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Carmel, 12th of August, 2014

After the Pre-Reunion at Laguna Seca finally the Classic Car week in Monterey was kicked off with two very different events. Early in the morning the private tour of Sir Michael Kadoorie was started at the Quail Lodge golf course where the Motorsport Gathering will be held on Friday. Usually Kadoorie and several of his close friends use the calmer first days of the week for a small tour in the hinterland of Monterey and the nearby wineries to have a relaxed tour and taste some wine and good food along the road. At about 8 o´clock the cars were lined up at the driving range in front of the Lodge for the departure on its way to the final destination at the McCall party on Wednesday evening, among them the oldest surviving Bentley 3 Litre. The experimental chassis was used by Bentley Motors to test the new three Litre Engine that should be base for the success of the company with no less than 5 victories at the hardest race in the world, the 24 hours of Le Mans. Also of special interest was the lovely patinated Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Touring Spider that was brought by Chip Connors to the Quail this morning.

But not all participants were driving classics that day as several new Bentley GT and GTC were present either in restrained colours or even in bright yellow.

As soon as the cars left for the tour it was time to go over to Carmel for the Concours on the Avenue, one of the few free events of the week. Seven years after the first concours the event on the main street of Carmel drew a lot of visitors to the small town at the Pacific coast. Among the entries several racing Porsches from the nearby Laguna Seca Race Track came over escorted by the police to be lined up. Beside a whole range of 911 also several 356 were on display plus more exotic versions like the Carrera Abarth GTL or the Glöckler Porsche but star entry was without doubt the freshly restored Porsche 917 K Gulf car from Bruce Canepa that won Best of Show. Rumours said that he just turned down a 20 Million Dollar offer earlier that day. Correct in every aspect one could hope that the car gets some use in near future on various race events.

But not just highly exotic cars from Germany were on display but also several woodies in their own class, again accompanied by their counterpart, the 21 window Samba bus that was very popular with the surfers back in the time but today they are very expensive.

This also leads to the next days when the expensive cars from the various auctions are on display for the viewing at Bonhams, Gooding RM, Rick Cole, Russo & Steele and Mecum keeping potential buyers busy the next days. Tomorrow will also see the group shot of the Maserati at Laguna Seca as featured marque and with no less than 4 Birdcages attending the pre-historics already one could be curious about the gathering of the next weekend. In the evening the McCall Party at the Jet Centre will be the social part of the day with some great cars, good wine and food.

Report & images … Peter Singhof