One of my favorite aspects of Monterey Car Week actually isn’t any of the events themselves, but rather just being there. Given that the area is affluent to start with and not all that populous — Carmel has just 3,800 people who can afford to live there for example, and the population of Monterey is only 28,000 — the ratio of interesting cars to boring cars on the road gets tilted pretty quickly.
This is compounded by the weird effect that happens when you see a smattering of fantastic cars at event after event. After several days, or even a few hours sometimes, these amazing cars begin to sort of feel normal. This new normal just continues to get cranked up, until your tolerance for amazing vehicles is many times your usual threshold as you wander around the Pebble Beach Golf Links green or whatever suits your Car Week fancy.
But then, suddenly, you hear the howl of a V12 as its owner nurses the throttle through an intersection, dog hanging casually out the window. Surely a replica, but one doesn’t miss an opportunity to take a photo of a good boy.
You walk around the corner from the event, and more Colombo V12s greet you, sitting calmly and pleasantly in commonplace street parking. I’m not certain if the first car in the lineup is a genuine 250 Testa Rossa, but I do know that the second is a Motorima recreation of a 250 TRI/61 Spider Fantuzzi since it’s currently live on Bring a Trailer. Rounding off the TR trio is the latest Testarossa.
If I had seen these cars at a Concours d’Elegance I probably would have just sort of glossed over them, thinking: ‘Yes, another Ferrari I can’t afford; that’s nice for whoever owns it’. But seeing them here on the street is a different experience.
You realize the elegant proportions of the cars that much more, and their presence is undeniable. The pontoon fenders on the Scaglietti body look particularly outlandish on the street.
But enough about these prancing horses.
Naveed was on the lookout as well, camera in hand as he cruised around to lunch and various events in the Carmel area where he was staying for the week.
He found a nice trio of his own, and looking at this photo in particular I find myself daydreaming about these cars. The BMW E9 is probably more or less stock, it’s safe to assume that 911 has something going on with the chassis and powertrain, and then there’s an R32 Skyline GT-R on TE37s. Each is fantastic in its own way.
I actually thought I spotted the same R32, but the one I saw had an out-of-state plate rather than the registration sticker in the window.
The point is, during Car Week you genuinely don’t know what might drive past you at any given time, or pull up in front of you while you’re having dinner with friends.
There are also plenty of smaller dealerships that open their doors to the public during Car Week, and the right ones are chock-full of stuff worth looking at. This was at a quick stop by Mohr Imports in between events.
It’s not all fancy swanky stuff you see sitting around, either. As time goes on, it seems like more and more genuine car enthusiasts — rather than just rich millionaire collectors — are turning up to more events at Car Week.
On that topic, stay tuned for a quick spotlight on this engine-swapped SW20 MR2 and its owner who drove out from Colorado for Car Week with his friends.
Sure, seeing some of the best cars ever made lined up neatly on a grassy green field will never be a bad way to spend your afternoon. But seeing these cars out in the wild, being enjoyed as they should, is what really gets my blood pumping.
Naveed tends to agree, and plenty more of what we spotted is available below for your viewing pleasure.
Additional Photos by Naveed Yousufzai