Monterey Playbook

Are you bound for Monterey this August? Then let us be your guide. The area hosts so many events in one magical week, from world-class auctions to top-flight vintage races, that you may need a cheat sheet to catch the best ones. Our annual Monterey guide should help keep you on the pulse and out of traffic.

August 16

Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue
Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel-by-the-sea

Price: Free
Insider tip: Get there early to avoid the crowds.
Dress: Casual attire is fine.
Info: The event is freem the location is delightful, and the field is always amazing.

Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff Cruise-In presented by Hagerty
Folktale Winery, 8940 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel

Price: Free
Insider tip: The parking lot fills up quickly.
Dress: It may get chilly, so bring a jacket.
Info: It’s our annual kickoff party! Join the staffs from Classic Motorsports, Hagerty, On the Road Again Classics, Reliable Carriers and Vredestein Tires for a relaxing evening.

August 17

Classic Motorsports Monterey Auction Tours
RM Sotheby's (11 a.m. at Portola Hotel and Spa)
Russo and Steele (1 p.m. at Fisherman's Warf)

Price: Sold out
Insider tips: Registration is required.
Dress: Business or resort casual should be fine.
Info: Follow along as we once again peek behind the curtain and get an insider’s look at the auction scene. Preregistration is required and unfortunately all these tours are full at the moment. In addition to the auction houses, this event is also made possible thanks to the generosity of Chubb Collector Car Insurance and Reliable Carriers. To sign up, contact us at

The Little Car Show
Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove

Price: Free to attend.
Insider Tip: If you want to show a car, register early.
Dress: Neat yet casual.
Info: No matter what their age or origin, little cars are so cute.

Carmel Mission Classic Car Show
Carmel Mission Basilica, 3080 Rio Road in Carmel

Price: $50 (online or at the door).
Insider tip: Get there by 1 p.m. to have your car blessed by the Most Reverend Richard Garcia, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey, and Fr. Paul Murphy, the Pastor of Carmel Mission Basilica.
Dress: Keep is casual.
Info: This laid-back event features some of our favorite things: cool cars, live music and complementary wine tastings.

Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival 2015
Monterey Jet Center, 300 Sky Park Drive in Monterey

Price: $95 in advance, $450 day of
Insider tip: Buy tickets early.
Dress: Wear your best.
Info: The beautiful people are here.

August 18

Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex
Portions of 17-Mile Drive and downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea

Price: Free to watch
Insider tip: Don't get lost, grab a map and a schedule off their website
Dress: Be ready for a day in the sun.
Info: Here’s how you can see the Pebble Beach cars for free: Check out the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. At 8 a.m. on Thursday, the show cars leave Pebble Beach’s Collins Field for a lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. From noon until about 2 p.m., you can view them in downtown Carmel-By-the-Sea.

August 18-20

Pebble Beach RetroAuto
The Inn at Spanish Bay ballrooms in Pebble Beach

Price: Free
Insider tip: Have a few bucks on hand for the 17-Mile Drive toll.
Dress: Casual is just fine.
Info: Whether it’s for the living room or the workroom, you’ll find something to bring home here.

August 18-21

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 1021 Monterey-Salinas Highway in Salinas

Price: general admission starts at $60
Insider tip: You’ll want to take your time walking the paddock. Plan on it.
Dress: Earplugs, comfortable shoes and a hat.
Info: This year the Rolex is celebrating 100 years of BMW. Race groups will also feature Trans-Am, Can-Am and Formula 1.

August 19

Legends of the Autobahn presented by Michelin
Nicklaus Club-Monterey, 100 Pasadera Drive in Monterey

Price: Free for spectators.
Insider tip: Don’t be surprised when your GPS sends you through neighborhoods and fire roads in order to get to the show.
Dress: Anything blazoned with a roundel, a three-pointed star or the four rings.
Info: This show brings together three powerhouse German clubs: BMW Car Club of America, the Mercedes Club of America, and the Audi Club of North America.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
Quail Lodge & Golf Club, 8205 Valley Greens Drive in Carmel

Price: Sold out
Insider tip: For free you can slum it and check out the amazing machines in the parking lot.
Dress: Resort casual.
Info: This one is already sold out, but the payoff includes some of the weekend’s top cars and yummiest food.

PCA Werks Reunion Presented by Michelin
Rancho Cañada Golf Club, 4860 Carmel Valley Road in Monterey

Price: Free for spectators
Insider tip: Michelin will be awarding some fabulous prizes, including a trip to Le Mans and a set of tires.
Dress: Show your Porsche pride.
Info: All Porsches, all the time—like, hundreds of them.

