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Carmel-by-the-Sea, 11th of August, 2015

Tuesday August 11 ... finally the Monterey car week was kicked off with the first of many events to follow on the way to Pebble Beach Concours Sunday. Unlike most of the other expensive exclusive events the Concours on the Avenue is the free prelude of the car madness attracting locals, surprised visitors and car maniacs. Just a few miles further a complete different event started as well, the private Quail Rally of Sir Michael Kadoorie and friends through the Monterey hinterland on their way to McCall’s airport party tomorrow evening. Several interesting cars old and new were lined up in front of the lodge were the first tents were set up in the meantime for the Motorsport Gathering on Friday. With Ferrari being in the focus at Pebble Beach and the following FCA events a few early examples of the marque with the prancing horse were amongst them including a 250 GT Lusso and Boano, 250 GTB and 500 Superfast as well as a Daytona. Bentley Motors again showed their support to the Quail events with new cars and the works demonstrator Bentley Blower brought over from the UK. After setting up the cars for the group shot and a quick breakfast the tour left the lodge for the two days tour.

Meantime the first cars were lined up at Carmel for the concours, again a very colourful mix of American, German and Italian cars. Although even some of the Porsche and Ferrari are noisy the placid city by the sea was awaken when the Shelby Mustangs arrived from the nearby Laguna Seca racetrack. With them came the sun as the morning was foggy as usual in the Monterey bay.
Over the next hour the cars were set up on the main street and a few side streets and the judges started their work in the different classes. In the last couple of years the Concours on the Avenue became more and more a place to show the Porsche 356 and early 911 with several classes of the different eras. Although they look very much equal to those not too much in the history of the models the line-up even included very rare versions like the 356 Carrera GT.

Ferrari as well had a class on its own highlighted by a 400 Superamerica, 275 GTB and 250 GT Lusso as well as the 250 GT Series II Cabriolet and the Daytona. Unfortunately the Concours on the Avenue is not the place to see one of the early coach built Ferrari anymore but there should be plenty of opportunities to see them the following days.

At the end of the day it was an Italian car to take the top laurels at the Avenue with the small Cisitalia 202 MM taking Best of Show. Back in its active racing days the car came home second in its class at the Mille Miglia and the car did proudly show its stickers from the historic MM of 2000.

When the Cisitalia was set up with the other class winners, the first cars already left the field as usual.

Tomorrow the auction previews will start with RM, Gooding and Bonhams showing their multi-million line-up for the first day. Auctions itself will start on Thursday with RM Sotheby´s Pinnacle Collection. Meanwhile the Mustangs will be lined up at the Laguna Seca annual group shot before people head over to the McCall airport reception to end the second day of the car week in style.

Text & images … Peter Singhof