Category archives: Concours & Events

Porsche Werks Reunion brings out the best from Stuttgart

The Werks Reunion brought together a major crowd of Porsche enthusiasts | Bob Golfen photos
The Werks Reunion brought together a major crowd of Porsche enthusiasts | Bob Golfen photos

Plenty of pretty Porsches crowded into the Corral de Tierra Country Club on the Monterey Peninsula for the fourth annual Porsche Werks Reunion, but few had the originality or the credibility of Jim Kinker’s bright-red 1969 911E Targa.

The Targa looked to be in excellent condition, as did many of the restored older 911s. But Kinker’s 911 has a key difference: it is an absolutely factory-original car from its glossy-red paint to its unmarred interior and its engine parts. If any car deserves the compliment of “time warp,” this one is it. Continue reading

German cars are stars at Legends of the Autobahn show

Judges looking over classic Mercedes-Benz | Nicole Ellan James photos
Judges looking over classic Mercedes-Benz | Nicole Ellan James photos

Monterey Car Week often appears as a mecca for all things Italian -– countless Ferraris can be seen almost anywhere you look.Ditto for Lamborghinis and Alfa Romeo.

But British cars — Aston Martins, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar — also are in abundance.

Fear not, you lovers of German vehicles, Legends of the Autobahn is the car show for you. Well, that and the Porsche Werks Reunion that also took place Friday on the Monterey Peninsula.

Since the Autobahn show began in 2009, it has brought together the cars and members of the BMW Car Club of America, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and the Audi Club of North America, each bringing out everything from classics — 190SLs, M3s, R8s and such — to the newest, including a 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS.

Held at the Nicklaus Club, formerly Pasadera Country Club, the event invites spectators to view the cars for a $20 parking fee, making it one of the more accessible events on the peninsula, and one of the most popular.

Participants showing cars receive the same treatment as the more exclusive concours — judges scrutinize each car for everything from originality to overall quality.

There are also “people’s choice” awards voted on by those in attendance.

 

 

Nothing mythological about this car but its name

Retired firefighter Kris Hall designed and built The Daedalus, which was showcased at The Quail | Larry Edsall photos
Retired firefighter Kris Hall designed and built The Daedalus, which was showcased at The Quail | Larry Edsall photos

The luxury, exotic and supercar builders were well-represented Friday at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley, California. Among them, Ken Okuyama, Jaguar Special Vehicles, Koenigsegg, Rimac, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Pagani, Lamborghini and Singer had their displays, and the show field included a flock of Ferraris. Oh, and there also were Kris Hall and The Daedalus.

Kris who and the what?

You know, Kris Hall, the retired firefighter from Sacramento. Continue reading

Racing through the Decades: 60 years at Laguna Seca

Pete Lovelys Ferrari | Nicole Ellan James photos
Pete Lovelys Ferrari | Nicole Ellan James photos

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion can be a chilling experience as iconic cars with historic significance race around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a facility celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

To honor the track’s history, a display in the infield showcases 12 vehicles that had special significance to the raceway. Among them is the 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa that Pete Lovely drove in November 1957 at the then-brand new race track on the Monterey Peninsula.

Display tent at Laguna Seca
Display tent at Laguna Seca

Lovely and his car raced against such stars as Carroll Shelby, Richie Ginther, Fred Knoop, Jim Hall and John von Neumann, all behind the wheel of more powerful machines from the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Maserati and Porsche.

Before the start, it appeared Lovely and his year-old 2-liter Ferrari would not have much of a chance. But despite the odds, they prevailed.

The car is one of only 17 produced. It is powered by a 2498cc four-cylinder engine rated at 190 horsepower and belongs within a private collection. It’s also was driven by Von Neumann and Bruce Kessler, who drove it in 11 races prior to its victory in Monterey.

According to track officials, Lovely continued to drive the car in the historic races into the early 2000s.

Before he died in 2011 at the age of 85, Lovely said he would always remember winning the first race at Laguna Seca because “it attracted a who’s who of West Coast sports car racing. I was fortunate enough to be able to come across the line in front of everyone else on the last lap, and I did it in a 2-liter car. That was a real thrill.”

Track literature notes that during the race, Shelby, Jack McAfee and Ginther had all dropped out with mechanical problems, leaving von Neumann, with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine in his Ferrari and Lovely battling for the lead.

“I could get up close to von Neumann, but I couldn’t pass him because I didn’t have enough power to get by” Lovely said, adding “I devised a scheme by which I would very gradually fall back to where he couldn’t see me in his mirror. I then turned on a couple of really hot laps and I got right on his tail when we reached Turn 9. When Johnny saw me there, he got flustered, missed a shift coming out of that turn and I passed him.”

