19/08/2011 Monterey and Pebble Beach 2011: The action so far...
This year’s feast of fast and financially formidable cars that is Monterey week started in some style, with several Ferrari 250 GTOs taking to the pine-lined bitumen of 17-Mile Drive and Highway One.
They were participating in Thursday’s Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, presented by Rolex, proving once-and-for-all that the priceless, Sunday-concours cars enjoy life on the road as much as they do a genteel day on the 18th fairway at Pebble. Also in the Tour was a stunning selection of machinery from Stuttgart, celebrating Mercedes-Benz and 125 years of the automobile.
In the leading 300SL Roadster were Sir Stirling and Lady Susie Moss, and Mercedes had several examples of the new SLS Roadster running in convoy with the older cars.
Meanwhile, in the salerooms, both RM and Gooding were showing off their multi-million-dollar catalogues, with RM having the pre-War, and significant post-War Mercedes in one room. Over at Pebble Beach, Gooding’s stylish tent on the 'Equestrian Field' was packed with a quality entry headlined by the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
Bonhams’ first day of its double-header Quail Lodge sale was held (full results to follow) and early indications were promising.
On the misty roads of the Peninsula – busy as ever – enthusiasts could be seen behind the wheel of a variety of classics with Porsche the most numerous.
There’s something about a classic 911 that brings out the ‘got to get one’ in all of us, and my feelings are that the older 911s and 356s best sum up the spirit of Californian motoring and all things Monterey.
Full report to follow next week, with all the published auction results as soon as we receive them. And, of course, the small matter of who wins Best in Show on Sunday afternoon.
In the meantime, here's a flavour of the early action at this year's Monterey car week: