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Carmel-by-the-Sea, August 16th, 2011

The Concours on the Avenue in Carmel is the first of several events held in the week prior to the Pebble Beach concours. What started many years ago (in the 1950s) with just one event became a busy week some call the “Monterey Madness”. A newer part in the calender is the Concours in Carmel on Tuesday that was first held in 2007 by the Ocean Avenue Motor Club as a by-invitation-only multi-marque gathering with a focus on Porsche and Ferrari.

Carmel-by-the-Sea became known on this side of the ocean when Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood became mayor of the town for a short period in the mid-1980s. Carmel is a small gem with white sand beach separated from the nearby Pebble Beach grounds by the “Carmel gate” between Carmel Way and the famous 17-miles Drive. In the beginning of the 20th century Carmel became a colony for artists when the town was planned in typical American chequered pattern with a main street (today Ocean Ave) marked by a row of cypress trees. The small Victorian style houses of the time still shape the appearance of the center as the construction of new and the renovation of existing houses is strictly regulated. Today the picturesque Ocean Avenue is the perfect location for this public concours to start the week.

Being dependent from sponsorship due to the missing entrance fees last years event had to be cut short to a small meeting but this year it was back at old strength with a display ranging 4 blocks on the main street and a few side streets. The cars were grouped by marque or theme in front of the shops under the trees where the owners sat on white chairs waiting for the jury to come by. The concours officially started at 11 am so the first cars arrived well before 10 o´clock but the preparation is not that extensive so the owners also had the time to look at the other cars.

As mentioned above a focus of the event is traditionally on Porsche and Ferrari. There are not many marques that attract so many people all over the world as these two names do and especially the Porsche family is huge in North America. The classes featured the street version ranging from the early 356 to the 911 from the 1970s. One rarely sees so many Speedsters lined up either with standard pushrod engine or the rarer 4-cam Carrera version. What was missing that day was one of the few America Roadsters build for the American market but it was soon replaced by the Speedster. Because of the costs of the shipping and import in the US the Speedster with its cheaper top and spartan interior was intended to cut the costs for the new market and just as the Ferrari California Spider these versions are today the most sought after. Later the Speedster was replaced by the so called Convertible D (D for “Drauz” were the car was build) with a slightly higher front window frame and wind up side windows and even later (with the 356B) by the Roadster. The display of 356 had several B and C type Cabriolets and Coupés but one of the class winners was a rare Continental model. The American version of the 356 was called Continental in 1955 but a lawsuit of Ford (who wanted to keep the name for a Lincoln model) prevented the use after that year.

The other featured marque with classes on its own was Ferrari. On one side of the street seven 365 GTB/4 Daytona were lined up, all in red except on example in yellow, on the other side a class featured the 275 GTB. In a mixed class a pair of 330 both as coupé and cabriolet were put together with the 250 GT range that was represented by a 1960 GT SWB and a Lusso plus a duo of Boanos. Whereas the first one (0553GT) had a standard bodywork the second one (0461GT) was a one-off that was once Geneva, Torino and New York Show car before it was acquired by the present owner. With its tail fins and many unique features and details (just to mention the indicators to start the side line) and the fact that Robert Lee once bought this car directly from Enzo Ferrari impressed the jury and it was no surprise that this highly important example became Best of Show.

As this year is the 50th anniversary of the legendary Jaguar E- Type it was obvious to have some Jaguar classes as well. Beside the E-Type itself the XK range was present with XK120, XK140 and XK150 either in open and closed form. A few more British cars could be seen spread out over the field including a Bentley 41/2 Litre tourer, a Continental R or a Austin A90 Atlantic Cabriolet, a car that is rarely seen at a concours.

Other European classics included a very early Maserati 3500 GT, a Lamborghini Miura, a Lancia Aurelia B24 and an ASA 1600 GT. An Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS with Ghia Special body was brought by Bill Noon of Symbolic Motor Car. The car is currently for sale there and was seen again the following Friday at the Concorso Italiano.

