What not to miss at Monterey Classic Car Week 2014

Are you heading off to Pebble Beach this week? If not, why not? It’s a week-long celebration of automotive excellence, centred in and around Monterey, California. Here’s what not to miss at this year’s Pebble Beach week…

Concours d’Elegance

The focal point of Pebble Beach week is, of course, the Concours d’Elegance, taking place on Sunday on the famous eighteenth fairway at Pebble Beach golf course, said to be among the best holes in golf. Not only is it one of the world’s most fabulous collections of automobiles, but also one of the most competitive concours around. This year’s event will celebrate Maserati’s centenary, the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, and streamlined Tatras, among others.

Each year, starting on the Saturday of Pebble Beach week, manufacturers display their latest and greatest concepts on the lawn outside the Pebble Beach lodge. Cars set to debut this year include BMW’s Vision Future Luxury Concept and one-off i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition, McLaren’s P1 GTR (as well as MSO editions of the 650S and P1), the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster, and Bugatti’s final ‘Legend’ Veyron Vitesse, honouring the company’s founder Ettore Bugatti. As is the norm at Pebble Beach, expect some surprises.

Tour d’Elegance

Why travel thousands of miles to California to ogle a near-perfect collection of cars sitting still? The Tour d’Elegance takes place on the Tuesday, a scenic 60-mile drive for entrants of the concours proper, twisting through pine forests and traversing nearby mountains and valleys. We’d recommend spectating along Ocean Avenue in Carmel. Interestingly, should there be a tie between cars at the Concours d’Elegance, the vehicle that took part in the Tour would automatically receive the prize.

The Quail, a motorsports gathering

'The Quail' is perhaps the most exclusive automotive garden-party in the world. Held on the rolling greens of the Quail Lodge golf course, the intimate setting is the perfect place to celebrate all things automotive while tucking into some fine food (accompanied by a glass of champagne, or two). Themes this year include, once again, Maserati’s centenary, along with Competition Ford Mustangs, The Great Ferraris and Rock 'n' Roll.

Auction frenzy

As ever, there are auctions aplenty during Pebble Beach week, with some ultra-special consignments heightening the anticipation. Bonhams has stolen the headlines with the news that it will be offering a Ferrari 250 GTO with no reserve. All eyes will be on its Quail Lodge sale on 14 August as the gavel goes down, surely making a new world record in the process. Never one to be outdone, RM Auctions will be offering a Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale, among numerous other important Ferraris, at its sale on 15-16 August, while Rick Cole Auctions (returning to Monterey for the first time in several years) will also be offering a number of significant Ferraris, the highlight of which is a 1955 410 Sport.

Other non-Ferrari headline lots include a Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype, expected to fetch $8-10m, a Porsche 908/3 Spyder and a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’.

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Held at the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a four-day historic motorsport festival which attracts some 550 cars spread across 15 grids. Races feature Pre-1940 Sports-Racing and Touring Cars, Can-Am and Formula Atlantic, and special guests include Sir Stirling Moss and Derek Hill, son of the 1961 Formula One World Champion, Phil.

Photos: Tom O’Neal & Stephan Cooper courtesy Rolex / Kimball Studios, courtesy Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance / Fratelli Auriana Racing