In addition to the 1957 Ferrari, among the other display cars are  a 1963 Shelby King Cobra raced by Dave MacDonald, the 1963 Monterey Pacific Grand Prix overall winner that went from 13th place to first in a 100-lap race at an average speed of 83.2 miles per hour. The Cobra is joined by a 1973 Porsche 917/30 driven by Mark Donohue, winner and champion of the 1973 Monterey Grand Prix, and a 1983 March Indy Car driven by Teo Fabl -– winner of the 1963 Monterey Grand Prix, the first indy car race at the track.

Other display vehicles include a 1993 AAR Toyota Eagle MKIII, a 2005 Audi R8 LMP, a 1985 Porsche 962, 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 1956 Porsche 356, a 1999 BMW V12 LMR, 1990 Yamaha YZR500, and a 2016 K-Pax McLaren 650S GT3.

Thousands crowd into Carmel for Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance

A 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost lead an  Aston Martin and Jaguar into Carmel-by-the Sea | Bob Golfen photos
A 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost leads an Aston Martin and Jaguar into Carmel-by-the Sea | Bob Golfen photos

Once a year, the picturesque and upscale village of Carmel-by-the-Sea becomes the absolute center of the known universe for collector car folks, and their friends, families and dogs. Usually a sleepy little burg where local folks and tourists come downtown to eat and shop, that all changes on the Thursday that the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance rolls into town.

The Pebble Tour, as it’s known, is the best deal on the Monterey Peninsula during car week, when most of the exceptional vintage cars from the greatest concours in America drive onto Ocean Avenue and park while the drivers and passengers stop for their catered lunch. Continue reading

Prancing Ponies make their Monterey debut

Prancing Ponies Ferrari and BMW | Nicole Ellan James photos
Prancing Ponies Ferrari and BMW | Nicole Ellan James photos

The Prancing Ponies Car Show, an inaugural event held during Monterey Car Week in Carmel-by-the-Sea, was created by women for women and featured many female owners presenting their vintage and exotic cars. Continue reading

Family-heirloom Ford Speedster at Carmel Mission Classic

Stephanie Brower at the wheel of the 1914 Ford Model T Speedster built by her father, lost and found again | Bob Golfen photos
Stephanie Brower at the wheel of the 1914 Ford Model T Speedster built by her father, lost and found again | Bob Golfen photos

Stephanie Brower’s red-and-brass 1914 Ford Model T Speedster would be a sunny piece of car history even without its heartfelt back story. But it does have one, a moving tale that explains how she happens to possess a sporty little Model T that’s more than a century old.

This is Brower’s own antique flivver, and she drove it to show Wednesday at the Carmel Mission Classic, held at the historic San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel, California, a laid-back respite during the hectic Monterey Car Week. Continue reading

Little cars are big fun at this Monterey Peninsula car show

Randy Carlson and his two-engine, dual-driver 1979 Honda Civic | Larry Edsall photos
Randy Carlson and his two-engine, dual-driver 1979 Honda Civic | Larry Edsall photos

The Little Car Show information sheet nestled between the windshield wiper and windshield simply identified the car as a 1979 Honda Civic.

But this was no ordinary ’79 Civic because it had not one but two windshields, and two seats and two steering wheels and even two engines.

Oh, and those seats faced in opposite directions. The car can be driven from either seat and either engine. Continue reading

Best of show? 1954 Maserati acclaimed best of the best

1954 Maserati A6GCS53 acclaimed best of concours champions from 2016 | Peninsula Classics photo by Adam Swords
1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 acclaimed best of concours champions from 2016 | Peninsula Classics photo by Adam Swords

The 1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta by Pinin Farina has been selected for the second Peninsula Classics Best of the Best award.

The car, part of the Destriero Collection from Monaco, took the honors as the best concours d’elegance-winning car from the 2016 collector car auto show season. Continue reading

Porsches reign but Ferrari wins at Carmel Concours

A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos
A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos

Porsches, Porsches everywhere. The booming popularity of nearly everybody’s favorite German sports car was powerfully evident Tuesday at the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, California, an event considered to be the launch of Monterey Car Week.

Definitely the most-represented marque by far, Porsches packed the shady streets of the upscale burg – 911s by the score, including many intriguing customs and all-out race cars, plus an impressive collection of the earlier 356 models, with a gaggle of Speedsters, plenty of coupes and cabriolets, and an absolutely stunning 1951 356 coupe in dark maroon, a survivor from the early days of Porsche. Continue reading