The Real Legends Of Legends
Cash Money

Legends of the Autobahn went above and beyond to make sure that their event could be held this year during Monterey Car Week. Twice.

With permits secured for the Carmel Valley Community Park back in April, the organizers had plenty of hoops to jump through with local police and fire departments as well as the country regarding fire safety, public safety, and Covid regulations.

Everything was going fine until, less than a week before the event, it wasn’t.


The idea was to descend on Carmel Valley Village for a morning and to display in excess of 300 German cars – besides Porsches – at the community park and throughout some of the village streets. This would be a huge boon for the local businesses, and I just want to touch on that side of Car Week for a brief moment.


Look at the numbers prepared in 2014, which I would assume were already fairly conservative estimates for seven years ago (and during a recession). These car-centric events have only grown in popularity since then, and the figures in this report suggest that more than $50,000,000 would be spent in the area as a direct result of Car Week events. On top of this, that’s approximately $4.8 million in taxes generated to benefit California and the local counties. Naturally, the full $50M+ is reaching the entire community and small business owners via the extra hours, overtime, deliveries and what have you associated with the extra traffic, staffing, and revenue for local businesses.


Legends of the Autobahn was looking to relocate from their usual golf course at the Pasadera country club and spread some of that love up the valley away from the coast. It’s a fantastic drive to get there, too, and this just seemed like such a win-win for everyone. But some disagreed.

Locals Only

You know the story… Person moves into a house located approximately four-feet from a racetrack, then complains about noise from said racetrack.


It’s a story we’ve all heard before, one we’ve covered before on Speedhunters, and one that will surely merit coverage again when another storied facility can no longer allow cars to go ‘round because some people signed up to be the racetrack’s neighbors and then decided they changed their minds.


What happened to Legends of the Autobahn immediately before 2021’s Monterey Car Week is a different brand of this.


Don’t get me wrong; I deeply appreciate the Monterey area and its residents for everything they do to support and promote the tradition of Car Week and ensure that it continues for more generations to enjoy. Yet at the same time, there are those who choose instead to oppose the joy that such events bring tens (now hundreds?) of thousands of people who travel from all around the state, country, and globe to be there. Not to mention, again, the millions of dollars these car people spend at and around these events, which most directly benefits the people living in these communities.


This time it was residents in Carmel Valley who acted via the Carmel Valley Association to launch (in a statement issued by a Legends’ organizer stated that the CVA) “a campaign to stop Legends from ‘destroying’ the rural character of the valley.”

Locals Only

Now I’ve spent enough time on the outskirts of town to appreciate – if not fully understand – the advantages of a country lifestyle. Things move at a different pace; you wave to your neighbors, you bring cookies when someone new moves in. You drive slow, you shoot guns, you run chainsaws, the almond shakers clatter around and make a ridiculous racket as they harvest nuts, you bounce off the rev limiter on your two-stroke… Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound entirely peaceful. That’s because while much of the time it is, a lot of the time it isn’t. And that’s the point.


There aren’t regulations around sound or the time you can do certain work like there is in a city. The police aren’t uptight about lowered cars or a hot cam in your straight-piped V8, and you have certain freedoms that you just don’t get to enjoy the same way in an urban area. So what better kind of place to have thousands of people with thick wallets and expensive cars visit for a long morning?


The locals just weren’t having it, though, and as Monterey County Now reported, the CVA went so far as to publish information about Legends in its newsletter under the heading “Lock Your Doors!”


This sort of odd fear mongering is not only out of place, but entirely inappropriate. I find it unlikely that anyone taking hours, days, and even weeks in some cases out of their lives to attend events like these has ‘robbery’ on their would-be-nice-if-we-could-fit-it-in list for Monterey. This isn’t to say that the locals had some valid concerns, like where everyone would park, or what might happen in an emergency like a fire on the jammed roadways.


Except – and I’m just playing devil’s advocate here – there’s a proper two-lane highway with large shoulders for emergencies leading in and out of the area. And when the park inevitably overflows, cars will indeed have to use public street parking. Doesn’t seem like the end of the world.

Still, at a local meeting held via Zoom, “Residents wailed that outsiders were going to invade ‘their’ park and ‘their’ village.” As the author in the above article notes, these are in fact public areas. Plus, it’s not like it would be a permanent change to anyone’s lifestyle. This would only be for half a day or so. Further, Legends went out of their way to jump through all of the appropriate hoops with the local authorities well ahead of time.

Legends Only

It’s not like this is a big greedy cash grab from the organizers either; the show is entirely free for spectators.


So it’s just a shame that such a community-driven event that could have benefitted so many was met with such resistance.


But I digress. Legends of the Autobahn managed to find a new space for the event and jump through all the necessary hoops again in under a week. The show was relocated to the Monterey County Fairgrounds, and although it might not have been the ideal venue, they certainly made the best of it.


Hats off to all of the volunteers and members of BMW Club of America, Mercedes-Benz Club of America, and Audi Club North America who got together to pull this off. Twice.

Trevor Ryan
Instagram: trevornotryan

Additional Photos by Sara Ryan
Instagram: pokowockosara



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Damn! How big is Monterey? It looks like Bimmerfest West. Nice old stool BMWS. How come no better pics of the race car? My dad's cousin had 250 SL hardtop convertible and a black 190E AMG Hammer. Old German rides are incredible! I've got one myself.


Those new BMWs look completely ridiculous, what the hell were they thinking.


As i read before somewhere i can't remember: " at this rate the advertisment of shampoo will be banned to not offend the bald people".
Props to the guys going the proper hard way twice, if i was in charge i would havr gone mad and suggested to go 1 night to that area with a couple of hundreds of straight piped vehicles and made their nightmare true.
As much as i love the classic exotics and rare cars, i think this type of shows of once affordable now classic timeless cars is more healthy.


The 'Fun Police' are everywhere. People should be made to sign something to acknowledge noise etc where they are moving to. It happens to pubs and nightclubs too. I even knew of a person who moved into a Rectory and then made a noise complaint about the church bells FFS! They have been ringing them for over 500 years! Glad the show went ahead, and well done to all the hard work the people put in.


Not to sound like a suck up, but I agree with you, especially since the last year or so has been challenging for everyone and to be able to get out and safely meet up is not only important to our mental health, it's also a big benefit to local and state economies. There's a commercial on the tv asking people to stay in California for their vacation, to help California's economy. It's understandable also that people have concerns about what's going on in their neighborhood, but that's what local officials are for. They are there to insure as much as possible that things go off with no issues.


I even can not say what am I looking.
But how big is Monterey?
And it is a event like Bimmertest west.
Well......Because I didn't see much of Mercedes(Because there are uncountable BMWs).


Can you find this writer on the site?


In Belgium people buy houses near Brussels airport only to then form an action group against the noise of airplanes. These groups are often just loud enough to force the issue with local politicians. What politicians should really be doing is tell these people to move elsewhere. I mean, land and properties are often cheaper than elsewhere but take 2 guesses why that is.

Politicians are cultivating this sort of behaviour by giving in to it.


I used to live near an air base, the high-pitched noise does get deafening at times. I didn't complain though, part and parcel.
Now I live somewhat near a commercial airport, I kinda enjoy the low bassy sounds they make. Makes me think of holidays.


California what a shit hole..
Nice cars though


Good to see a bit of old and new here at this show
This is a big one!


in times like these, if only we could just give these unreasonable locals the finger and tell them to bend over... Too bad we can't. Props to Legends for racing against time to rectify all the issues though, their patience is amazing.


In my opinion it is ridiculous that a community with a history of that caliber in Car Weeks opposes such beauty.