The laid-back Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours on the Avenue once again led off the events of Monterey Classic Car Week with 18 blocks of the California coastal town closed off for all but the most-wonderful old cars.
Thousands of spectators packed the tree-lined streets of Ocean Avenue and side streets for close-up looks at about 175 collectors vehicles, including loads of rare and valuable Ferraris and vintage Porsches along with a prize selection of Corvettes; Shelby Cobras and GT350s; Ford, Chevy GM and Chrysler muscle cars; pickup trucks; hot rods and customs; a selection of VW-powered Meyers Manx dune buggies; and many more.
The Best of Show winner was an ultra-rare exotic, a 1947 Cisitalia 202 MM Berlinetta owned by Phil White of Portola Valley, California. The small, stylish competition coupe with its elegantly boatlike back end and covered rear wheel wells was a standout among the strong selection of European classics.
Giovanni Savonuzzi is credited with the stunning design of the Cisitalia’s body built on Fiat running gear with a 1,100 cc dry-sump inline-4 engine fed by two Weber carburetors. The car raced in the 1947 Mille Miglia, finishing second in class and third overall.
Much of the charm of the Carmel concours, which is free for spectators, is its lovely setting. According to the concours’ website, “Carmel-by-the Sea’s whimsical architectural (was) inspired by Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for children’s fairy tales.”
The Carmel concours would be reason enough to visit the stylish California area, but it is only the beginning of a weeklong extravaganza of classic car events, crowded with concours, car shows, six collector-car auctions and historic racing leading up to the world-famous, 65th annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Photos by Bob Golfen