Monterey Car Week is one of the largest automotive enthusiast gatherings in the world.
Whether it’s hunting speed during RMMR, carspotting around the streets of Monterey, or even getting your bougie on at The Quail, you’ll likely find something that piques your interest throughout the week-long event. But the premise of the week revolves around one main event – The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
In years prior, I’ve spent my time at the Concours covering anything and everything interesting scattered around the rolling hills of the Pebble Beach Golf Links. This year however, I decided to take a different approach with my coverage by focusing on the cars that really stood out and made an impression on me. Partly because the event wasn’t anywhere near as large scale as it usually is, but also because I think you’ll find the following highlighted cars and classes a bit more relatable than seeing countless pre-war machines that seem to have some level of prestige, but that I personally wouldn’t be able to elaborate on.
That being said, on to Dawn Patrol.
Dawn Patrol is a tradition that’s been taking place at the Concours d’Elegance since the 1970s. According to their website, the tradition started with Don Williams, who took great pride in being the first competitor out on the field. But by the end of decade, he was faced with other competitors who wished to challenge him, such as Bob Atwell, who once drove by Don’s hotel room at 3:30am revving his engine to make a statement that he wouldn’t be beaten. It was a friendly competition between comrades, which eventually grew in numbers over the years and is now one of the best parts of the event. So with about an hour of sleep in the books, I woke up at 4:00am and made my way to the golf course by the sea for the roll in.
This was the first time I decided to take part in Dawn Patrol, but it’s surely going to be one of my must-attend aspects of Car Week from now on. As we know, these priceless works of art are a pleasure to see on display, but seeing them in motion – even if it’s just at parking lot speeds – induces a different type of excitement.
Speaking of art, this 1966 Ferrari 365 P won my heart over during the show. I couldn’t tell you much about its significance, but what I can say is that from a design perspective, this car was outright perfection. The proportions, the sleek design, and let’s not dismiss that crazy center driving position all tied together so well. And the fact that it wasn’t red made it all the better. It’s as if someone took a Dino and scaled it up in all the right areas, accentuating those beautiful curves and lines to a lust-worthy level of perfection.
As noted on some of our other coverage, the main theme around town this year seemed to be a celebration of the Lamborghini Countach, and the folks at Pebble Beach certainly set the par with their display. From early narrow-body cars, to the final form prior to its discontinuance, there was a Countach for everyone. My personal favorite was the purple car owned by Simon Kidston.
Another favorite of mine was this 1969 Ferrari 512 S. Being chassis #1004, it was the second made of just 25 cars total, and was once driven by legendary drivers Jacky Ickx and Peter Schetty. This 512 S also happened to be the winner of this years Gran Turismo award, which I would have to attest was well deserved.
While there were dozens upon dozens of other interesting cars out on the lawn, I’ll conclude the coverage with the one section that caused quite the scene amongst attendees – the 917K class. These cars most definitely don’t need an introduction, as they’re likely one of the most famous groups of race cars to ever exist. And at $20m a piece, seeing 13 of them parked together in one place made the entirety of the event all the worthwhile. From the ever-so-famous Gulf cars that once clocked in 224.4mph on the Mulsanne straight, to the less-recognized Donohue-driven 917 Can-Am car, the iconic Porsche model was very well represented.
Overall, this year’s Monterey Car Week was another one for the books. It’s always a pleasure being able to get out there and cover as much as I can for you all to enjoy, but I have to say, nothing compares to physically being there in person. So if you can find a way to make the time to come out, even if it’s just for a day, I would encourage it. There’s no other week-long gathering that celebrates motorsport the way Monterey does. So with that said, I hope to see some of you there next year.
That’s it for my coverage of Car Week 2021, but stay tuned for a final story from Sara, where she’ll be uncovering the most affordable ways to enjoy yourself in Monterey.