Monterey Car Week: En Route & Spotting Cars in Carmel

Last Wednesday we managed to sneak away from the hustle & bustle of salon life & jet set our way to San Fransisco, only to begin the annual pilgrimage to what many claim is the ultimate epicenter of automotive prestige.

From Monterey to Carmel & through the hills and valleys that surround them it would seem that one can see a broader spectrum of motor vehicles than anywhere in the world, not counting Monaco of course. It’s one of the few places where you might find yourself admiring a street lined with the latest & greatest offerings from Ferrari or Lamborghini, only to be distracted by the rumbling of 15+ original Shelby Cobras parading down the road behind you. Just when you think you’ve seen something fast, you see something faster. What was once considered expensive, desirable, or even a rare sighting quickly becomes commonplace & as average as a standard issue Prius as the appeal to automotive posterity grows stronger by the minute.

We began in SF with a caravan of vehicles both owned & rented alike, loaded to their roofs with luggage and camera gear. Leading the charge to Monterey was the rather blurple eGarage RWB Porsche, followed closely by the extra raspy eG Range Rover Sport & our brushed black Nissan Sentra GT-R Spec II Nür. We would love to show you pictures of that last one, but unfortunately it’s rarity is so highly priced that Hertz Rent-a-Car would have our heads if we shared it in all its glory.

At the very least, a rolling shot of the RWB looking extra wide ought to suffice.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach eG RWB rollingNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we knew we were in for a spectacular weekend. The lot & garage was already filling up with an assortment of vehicles that had made their way via the Italian Stampede, including a brand new Gallardo Super Trofeo from Cats Exotics. We also noticed something very orange tucked away in a back corner, which turned out to be one of the few street legal Radical SR3s in the US, owned & piloted by DC Motors.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Radical SR3 DC MotorsNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

After a hard night of unpacking and enjoying a few libations with the Lamborghini Club, we awoke to the sound of roaring engines of all shapes and sizes getting ready for another beautiful day on the coast. Since we didn’t have too much on the schedule beyond rounding up our  credentials for the week’s upcoming events, we decided to hit Carmel for a bit of car spotting & a sneak preview of what might make its way to the lawns of Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Evidently, everyone in town had the same idea we had, and finding street parking was almost impossible amongst the incredibly tight neighborhood twisties & prized automobiles. After a few parade laps of our own, we lucked out and managed to park just downwind of a stunning red Mclaren MP4-12c (flanked only by a ravishing minivan in a similar color — perhaps the owners are track pals?)

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Mclaren MP4-12cNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

As we walked closer to the center of town, things only got better. Vintage Porsche after vintage Porsche, in every spec imaginable from the most cared for & corralled road-goers to purpose built track machines sporting classic liveries.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PorscheNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PorscheNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PorscheNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PorscheNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Porsche CarreraNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Surprisingly enough, we didn’t see too much muscle lurking about, but there was a rather pristine GT350.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach GT350NorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Even the childhood favorite Radio Flyer car made an appearance!

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Radio FlyerNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

The closer we got to the crowds, the more classics we saw. It seemed like a lot of vehicles that would make it on the lawns of Pebble were already enjoying eyes on the streets of Carmel, and it was a beautiful thing. Everyone young & old was wandering about, cameras & iPads at the ready for any photo op that might come along. As the day progressed, the crowds grew larger and it became almost like a game to snap off a shot before someone wandered into frame!

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach CadillacNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Nothing is out of place in Carmel. Even for a newer “classic,” this Cadillac was right at home parked in front of a boutique only a few car lengths away from a row of Shelby Cobra replicas.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Shelby Daytona ReplicaNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Surprisingly enough, the Shelby Daytona coupe replica didn’t draw as much of a crowd as the Cobras did.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach FerrariNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

It’s hard not to admire vintage Ferrari lettering!

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Mercedes 300SLNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Lots of vehicles were sporting a headlamp sticker with what looked to be a Concours d’Elegance registration number denoting where one might later find them during Sunday’s festivities.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Interiors: they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Some of the older models didn’t even make it out to the main drags, but instead were tucked away among the small lots and side streets or sitting care free in a driveway.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach Porsche 356NorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

This uniquely rare Rivera Blue Porsche 356 on red hides easily could have been closer to the action, but too was hanging out of the way. Perhaps the front leather bra on the front is a testament to it being driven to Carmel, and thus it’s occupants were out seeking the same excitement on the packed streets as we were, hoping to slip away before traffic backed up to the freeways.

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Monterey Car Weekend Carmel Pebble Beach PreviewNorthWest Auto Salon Pebble Beach Monterey Car weekend

Cards full and bellies grumbling for sustenance, we loaded back in the rental and headed back to the hotel for a bit of relaxing before a long day of viewing some of Italy’s finest at Concorso Italiano. For a more behind the scenes look at the action & more of what you may have missed, be sure to follow Blake & NWAS on instagram!

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