August 20-21

Festorics Exclusive Corral
Overlooking Turn 5 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 1021 Monterey-Salinas Hwy. in Salinas

Price: Free to spectate.
Insider Tip: The food is always great.
Dress: If it has a Roundel on it, you should wear it.
Info: The BMW CCA will again take over the section of the track’s paddock that overlooks Turn 5.

August 20

Concorso Italiano
Black Horse Golf Course,1 McClure Way in Seaside

Price: $170 to spectate.
Insider tip: Spectator tickets cost $170, but it’s just $100 to register an Italian motorcycle.
Dress: Show your pride.
Info: The Concorso Italiano celebrates all vehicles from Italy, from humble little Fiats to exotic Ferraris.

Concours d’LeMons
Laguna Grande Park, 1249 Canyon Del Rey Blvd. in Seaside

Price: Free to spectate or enter.
Insider tip: Hagerty’s hospitality tent is always lovely.
Dress: Anything works, from a gorilla suit to a Devo Energy Dome.
Info: Jay Leno and Wayne Carini typically show up to this event, so you know it’s a classy joint. After all, where else can you see oddball microcars, 70s Detroit sleds and a row of Cosworth Vegas?

August 21

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach

Price: $325 presale general admission, $375 day of.
Insider tip: Traffic is killer, avoid it by being part of the Dawn Patrol or just cough up $20 to take the Carmel-By-the-Sea shuttle service.
Dress: Try to look nice. Make Mom happy.
It’s time for the most prestigious concours on the face of the planet. Prepare to have your senses assaulted.

The Auctions

Russo and Steele Sports and Muscle Monterey Auction Event
August 17-20 viewing, August 18-20 sale
Fisherman’s Warf, 290 Figueroa Street in Monterey

Price: $30 general admission
Insider tip: Once you register as a bidder for $200, additional guest tickets are just $75 each.
Dress: Aloha shirts seem popular.
Info: Even if you’re not buying, a Russo and Steele sale is simply fun to watch. Expect to see some 250 cars of all types and budgets cross the block.

Mecum at Monterey
August 16-17 viewing, August 18-20 sale
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road in Monterey

Price: $30
Insider tip: Even if you’re not buying, for $30 it’s a heck of a car show. Plus, there’s something for nearly any budget, even modest ones.
Dress: California casual works.
Info: Mecum says to expect 600 vehicles, with the feature attractions including a Porsche 911 GT2 EVO, a McLaren P1 and a 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Spyder.

Bonhams: Quail Lodge Auction
August 17-19 viewing, August 19 sale
Quail Lodge & Golf Club 7000 Valley Greens Drive in Carmel

Price: $20 for gallery guide admission, $100 for an auction catalog that includes entry for two people.
Insider tip: Not shopping? Go anyway. Rarely will you see this many amazing cars at once.
Dress: Wear something nice.
Info: Bonhams offers another reason to head to the grounds of the Quail: some of the finest cars ever assembled. This year’s list includes a one-of-39 Porsche 964 3.6 Turbo S Flachbaus built for the U.S. market.

RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction
August 17-20 viewing, August 19-20 sale
Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, 2 Portola Plaza in Monterey

Price: $40 guest pass, $300 to bid
Insider tip: Watching the cars drive in from the nearby marshaling yard is good, free entertainment.
Dress: Business casual, please.
Info: This year RM Sotheby’s is offering the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection: six classic race cars, including two Cobras and a GT40.

Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auctions
August 17-21 viewing, August 20-21 sale
Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, within the Pebble Beach grounds at the corner of Portola Road and Stevenson Drive

Price: $40
Insider tip: It’s $40 per person to get in, but for $100 you get two tickets and a catalog. For $200 you get two tickets, reserved seats and permission to bid.
Dress: Business casual at a minimum.
Info: Expect to see lots of top-shelf classics, from Gullwing Benzes to prewar chariots.

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View comments on the CMS forums
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/15/16 9:48 a.m.

And, of course, we'll see everyone out there.

Kreb UltraDork
8/16/16 3:26 p.m.

I'm just there for Saturday. Planning on going to Laguna Seca first. If you just had a few hours Saturday afternoon and evening, what would you do? Concoro Italiano sounds great, but $170/head? Ouch!

Trans_Maro PowerDork
8/16/16 4:31 p.m.

We're going to be there. We're shopping cars at a few of the auctions.

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