It is Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance time again, when the most expensive cars in the world migrate to the coastal town of Monterey, California, accompanied by their owners, and followed by those who dream of owning them.
The week leading up to the concours is a rush of themed shows, from little tiny autos to powerful racetrack legends. Flitting about like the monarchs the area is famous for are streams of classics and exotics sporting one-of-a-kind bodywork and rare engine options. It is, without a doubt, the most jaw-dropping car-spotting of the year.
We’ve sent a few of our lucky editors to brave the traffic and the funny-colored trousers to bring you the best of Monterey Car Week. Check back from now through the weekend for updates leading up to the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 20. —Elana Scherr
Wednesday: The Arrivals
Thursday tends to be the busiest day on the highway from Los Angeles to Monterey, but we set out in the wee hours this Wednesday morning in order to make it to a few of the earlier events. On the way up you can always tell who, as Lenny Kravitz says, is gonna go your way.
The Little Car Show
Monterey Car Week is all about big numbers, from auction results to hotel room tabs, but the festivities start off small, at the Pacific Grove Little Car Show. Pacific Grove neighbors Monterey, but it’s more suburban, with a charming main drag that’s perfect for lining up wee machines and taking a sunny stroll. 2023 marks the 13th year of the Little Car Show (with one year off during 2020), and there were so many itty-bitty cars that the show spilled out into the surrounding streets, with Peels, Messerschmitts, and MGs parked all over the neighborhood.
If you’re curious as to how little a little car has to be, it’s really a little engine show, with a recently raised cap of 1800 cc (that’s almost two soda bottles’ worth of power, pals).
We considered doing it by wheelbase,” an organizer told me, “But nobody knows their car’s wheelbase.” I suggested taking a page out of the airline carry-on book and having a “Car Must Fit in This Space” template that participants must drive through. So maybe that will be next year. I’ll report back, as I’m hoping to sneak my 2.0L Opel GT in despite its cheater engine. —Elana Scherr