As you might have gathered by now, Monterey Week is one of our favorite enthusiast gatherings of the year, specifically the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The problem is often tempering our fervor while conveying our excitement, so this year we decided to be a little more disciplined in our approach. Rather than bring you a mix of vehicles, we decided to focus on several specific areas in an attempt to narrow down the rich bounty before us. So we've concentrated on the featured marques, the concept lawn and the big stories at the auctions. In each area, we've narrowed it down further to our top picks from the week. Trust us, this wasn't an easy list to agree upon so we've extended it further online, with more photos and several videos to enhance our coverage, so please also visit europeancarweb.com
Perhaps the biggest celebration of the week was Aston Martin's Centenary, with owners from across the world descending upon Aston's private villa to partake in a small celebration. They also brought some of the finest examples of the marque's first 100 years and here is our Top 3 selection from Pebble Beach week:
1925 Aston Martin 16v Twin-Cam GP Brooklands Racer
The oldest Aston Martin displayed had an obvious racing heritage and the current owner explained its history. It was originally raced by George Eyston who entered it in the very first British GP at Brooklands in 1926, where it failed to finish. However, it took third at the JCC200 and won the BARC Whitsun meeting.
Journalist Laurence Pomeroy owned it in the 1940s and '50s, eventually passing to current owner Mitch Gross who restored it to its original glory in the past six or seven years that it's been in his possession. To date, he's not raced the car, fearing that the rare and delicate engine can't be replaced. And since Aston Martin only made about six of these engines, specifically for racing, with possibly only two still in running condition, Gross is probably right to be cautious.
1953 DB2/4 Bertone Roadster
Penned by the legendary Stile Bertone in Turin, this roadster is one of only three produced. More interestingly, this particular car on the Concours field was the first of the three.
Powered by a hand-built Aston Martin Works racing engine, it was raced by James Hartman until the day he tragically died in an accident. His wife then stored the car for several years until removing the covers in 2002.
With its new owners, Bill and Linda Pope, the car took first place in its class and is a remarkable example of how Aston Martin developed its mystique.
1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Coupé
Continuing the motorsport theme, this DB4 GT Coupe was built by the factory to compete in the GT World Championship, losing 200 lb in the process.
Piloted by famed driver Jimmy Clarke, among others, the car was a regular podium visitor throughout its professional career. Interestingly, the red nose graphics were originally painted on the car so track officials could identify it at night: the current owner later added the red wheels.
Today, you'll often find the new owners competing in historic races around the world, including the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion where this DB4 GT has triumphantly claimed multiple class wins.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 911, you could find exceptional Porsches all over the Monterey peninsula. Between the Quail Motorsports Gathering and roaming Laguna Seca, you can rest assured we found a selection of 911s that would make your knees weak. Here are a few of our highlights:
1974 Porsche 911 RSR "Fittipaldi"
With the word "Fittipaldi" displayed on the body and window, we wanted to know its history: Built for the 1973 International Race Of Champions, it showcased the best drivers from around the world and was put together by Roger Penske. So this 911 was one of 12 cars raced in the series. And although Fittipaldi qualified on pole for the inaugural race, his late arrival to the driver's meeting put him at the back of the starting grid.
That would be this RSR's only official IROC race, although it made an appearance in various other series before it sat for a number of years.
Recently restored, Dennis Kranz purchased the car and has shown it at Amelia Island, taking home an award for its historic significance. So it's no wonder this RSR IROC had a special place reserved at this year's Quail gathering.
Porsche 911 "Singer"
Regarded by many as the ultimate reworking of the classic 911, a Singer Porsche comes at a price. Starting around $190,000 and sailing past $500,000 after the customer has specified options, Singer falls into the millionaire's resto-mod club - along with cars like the Eagle Speedster.
Each Singer starts life as a 964-model 911 and is dismantled to a rolling chassis. Next, it receives bespoke carbon/kevlar body panels, custom Bilstein suspension, a hand-built 3.6L Cosworth engine and is finished with an interior package that captures the spirit of early 911s.
The company brought its latest creation to the Quail, which is one of the few opportunities to see one since the cars rarely make it into the public domain. With only ten built to date, and several overseas, this was a rare sighting.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight 2.7L
You can't celebrate the 911 without including the holy grail of production 911s, the RS. These are regarded by Jerry Seinfield as a "dead man's car," because owners generally only part with them after death.
These '70s 911s were a reflection of Porsche's successful motorsport campaigns, and so this early series were the first production cars in the world to receive a race spoiler, motor, suspension and bodywork that set the tone for the GT cars sold at dealerships today. This Lightweight edition was one of only 200 built.
2014 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition
Based on the 911 Carrera S, this limited edition coupe was rather disappointing in photos but stunning in the flesh, especially when viewed in the context of its historic siblings at the Quail.
It uses the Carrera 4 widebody and will suitably be limited to 1963 cars.
US cars come standard with a 430hp Powerkit on the 3.8L motor that includes the Sport Chrono Package. The exterior can be specified in graphite grey, black or this attractive Geyser Grey metallic, which set off the 20" wheels that pay homage to the legendary "Fuchs" wheels. Another retro touch is seats panels reminiscent of the "Pepita" tartan fabric from the 1960s. The car will be priced from $124100.
1979 Porsche 935 K3 Coupe
Owned by legendary collector, Bruce Meyers, this Le Mans-winning 935 was restored by Bruce Canepa in Santa Cruz, CA. This particular chassis was Porsche's last factory-built racecar. And while the 935 was registered for the Group 5 category at Le Mans, the car battled against the prototypes to take the overall win in the 1979 Le Mans 24 Heures. This could partially be attributed to its 800hp 3.2L twin-turbo motor and massive aerodynamic package.
50 years ago, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to accept a challenge from Enzo Ferrari. "You don't like my car? You're a simple farmer! Make your own car if you don't like mine!" Or so the legend goes...
Ferruccio did just that, and the line in the sand between Lamborghini and Ferrari owners holds to this day. In fact, Lamborghini is now stepping into motorsport and showcasing some outrageous concepts to recruit future owners and continue the feud well into the future.
1967 Lamborghini Miura S
Quite simply one of the most beautiful cars ever built, the Miura S is why supercars exist, maintaining the formula of a sleek profile and insane motor.
Designed by Bertone, the car sets the tone at every show it appears at. Even dripping in sensational colors like lime green and highlighter orange, the Miura S is a marvel to behold. And having an iconic V12 engine helped take the fight to Ferrari.
1991 Lamborghini Countach
The star of millions of bedroom walls, the Countach remains one of the most recognizable and cherished cars on the planet. You either love it or hate it, but it demands your attention.
Designed by Bertone, the Countach concept carried 90% of its original design language into the production models and remained that way for more than a decade.
1965 ('66) Lamborghini 350 GT
While Lamborghini was developing a sports car to take the fight to Enzo, he also developed one of the most stunning gran tourers on the planet. However, the 350 GT is rare, this being one of 135 produced before the 400 GT stormed into showrooms.
The car featured the famous Giotto Bizzarrini 350hp V12 with its 7000rpm redline that would later power supercars from the Miura to Diablo.
Trekking up from San Diego, CA was an enjoyable journey for owner Malcolm Barksdale, and he's been driving the car on a consistent basis since 2011.