Being on the ground during Monterey Car Week is delightfully overwhelming. The cars, the money, the weather, the colors, the cars, the coast, the money, the cars… it’ll make your head spin. And certainly the lens of your camera too. The two main “car show” events occur on Friday and Sunday each year: The Quail and the actual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, respectively. Hotels and tickets to the events are expensive, booked months in advance and entirely worth it.
At the Quail, manufacturers (from Bentley to Rimac to Infiniti to Porsche) line the outer edge of the show; the “infield,” as it were, is chock full of actual people’s cars, gathered into themed groups, like this year’s Ferrari celebration (it’s the company’s 70th anniversary). Most of the cars in the infield are vintage; those on the edges are new — it’s like a remote showroom for each manufacturer. Indeed, many vehicles in both sections are sold throughout the day.
The Concours is a different affair. While there are some awards given out at the Quail, this is, well, a Concours, meaning cars are judged in classes — American Dream Cars of the 1960s, or Ferrari One-off Spéciales, for instance — and overall winners are announced as they are literally paraded across a massive stage. Jay Leno does a big presentation, and everyone in attendance (including the Governator himself, who stopped by the Bentley VIP area) celebrates the beauty and love of vintage and antique cars. Every vehicle present is in absolutely pristine condition. It’s breathtaking.
And every year people swarm both events, dressed in their finest, champagne glasses and cameras and even little puppies in tow. It’s difficult to do it all justice, so here are some highlights — a taste of what it’s like to walk amidst the glory that is Monterey Car Week.
Note: Bentley hosted us in Monterey to experience all Car Week has to offer.