But not just European car were displayed in Carmel. Several classes featured a wide range of American car culture, starting with a Woody as used in the 1950s to carry surfboard to the nearby beach, other classes featured the hot rod culture and Muscle cars. Crowd pullers were a pair of Plymouth, a viper green Barracuda and a Roadrunner whose rear spoiler made those of the Ferrari F40 look small. The road cruisers with lot of chrome and intense colours gave a lot of photo opportunities for the many visitors.

The Concours on the Avenue was a great start of the week and one can hope that the difficulties of the last years are history and that it becomes a tradition over the next years. For many of the visitors this is the only opportunity to look at the cars beside the crowded Pebble Beach Tour stop in Carmel as most of the other events are not affordable for normal families with kids. What is very refreshing to see is the fact that even on the crowded road the cars were treated with respect and that owners of more expensive cars do not have to worry about that.
The next Concours on the Avenue should be again on Tuesday before the third weekend in August 2012.

Report&Images Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de

Concours on the Avenue Entries
AC Cobra s/n CSX7041
Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS Ghia Special 1955
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato Spider s/n 10814344
Allard J2
ASA 1000 GT Spider s/n 11042 1966
Austin Atlantic Convertible 1949
Austin Healey 100M 1956
Avia MK3 Monoposto Streamliner 1956
Bardahl Special
Bentley 4 1/2 Litre s/n HF3177 1928
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback 1955
BMW 3.0 CSL 1973
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 1969
Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396
Chevrolet Corvette Roadster 1960
Chrysler Ghia GS-1 Special Coupe 1954
DeSoto Adventurer Hardtop Coupe 1959
DKW 3=6 Kombi
Dodge Coronet 500 2-door convertible 1966
Ferrari 246 GTS Dino
Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible s/n 0461GT 1956
Ferrari 250 GT SWB s/n 1905GT 1960
Ferrari 275 GTB/4 s/n 10583 1967
Ferrari 330 GTS s/n 10719 1967
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona 1971
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 14265 1971
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 15425
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 16333 1972
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona s/n 16963
Ford Coupe 1938
Ford Deluxe Coupe 1940
Ford Galaxie 500XL
Ford V8 Roadster Pickup 1932
Jaguar C-Type Rep. s/n 1150040N
Jaguar E-Type 1963
Jaguar E-Type 1965
Jaguar E-Type Cabriolet
Jaguar XK140 FHC 1955
Jaguar XK140 OTS 1955
Jaguar XK150 DHC 1958
Kaiser Darrin Roadster 1954
Karmann Ghia Typ 14
Lamborghini Miura P400 s/n 3342 1968
Lancia Aurelia B24 Convertible 1956
Lincoln Premier 2-door Convertible 1956
Lola T70 MK2 Spider s/n SL71/34 1966
March C84 Indy Car 1984
Maserati 3500 GT Prototype s/n 101124
McLaren M6B s/n 50-17 1969
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing s/n 198.040.5500223
Mercury Monterey
MG Arnolt Bertone Cabriolet
Nash Healey Convertible 1953
Packard 1958
Packard Caribbean Convertible 1956
Plymouth Barracuda Convertible 1971
Plymouth Road Runner Superbird 1970
Porsche 356 B Roadster 1961
Porsche 356 B Super 90 1960
Porsche 356 C Coupe
Porsche 356 Carrera 2 GS 2000 1962
Porsche 356 Continental 1955
Porsche 356 Convertible D
Porsche 356 Pre-A Cabriolet
Porsche 911 Carrera line-up
Porsche 911 Carrera RS
Porsche 911 S 1968
Porsche 911 S Targa 1973
Porsche 911 Targa T Softwindow 1968
Porsche 911 Turbo 1988
Porsche 912 1966
Rene Bonnet DJET 1963
Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4-door sport saloon 1952
Shelby Cobra 427 SC s/n CSX4818 1965
Tatra 603 1957
Toyota 2000 GT 1967
Volkswagen Beetle 1960
Volkswagen Microbus 1958
Volvo P1800