Monterey Car Week A Quick Tour

Wallace Wyss

Volume 46 Issue 18

Aug 28, 2021

Wallace Wyss goes to Monterey car week. The Quail, Concorso Italiano and Pebble Beach Concours are visited. Pebble Beach winners are also listed.

    Friday - The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering

 

    I’d love to give a complete report, but alas, they deemed my audience reach too small and struck me from the media press credential list.


    So being an enterprising sort, of course I went anyway. But I didn’t stay long, so missed seeing the whole show.


    I can say The Quail is a fancy dress occasion, perhaps even more so than Pebble. Everyone is having  a good time because they are all eating and drinking for “free” (if you don’t remember the $700 plus spectator charge).


    Many automakers are showing their latest models or concept cars. A shocking number are little known firms that once just modified cars like Hennessy or a company once thought of as a kit car company like SSC now have cars that look as production as a Ferrari.


    There was concours judging (though not as studied as Pebble); some of the category winners were Allan McCrary’s, 1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet, in Pre-War Sports & Racing Cars; Peter Klutt’s, 1966 Ford GT40 Mark II, for Post-War Racing Cars; and Dr. Richard Workman’s, 1937 Bugatti 57S Gangloff, in the Custom Coachwork class.


    There were  in excess of  200 impeccable automobiles, divided into eleven classes for judging. What gave me a laugh in their foreign-car heavy event was a parade of classic raw enough American-made burly Trans Am race cars at midday. A whole class borrowed from nearby WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.


    It is things like this that enliven the usual concours, Pebble’s Tour is similar but Quail’s race car appearance took place right through the middle of the concours.


    In sum, I think, if you are taking a lady to Car Week, and she likes to show off her new wardrobe and hair style, this is the event she probably imagines.


    Tickets are hard to get, they’re purposely limited.


    I walked out with an excellent chicken dinner in hand, waving goodbye to the guards, but hope to deliver a fuller report next year, that is if they design to put me on the media list or they lower that wall a tad... 

 

 



 

    Saturday - Concorso Italiano 2021

 

        (Disclosure: the author was a vendor at this event)

 

    I always look forward to this event because in my new calling as a fine artist (as opposed to commercial artists who have to subjugate their art to promoting some product) I am trying to find a way to make car paintings become “real” art and find an audience who has never commissioned artwork before.

 

    My wife and I arrived at 7:30 a.m. to our small tent and hung the work on the walls.

 

    We were right next to a 1952 Karmann Ghia so I heard many times the owner’s description of how Ghia got the assignment to design a German car. but I liked hearing it because in essence it proves what Concorso is trying to put forward, that when it comes to design, the Italians can make everything better.

 

    There were classes for Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Lamborghini, DeTomaso, Iso, Apollo, Intermeccanica, and then the oddballs like Moretti and Abarth.

 

    There were some prestigious Ferraris, not the early 1950s cars like Pebble had that weekend, but a European plexiglass headlamp Daytona, and a SWB berlinetta to name two. Even a Ferrari station wagon (yeah I know “shooting brake...), the FF.

 

    There was one hot-rodded one, which looked as if it started out as a 288 GTO but was merely a customized 308 looking ready for NASCAR or some type of balls to the wall racing.

 

 

    The format was to have two announcers, Matt Stone and Miles Kitchen, in the center and the cars nominated by each club drove around them. Matt Stone, author of many car histories, is an amusing speaker and has owned enough exotics himself to know stories from the owner’s viewpoint.

 

    There were a number of booths. I didn’t get to see many, being busy as a Fine Artist, don’t cha know, and photographer.

 

    Concorso indicated beforehand they have as many as 1,000 cars and motorcycles. The pandemic may have dampened response.

 

    I applaud those show promoters who persevered, because if we as a nation don’t go back to events, Monterey Car Week of 2021 will be but a golden memory of what freedom we once had to enjoy our hobbies.

 

    In sum, I’d say, as an Italian car fan, this is a must-go event. Not as low cost as the one-day ticket at Laguna Seca but it still boasts 100% Italian cars.

 

    Though they didn’t identify themselves, I’ll wager a percentage of the spectators were car designers. There are twenty-nine car design studios in California.

 

    Having all the designers on the same page helps when they are at presentations, and someone says something like “You know the grille on the prototype Iso Grifo?”

 

    This show is an Italian car design vocabulary in one fell swoop. The automakers should buy tickets for their designers to improve their visual vocabulary. For a car designer never to go to Car Week would be like not having a home architect visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum.

 

 



 

    Sunday - Pebble Beach Concours 2021

 

    Ferrari is always a big draw at Pebble Beach Concours but for three reasons the brand had a more significant presence than before.

 

    First, Ferraris were in the Tour, a tour around the Peninsula and seeing them with people rumbling down the road beats any static position with a sign.

