Glamorous Pebble Beach may be the overwhelming star of Monterey Car Week, but don’t feel sorry at all for the nearby community of Pacific Grove, even if the ocean views aren’t nearly as spectacular along the village’s section of the famed 17 Mile Drive
It costs large to go to Pebble Beach, whether you’re preparing a car for the concours d’elegance, renting a room at the Lodge, or even just buying an admission ticket for the concours — and that’s after you’ve paid the entry fee just to drive on the precious but indeed panoramic Pebble portion of 17 Mile Drive.
But there are no fees to get to downtown Pacific Grove, where the main street — Lighthouse Avenue — temporarily is blocked off for several blocks for two free car shows during the week. On Wednesday, it was the seventh annual Little Car Show, staged by Marina Motorsports. Friday, it’s the 22nd annual Pacific Grove concours and auto rally, hosted by the local Rotary Club.
The Little Car Show is open only to 100 cars, which must have been produced before 1992 and be empowered by engines of 1,601cc or less. The cars, according to the organizers, may be micro, mini or “arcane.”
Whatever the rules, the show is a delight, featuring pocket-sized rides from various automakers.
The event is staged by Marina Motorsports, founded in 1995 by five car enthusiasts “to provide family oriented automotive related activities while benefiting local service clubs, other non-profit organizations and the City of Marina.”
Interesting to note that the show isn’t held in Marina, which is south of Monterey, but out on the end of the peninsula at Pacific Grove. However, it seems most of the Marina group’s activities are held in its hometown, at Marina Municipal Airport, the former Fort Ord (military base) Fritschle Field. Activities there include go-kart races, autocrosses, swap meets and a full calendar driving schools, many of them staged for law enforcement officers.
Oh, and the field, located north of the Laguna Seca race track, also is where the local Naval Postgraduate School has its drone-pilot training base.
Photos by Larry Edsall