Monterey Car Week is one of the most exciting annual events that happen on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. Whether you’re a hypercar fan, a vintage automobile collector, or just someone who loves getting a preview of the newest cars to hit the market, here’s why Monterey Car Week is the ultimate experience.
2018 Monterey Car Week Guide
To help you learn why Monterey Car Week has become such a significant world-renowned event and to find out what’s happening around town this week, today’s event guide shares insight from some of the leading automotive industry insiders in the country.
Steven Kittrell (Owner & Senior Appraiser of Veloce Valuations, LLC) says, “Monterey Car Week is such an international spectacle, ranging from the earliest automobiles to the latest prototypes. There is something for every hobbyist – from Concours, auctions, rallies, and events – no one goes home feeling unsatisfied.”
Steven continues by stating, “This is a billion dollar week for the automotive industry at large. Every major manufacturer is here trying to capture their attentive audience. CEOs and consumers alike, mingle and help show the direction of the market, right here on the Peninsula.”
“Its a pilgrimage for most, coming to the peninsula for car week. Where else can you watch the most expensive cars in the world race around the iconic Laguna Seca Raceway, catch a group of 20 supercars at Baja Cantina or walk downtown Carmel-By-The-Sea for the Tour d’Elegance? It’s in the fabric of our community, and the industry at large recognizes this.”
“Monterey Car Week is one of the world’s premier luxury motor car events, so it is fitting that we showcase the finest Bespoke motor cars in the world here, and also debut Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, to the American public. From the primacy of Phantom to the power of Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce presence at 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has never been more compelling, and these Bespoke Rolls-Royces will grace these lawns as classics for generations to come”, says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan makes its American debut to the public at this year’s Monterey Car Week as the marque showcases a stunning array of Bespoke motor cars, each one a classic in the making. In addition to Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, the brand will present a splendid selection of individual creations at events throughout the week and deliver two very high profile commissions to their owners, live at events throughout the week.
The most anticipated motor car of 2018 will adorn the lawns at Monterey Car Week events including Friday’s ‘Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,’ The Concept Lawn of the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance on Sunday and at Rolls-Royce’s own private collectors events throughout the week.
Unveiled to the world in May of this year, four Cullinans will be positioned around the peninsula in a variety of color and Bespoke configurations for its future customers to discover. Rolls-Royce will show for the first time in North America a Cullinan with Iguazu Blue exterior. The stunning Charles Blue interior is offset with Scivaro Grey highlights and open Paldao veneer. The other Cullinans on display are adorned in Magma Red and Darkest Tungsten.
On Friday, Mr. Müller-Ötvös will present a very special Rolls-Royce Phantom to renowned collector Michael Fux. This is the tenth special Bespoke Creation presented to Mr. Fux at Pebble Beach for his collection of more than 140 unique motor cars. The Phantom joins Mr. Fux’s collection of motor cars that he uses to help raise funds for his charity, The Michael Fux Foundation, to provide support for children and their families at the Miami Children’s Hospital.
The Alfa Romeo team says, “Alfa Romeo is widely considered to be the heart & soul of the automotive industry, so Monterey Car Week couldn’t be more important to our historic brand and our loyal fans. During the week, Alfa Romeo is offering activities to highlight not only our current product lineup, but we’ll also pay tribute to our award-winning historic vehicles.”
“From August 23-25, the main Alfa Romeo presence at Monterey Car Week will be at the Folktale Winery & Vineyards where we will have pre-registered guests taking Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV vehicles out for test drives. Alfa Romeo will also be present at the Mecum Auction from August 23-25 with vehicles on display and knowledgeable product specialist to discuss the latest and greatest in our lineup.”
Aston Martin kicks off the 2018 Monterey Automotive Week by again opening the doors of ‘Aston Martin Club 1913’, inviting attendees to get to know the Aston Martin Lagonda Group and its leadership team. This year’s theme, “Boundless,” showcases the group’s world expanding beyond automotive, to include products on land, sea and in the air.
President for Aston Martin The Americas, Laura Schwab says, “While people flock to Monterey Week for its history, this year at Aston Martin Club 1913, we’ll give guests a glimpse into what’s next. We’ll showcase everything from the present – the new DBS Superleggera, to the electric –with the new Lagonda Vision Concept, and the sky-bound – the Volante Vision Concept. The creative horsepower behind this brand is limitless, and that will be evident to all who join us at the Aston Martin Club 1913 to explore the group’s “Boundless” journey.”
