exotic cars and enjoy the new Quail Fairway Lounge, your reprieve from the automotive festivities with cabanas, food tents with heaps of champagne and oysters, music, fashion and jewelry. There’s also the Fireside Chat series, featuring automotive luminaries, and the Rolex Circle of Champion awards, which caps off a day of automotive bliss. A must for those with deep pockets is Bonhams’ 18th annual motorcar auction, held in conjunction with The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and featuring more than 200 motorcars on display. You’ll recall that last year a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $38,115,000— the highest price ever paid for a car at a public auction. Serious car collectors will of course want to gather for the usual two days of RM Sotheby’s auction, taking place Friday and Saturday at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center. After the gavel falls for the final time, find a place to relax for you’ll want to be at your best when you head to The Beach & Tennis Club at Pebble Beach for a lavish, invite-only Mercedes-Benz dinner, followed by dancing and entertainment at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge on the third fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15TH
As the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Pebble Beach Pebble RetroAuto events continue, you should make your way to Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside for Concorso Italiano, an all-day celebration of everything ever made in Italy, from fashion to Ferraris. Be sure to swing by The Lodge at Pebble Beach to check out the innovative cars on the Concept Lawn. Bidders won’t want to miss the two-day Pebble Beach Auctions Presented by Gooding & Company, among the most attended and anticipated collector car events of all Pebble Beach Automotive Week. It kicks off Saturday evening and concludes on Sunday. This is also the evening you’ll need an invite to get into the evening’s best soirees, which include Bentley Signature Party, a high-spirited evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing, and Infiniti’s bash with live entertainment.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 16TH
At last, the day you’ve waited for all week has arrived—the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., spectators can gawk at about 200 of the most prized collector cars and motorcycles in the world as the haute wheels roll onto the famed 18th fairway at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.The excitement builds for the awards, which are presented from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Speed doesn’t matter; instead, it’s all about elegance as automobiles and motorcycles are judged for historical accuracy, technical merit and style. The marques and special classes featured this year include Ferrari, duPont, Pope, Designs by Carrozzeria Touring and Shelby GT350 Mustang 50th Anniversary. We’ll miss the melodious-voiced Edward Herrmann, the award-winning actor who emceed every Concours d’Elegance since 1999 and passed away last December. Phil Hill’s son Derek Hill, who helped Herrmann in 2014, will take control this year. Around 5 p.m., after the last of the confetti falls to the grass, it’s time to say good-bye to new and old friends. Farewell drinks at the Home of Bentley with the brand’s executives are just one of the final invite-only events on tap. Now it’s time to pat yourself on the back for having survived another year of Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.