Best of Monterey

We were lucky enough to spend 11 days in California and at many of the events during the week in Pebble Beach, Carmel, and Monterey. We tried hard to see and do it all, from driving in a road rally hosted by Shoreline church to seeing the most expensive car ever to be sold at auction, a very interesting and well used 1962 Ferrari GTO.

It really was a bucket list vacation this year as we were able to share a beautiful waterfront estate on Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach with some great friends, old and new. My best car friend and partner Jason did a great job of putting us right in the middle of the action but at the same time secluded from the craziness when it was time to relax. The time with those folks was fantastic and made the trip one to remember.

Then there were the cars. So many that at some point it became almost too much. Almost, who am I kidding?

Mercedes 300SL Roadster at Mecum Auctions

Mercedes 300SL Roadster at Mecum Auctions

The SL's, Oh My! Monterey was just full of early Mercedes SL's at several of the car shows and auctions as well as driving around on the streets. The most amazing thing about this week is what you see driving on the streets. We saw everything from McLaren F1's to a Birdcage Maserati and nearly everything in between. But the SL's, and in my opinion the SL Roadsters are just about the best in early touring cars. This one was at the Mecum auction but there were plenty to drool over.

I mentioned how great it was to talk with friends old and new. I met Sam Smith many years ago at a BMW CCA driving school. He is one of the very few automotive writers that I admire and we shared our table with him at the BMW CCA hospitality tent on Friday at Laguna Seca for nearly an hour before I realized who I was talking with, sunglasses and all, you know? Sorry Sam. He and his wife seem to be doing well and are now living in our old stomping grounds of Ann Arbor, Michigan. We made sure we came back to watch him in his historic race group where he was driving the really fun 1970 BMW 2002 Ti Alpina below. BTW, he did a great job. On a side note, I rode in this car at the track in 2002 with Bill Auberlen at the helm, and so did Sam, at the same event. 

Sam Smith at the wheel of the 1970 BMW 2002 Ti Alpina

Sam Smith at the wheel of the 1970 BMW 2002 Ti Alpina

Last but not least was the brand new Porsche PCA Werks Reunion event which, from all accounts, was a huge success. I could have spent much more time there as it was a sea of the very coolest Porsches from all over the country. I saw so many cars, I may never see again, that it was staggering. But in the end, my favorite was just a cute run of the mill car from the late 60's. 1969 was quite a year for cars all over the world but this pretty little 1969 Porsche 912 brought the whole week together for me. Understated, beautiful, and so very Cool!

1969 Porsche 912 in beautiful Black.

1969 Porsche 912 in beautiful Black.

Photos from Sports Car Digest and Mecum Auctions.