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Monterey, 12th of August, 2015

Now with the Monterey car week past for a little bit more than two weeks it is time to look back at some of the smaller events during these action packed days at the Monterey Peninsula. Certainly the big Concours of Pebble Beach, the Concorso Italiano and the Quail Motorsport Gathering are well in the media but there are a few more events to visit in between. Since the booming market of classic cars drew more and more cars on auction to Monterey there is a sale almost every evening starting up on Thursday with RM but for those not interested in buying there are several public and private parties to spend the evening instead. Many manufacturers have dinner receptions for their clients, some auction houses have pre-sale parties and countless of smaller parties are going on in the rented of private houses in the area. As most of them are purely on invitation this leaves room for a big party at the nearby Monterey Airport and for more than 2 decades the McCall Motorworks Revival on Wednesday evening takes this role perfectly.

Just like the many other events ticket prices are not for the faint-hearted with pre-sales prices of about 350 Dollars for a cocktail reception but the amount of visitors every year shows that there are enough reasons to come back every year. Just like other Jet Center Parties during car shows this is the perfect opportunity to bring together all the small and big toys for the wealthy visitors attract desires in a very relaxed atmosphere over a few glasses of champagne and oysters tasting. Obviously this is very much the market for the smaller and exclusive brands as over the last years the amount of large manufacturers is getting less with this year neither Maserati, Ferrari nor Mercedes-Benz had one of their usual spacious booths leaving the car market to Pagani, Shelby American and Singer. Apart from the booths several cars old and new were spread out in between the modern Jets, nice biplanes and WWII war birds leaving enough impressions for all those interested. But being a social event certainly the main focus is not on the cars but the whole experience with elegant dressed people having a chat with a nice glass of wine over the adventures since last year’s Revival, new toys in the garage or jewelry box as also watch manufacturers like Baume & Mercier or jewelers present their goods to the wealthy clientele, often with a link to classic cars.

After opening the gates at 5 pm the two hangars and the space in front starts to fill up after all the attending guest managed the annual parking mess and those used to that happily took the parking lots further away arriving with the provided shuttle busses. After the first welcome drink at the gate people start to explore the area before Gordon McCall officially opens the party followed by the obligatory singing of the National Anthem. Over the next hours there is a permanent come&go, many of the European visitors arrive a little bit later not being used to the early hours of American receptions whereas the first American visitors leave by time to go to dinner. But well until the dusk the place is very busy and one could meet lot of interesting people talking to old friends and making new ones. Much talk is about the upcoming shows and especially the auctions as not few wonder where the journey will lead over this weekend. With record consignments in access of half a billion dollars a lot of money is expected to change hands and the development of the market is well observed by many. Now with the knowledge of today one can say that both the fear of a stagnation was as unfounded as the hopes of countless new records. Although apparently this was the first year without increase to the previous in terms of total sales the good cars still draw a lot of money but the mid class range settle a little bit after the rush of the previous years.

Apart from the “permanent” exhibits like the annual display of the Petersen Museum of Los Angeles introducing the new Ford GT40 planned for 2016 alongside one of the 1966 Le Mans entered GT40 MKII and the road going MKIII to illustrate the string between road and track the arrival of the Quail Rally gave some extra entertainment. Sir Michael Kadoorie’s private rally starting the day before at the Quail Lodge arrived at its final destination at the Jet Aviation Center and even those watching them taking off on Tuesday were surprised about the cars arriving as apparently some have changed their transport during these days. Kadoorie himself arrived in style with the 166 MM Touring Barchetta as one of the oldest Ferrari standing next to the latest Supercar, the LaFerrari in elegant grey metallic. Bentley Motors brought their Blower Bentley, the 1930 Works Demonstrator (SM3917). Another highlight of the evening was the GM Futureliner, a futuristic parade vehicle built just before the war and used to the year 1956 to demonstrate the new technology all around the country. Just built at about one dozen examples the last one for sale was at this year’s Barrett & Jackson auction in Arizona achieving more than 4 mio $ from the Pratt Collection. Several of the other cars on show should be seen the following days on the various other events around.

If one has to make a conclusion about the Motorworks Revival one has to mention the lack of the major manufacturers as it seems that the public relation departments do not see enough potential buyers to justify another booth at another location. Ferrari for example seemed to support less events this year and set up their own Casa Ferrari to welcome customers at south of Carmel-by-the-Sea during the days, Mercedes-Benz again was big at Pebble Beach as one of the sponsors.

But there is still a lot to see and the atmosphere is great so if you consider joining the fun next year make sure you order your tickets well in advance.

For further information visit www.McCallevents.com

Text & images … Peter Singhof