 

    Saturday afternoon there was a dual introduction of the SP2 and the new hybrid 296 GT, with 75 well-chosen Ferraris behind them parading around Pebble and parking at Casa Ferrari.

 

    The day of the Concours there were also Ferraris aplenty. Many of the Ferraris were special bodied ones built for wealthy customers.

 

    There was a slight rain, and I was amused by three chaps over at a Ferrari display near the entrance in bathrobes (what other way to say “I’m staying at The Lodge”)?

 

    The Ferraris on display varied from race cars to client-ordered customs.

 

    A rare 1952 212 Inter Cabriolet had so much chrome you have to do a double take, as it seemed like at that time Ferrari thought “maybe chrome is what sells in America.” They thought better of that later.

 

    Another lean toward American tastes was a Superfast with tailfins and wheel skirts. They were a little late with those, Detroit had already given up on those by the mid-1950s.

 

    A car I thought could win Best of Show because of its workmanship was the Iso Grifo prototype, a car engineered by Giotto Bizzarrini, who also did the Ferrari 250 GTO.

 

    It is a stunning car to see, boasting features not used on the production car.

 

    The star, value wise, had to be a 250 GTO Series II.  That style was originated by Pininfarina who felt left out when the Series I was developed and wanted in.

 

    Then there was the famous Ingrid Bergman car. It was a true one-off, with no other Ferrari having its lines.

 

    A 250 GT Cabriolet with cut-down door was the one ordered by factory driver Peter Collins.

 

    This year it seemed more of a business for Pebble Beach (though the business is to raise money for charity) with a clothing store, and the RetroAuto store with appropriate motoring clothes like leather driving gloves and, of course, the ubiquitous (for Pebble Beach) straw hat.

 

    There were also lectures on car history taking place only a few yards away.

 

    I think the addition of the Tour is a major plus compared to other concours. It was good to have cars moving instead of sitting there static.

 

    In sum, Pebble Beach proves each year it is, for the U.S., the one above all other car shows.

 

    Overall, as a historian, I appreciate the draw that Pebble has for car collectors, causing them to go that extra length to find an unusual car with a history to restore. It’s European Car History 101.

 

    Oh, there are American cars on display also, but it’s hard to beat those Speciales built for European businessmen and royalty.

 



 

    Pebble Beach Concours Winners

 

            BEST OF SHOW NOMINEES

 

    1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale

        RQ Collections, The Woodlands, Texas

 

 

            Enzo Ferrari Trophy

 

    1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Superfast Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale

        Anne Brockinton Lee/Robert M. Lee Automobile Collection, Reno, Nevada

 

            Gran Turismo Trophy

 

    1969 Ferrari 512 S Berlinetta

        Pierre Mellinger, Crans Montana, Switzerland

 

 

            The Vitesse ~ Elegance Trophy

 

    1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti Berlinetta

        Audrey & Martin Gruss, Palm Beach, Florida

 

            Class M-1: Ferrari Grand Touring

 

    1st: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Scaglietti Berlinetta

        John Paul Rowan, Savannah, Georgia

 

    2nd: 1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 Scaglietti NART Spyder

        Jon & Kim Shirley, Medina, Washington

 

    3rd: 1968 Ferrari 206 GT Dino Scaglietti Coupe

        Ron Hein, Montecito, California

 

            Class M-2: Ferrari Competition

 

    1st: 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO Scaglietti Berlinetta

        Aaron & Sasha Hsu, New York, New York

 

    2nd: 1951 Ferrari 340 America Touring Barchetta

        Kevin Cogan, Louisville, Kentucky

 

 

    3rd: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti Berlinetta

        Audrey & Martin Gruss, Palm Beach, Florida

 

            Class P-3: Pinin Farina Ferrari Early

 

    1st: 1953 Ferrari 375 America Pinin Farina Coupe

        Jamie & Cecilia Muldoon, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

    2nd: 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Pinin Farina Cabriolet

        Kim & Stephen Bruno, Boca Raton, Florida

 

    3rd: 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale

        Rare Wheels Collection, Windermore, Florida

 

            Class P-4: Pininfarina Ferrari Late

 

    1st: 1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale

        RQ Collections, The Woodlands, Texas

 

    2nd: 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale

        Lee & Joan Herrington/The Herrington Collection, Bow, New Hampshire

 

 

    3rd: 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Pininfarina Cabriolet

        Peter Kalikow, New York, New York

 

            Class R: La Carrera Panamericana 1950-54

 

    1st: 1952 Ferrari 340 Mexico Vignale Berlinetta

        Les Wexner, New Albany, Ohio

 

    2nd: 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Vignale Spyder

        Bruce R. McCaw, Redmond, Washington