Who’s to say when Monterey car week kicks off? It could be with the practice runs for the race cars at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, an event that used to be called the Prehistorics as it was held the weekend before the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (which used to be called the Historics). It could be with Saturday, August 7th’s annual race car show on Alvarado Street put on by the same group that brings you the Motorsports Reunion. Or it could be with Tuesday’s annual Carmel Concours on the Avenue, shown here. The event is appreciated by thousands, who stroll among the cars parked on Carmel’s Ocean Avenue—for free. It’s all free, one of the great events open to all during Auto Week.
We gathered the thoughts of a few friends and here we present some of our favorites from the 175 or so cars that crammed onto Ocean Avenue in the fairy tale town of Carmel-by-the-Sea the Tuesday of Monterey Auto Week.
This ASA 1000 GT was the favorite car of friend and collector Mike Baum, who knows cool European cars. “An immensely pretty and fun car, it had its origins when Ferrari played with the idea of introducing a baby Ferrari at a more economical price point. The prototype engines were essentially sliced off four-cylinders from the Colombo engines (from a 212 first, then for the 250). And this engine is a small marvel that produces 100 horsepower out of only 1032cc (Horsepower figure is likely a bit opportunistic but still impressive). When Enzo decided against building it as Ferrari, he asked a good friend to produce the car. That’s how the company ASA (Autocostruzioni Società per Azioni) was born. A young (Giorgetto) Giugiaro at Bertone designed the car in an impossibly elegant, small package. The initial plans were lofty and Ferrari and ASA planned on 3,000-5,000 units per year. However only about 100 (nobody know the exact number for sure) were built between 1964 and 1965.”
A Devin is one of the cars you don’t normally see anywhere outside of Concours on the Avenue. I asked friend and auto industry veteran Fred Aikins what he thought of it. It was the first car he saw at the show. “First up was this stunning late-50s Devin-Porsche roadster. According to the owner, this was one of the few (25 or so) factory-built Devin-Porsches. Subsequent examples were sold as kits so as not to run afoul of Porsche AG. I spoke with the owner briefly, who was impressed that I immediately identified it as a Devin-Porsche (hint: the Porsche wheel hubs are a dead giveaway). Neat car!”
1967 Porsche 910-04. This particular 910 has raced all over the world, originally piloted by Jo Siffert and Hans Hermann, and most recently at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport reunion.
A very rare Matra-Bonnet Djet. Our friend Fred Aikins talked with the owner, who said there are only about 12 of these cool little sports cars in the US. Power comes from a mid-mounted, 1.1-liter Renault-Gordini four-cylinder engine.
Fiberfab Jamaican with an Austin Healy underneath.
Ferrari 275 GTB.
914s continue to go up in value, but not so far up that they’re unobtainable. Still in the lower half of the five-digits, almost all under $50,000, most under 10k, depending on condition.
Porsches made up 1/3 of the categories at Carmel.
Woodies are always popular at Carmel.
Butterscotch is my favorite flavor.
The Porsches rolled in around noon with a California Highway Patrol escort all the way from the race track at Laguna Seca.
There were a lot of them.
Classic Ford Thunderbird.
Shelby Mustang GT350R.
This Deux Chevaux was driven all the way from Minnesota.
Here’s a Ferrari Lusso. Our friend Fred Aikins says, “For me, these two stunning Ferraris (the 365 GTB being the other) represent the zenith of the Ferrari-Pininfarina design partnership. Anyone who knows me knows that I consider the 250 GT Lusso to be the quintessential sports car shape, lithe yet powerful. It’s first on my ‘if I win the lottery’ list. Simply gorgeous, and with a 3.0-liter V12, too! And that color? Bellissimo!”
Porsche power, the early years.
Best of Show went to this beautiful 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 CSS Supergioiello by Ghia owned by Johnathan Segal.
Our friend Fred Aikins picked this as a favorite. “If you like French curves, this is your car—a Delahaye 135 coupe with body by French coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi. Stunning! A Delahaye 135 like this features prominently in Neal Bascomb’s fine book Faster.”
BMW 3.0 CS (E9).
Fred liked this Aston, too. “Always a classic design, especially in a ‘proper’ color like British Racing Green, this lovely Aston-Martin DB5 caught my eye. The big 4.0-liter inline-six engine produces 280-plus horsepower.”
1966 Jaguar Mk2.
Prices for the original vans—up to the 1967 model year—can easily hit six figures, especially for perfectly restored models like this one.
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