Based at The Sunset Center in the heart of downtown Carmel, Aston Martin Lagonda invites visitors to the Monterey Peninsula to ‘crash our party’ at Aston Martin Club 1913, named for the year when the Aston Martin marque was founded. Doors are open to early registrants and party crashers alike, on Wednesday 22 August through Saturday 25 August, from 10am-5pm daily. To learn more, visit Aston Martin Club 1913.
As The Car Coach® and President of the North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year Awards, Lauren Fix is an award-winning author of three automotive books, was the National Automotive Correspondent for Time Warner Cable and has appeared on Oprah, Regis & Kelly, The View, and CNBC, to name a few.
She exclaims, “Monterey Car Week showcases the most luxurious, exotic and state of the art in the new car realm. All this among some of the best vehicles in the world all the way back to the 1900’s. The promenade walk up to the Pebble Beach golf course is lined with luxury car brands touting concept cars, high-end luxury, future technology and the slow steps to possible autonomous and alternative power automobiles. This event draws media, enthusiasts and most of all high-end buyers. A captive audience for all luxury and exotic brands.”
She continues by saying, “Multiple private events draw in media, influencers, and current owners to give them a first look. The trends of autonomous, alternative power and the coolest technology are showcased; including head-up displays, wireless charging, spa-like comfort and relaxing cabins are popular.”
INFINITI will have a significant presence during this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The new Prototype 10 concept, the inaugural Japanese Automotive Invitational, and INFINITI Pavilion are sure to attract all types of enthusiasts throughout the weekend.
Prototype 10 debuts on Aug. 23 and will be on public display on the prestigious Concept Lawn. Capturing the spirit of a forward-looking speedster, this new concept car previews INFINITI’s upcoming electrified performance. It is a natural evolution of the form language first seen in the INFINITI Q Inspiration and hints at future design cues for the brand. INFINITI plans to electrify all of its new production cars from 2021 onwards.
“INFINITI is delighted to again participate in the exclusive events during Monterey Car Week,” says Phil O’Connor, Director, Marketing Communications and Media, INFINITI USA. “This year, we have partnered with Motor Trend Group to bring the very first Japanese Automotive Invitational to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. On display will be historically significant Japanese automobiles, which are becoming highly collectible and exemplify innovation, design, and performance.”
Bringing even more diversity to the premier automobile celebration, this brand new event is dedicated to Japanese automotive achievements, personalities and the future of Japanese-inspired innovation and design. The inaugural Invitational will showcase 44 historically significant Japanese cars in seven different categories: Concept Cars, “Kei” and Small Cars, Luxury Sedans, Race Cars, Sports Cars, Coupes/Hatchbacks and Trucks/Utilities.
This year, the INFINITI Pavilion will have multiple opportunities for guests to engage with the INFINITI brand. Visitors can experience the full line-up of INFINITI vehicles on a five-mile ride & drive route, which includes parts of the iconic 17-Mile Drive. The Pavilion will also have a display of the all-new QX50, a 3D projection mapping installation and a showcase of INFINITI’s cutting-edge technologies and latest concept vehicles. For those needing sustenance, daily Wine & Cheese tastings are scheduled in the afternoons.
Alvin Reyes (Associate Editor of Automoblog.net – an automotive industry, culture, and lifestyle publication, covering news, trends, and technology) shares some of “the coolest highlights at this year’s event” below:
1. Mecum Auction
“The Mecum Auction is all about variety. This is the place to be if you want to see the rarest and most exotic two-wheeled or four-wheeled machinery. Last year was unforgettable; car lovers got the chance to get up close and personal with the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita (valued at around $5M) and a 1958 Lister Jaguar. This year, you can expect to see the super rare 2017 Lamborghini Centenario, 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, and Ferrari LaFerrari.”
2. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
“One of the most highly anticipated events at the 2018 Monterey Car Week is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The event is home to rock stars, famous celebrities, racing drivers, and the most exclusive vintage automobiles. Pebble Beach will also highlight the finest concept cars from the most popular car brands. Last year was special; guests were able to view the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo Concept and Cadillac Escala in the flesh. This year, you can feast your eyes on the Polestar 1, which is the first electric performance car from the Volvo Car Group. BMW is also set to introduce the new Z4 Roadster, which is the platform twin of the all-new and yet to be introduced Toyota Supra.”
3. Russo and Steele
“If you’re looking for a different type of car auction, make sure not to miss the Russo and Steele event at Monterey Car Week. This is the auction block that allows potential buyers and attendees to get up close and personal with the variety of cars up for grabs. This year’s Russo and Steele event is lined with a bevy of interesting cars including a 1992 Texaco-Havoline Ford Thunderbird (which won the Daytona 500), a custom 1939 Cadillac La Salle Convertible, a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT, and a 1984 Lamborghini Countach to name a few.”
4. RM Sotheby’s
“The RM Sotheby’s event is known for breaking the sales charts. Where else can you watch a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti exchange hands for a whopping $45M to $60M? Also up for grabs is a 1966 Ford GT40 Le Mans race car. It is anticipated to be the most valuable American car to be sold at a public auction.”
5. Gordon McCall’s Motorsports Revival
“The 2018 Monterey Car Week isn’t just about cars. The Gordon McCall’s Motorsports Revival event will also feature ultra-luxe private jets and other luxury themes. This event played host to the introduction of the Ferrari Enzo, Bugatti Veyron, and the Ford GT40.”
Speaking of auctions, Drew Alcazar (Founder & CEO of Russo and Steele Automobile Auction) says, “Known for its auction-in-the-round format, Russo and Steele is unlike any other event and is known as ‘The World’s Most Exciting Collector Automobile Auction.'”
“Russo and Steele places buyers, sellers and enthusiastic spectators up close and personal with vehicles. The three-evening event will auction more than 250 automobiles in its highly interactive, visceral ground-level auction arena that provides an experience where buyers can get up close with the cars. We will offer European Sports, American Muscle, Hot Rods, and Customs.
Russo and Steele caters to the “mid-market” enthusiast with value ranges targeted between $50,000 – upwards of $1M. Shelby Cobras and GT350s, Production model Ferraris, 356 and 911 Porsches, collectible American Muscle cars including Boss 302 Mustangs, Hemi Cudas, and Z28 Camaros, just to name but a few… (we even will auction a genuine Meyers Manx Dune Buggy!).”
“The cars Russo and Steele specializes in, and are chosen to be presented in Monterey at our August Auction, are cars collectors are gravitating to more and more, particularly once they become acutely aware of the dramatic difference between a genuinely collectible” car vs a “novelty” car. The vast majority of cars crossing the Russo and Steele auction block are those with well know histories and documentation verifying authenticity, many times including; detailed receipt and photo files of maintenance and restorations. Certificates of Authenticity from Factory records by manufacturers such as Porsche, Ford Motor company, etc. are becoming more critical as buyers evolve to more discriminating and demanding levels of both quality workmanship. Also, vehicles that have been documented by these methods to be the genuine highly sought after models delivered from the Factory with equally as desirable options are now the most valued and coveted market sector.”
“Most cars that have traditionally been “collectible” throughout time, continue to be. For example; Shelby’s, Hemis, low production and highly optioned Ferraris, Jaguars, and Lamborghinis. The trend today is a new affinity for ‘80s cars. Think of the Magnum PI and Miami Vice era… in addition, you will find a selection of “contemporary collectibles” at our auction, including a new TdF and Aperta Ferrari, Black Series MBZ, and No Reserve BMW Z8, just to name a few.”
He continues by saying, “Russo and Steele is smack dab in the middle of Downtown Monterey and it truly is at the epicenter of the Collector Car Week Universe. Adjacent to the world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf, at the Monterey Marina and Depot, our venue is the easiest access and highest visibility all the multitude of events that make this annual pilgrimage to the Peninsula a true Mecca for every automotive enthusiast no matter what age. We are proud to be in our 18th consecutive year in Monterey and invite all to join us each of three evenings, Thurs, Fri and Sat for our “patented” Auction In The Round format – the definition of: “The Most Exciting Auction In The World”!”
Other fun Monterey Car Week events that are open to the public include The 21st Annual Ferrari Event at The Barnyard in Carmel (which includes food and wine tastings, entertainment and Ferraris on display) as well as the Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, which will feature entertaining panel discussions with TV Host and “Car Matchmaker” Spike Feresten and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, in addition to Automobile Expert Donald Osborne and late-night television host Jay Leno, and other notable speakers.
To learn more about Monterey Car Week, check out past years’ event coverage on Inspirations & Celebrations.