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I've always wanted to do the Pebble Beach Concours and this year I turn 50 so it's about time.

Any advice on events to hit or miss? What about hotels?

dave
 

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I did it last year. Pure auto porn. A bucket list event for any car lover.

We did Concorso Italiano on Friday. Awesome.

Also, I would recommend the 17 mile drive Tour D'Elegance.

On Saturday, you can hit up Pebble Beach - mill about through the paddock area where they prep the cars. Hit up the concept lawn.

We stayed at the Portola Hotel - right smack dab in the middle and the RM auctions were held there. Amazing cars everywhere.

Search for my thread on it - I did a write up.
 

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Hi Dave:

Ironically, I live in San Jose (about 1.25 hours away from Monterey/Pebble Beach) and go to Monterey all the time. Yet I've never done Pebble Beach because I'm too cheap to spend $125/ticket.

Anyway, my wife and I still go there during that time - there is SO much to do/see that is either low cost or free.

As SwingLo mentioned, there is the RM auctions (identical time as Russo and Steele auctions and nearly next to each other in downtown Monterey. Both auctions require $$ to attend the bidder section; RM tends to fence off the cars being auctioned. The RM cars tend to attract an upmarket crowd (Mercedes Gull wing, high-end Lambos, even a Bugatti Veyron).

Russo and Steele allow you to see the cars up close - not fenced off and actually encouraged to roam the parking structure to see them - all for free. Russo and Steele tends to be lower end, but still cool cars - lots of pristine 60s/70s Muscle cars, but even Lambos and a Porsche 356 with 911 Turbo running gear with 100 point craftsmanship.

Laguna Seca has the 'historics' - you'll definitely need a rental car unless the hotels have a shuttle.

17 mile drive is a must if you've never done it. I've done it years ago and I'm jaded - lived in California all my life, so seeing the Pacific Ocean while driving down scenic highway is something I take for granted.

FYI the last time we saw Russo and Steel auctions (they put a big screen out on the street for us non-bidders), the prices seemed 'low' to me - 2000 Mustang GTR with less than 100 miles (and with factory plastic protection) went for like $23K; Ferrari 1990 F348 (?) went for $40K, etc. I'm sure the Ferrari may have had some work to be done, but the auction prices were markedly lower than the year before.

Depending on when you arrive, I've been told by car-show savvy pals that you can 'hotel-hop' in nearby Carmel and see many of the cool cars parked in the various hotel parking lots in preparation for Pebble Beach - it's a mini-car show unto itself and free. I've yet to try this, but my pal that mentioned it has been doing it for years.

I may go this year as I had a change of heart - not getting any younger and my bucket list keeping growing.
 

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I'm down in Monterey once or twice a month Dave. Laguna Seca is fun, but its usually just Miata's racing around on weekends for the Skip Barber school. 17 mile drive is beautiful. If you want to shop, go to Gilroy or San Jose (santana row). There's a few nice hotels. Embassy Suites is 10 minutes from Laguna seca. Best Western, and Holiday Inn are all in the same proximity in Monterey/Seaside. Avoid Salinas, you'll get shot.

Food is good on the warph, but Monterey is kind of dead, especially downtown. If you want a good burger, go to RG Burger downtown. Go to Carmel if you want a nice fancy night and eat there. You'll see some nice exotics too parked on the streets.
 

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I'm down in Monterey once or twice a month Dave. Laguna Seca is fun, but its usually just Miata's racing around on weekends for the Skip Barber school. 17 mile drive is beautiful. If you want to shop, go to Gilroy or San Jose (santana row). There's a few nice hotels. Embassy Suites is 10 minutes from Laguna seca. Best Western, and Holiday Inn are all in the same proximity in Monterey/Seaside. Avoid Salinas, you'll get shot.

Food is good on the warph, but Monterey is kind of dead, especially downtown. If you want a good burger, go to RG Burger downtown. Go to Carmel if you want a nice fancy night and eat there. You'll see some nice exotics too parked on the streets.
Hey Glen, I think you are describing a typical weekend in the area. The OP is asking about Pebble Beach/Monterey Week in August, which is completely different.

Downtown Monterey is PACKED during the week. Talking hour long waits for restaurants, etc.

As noted, you will see amazing cars EVERYWHERE that week. Just walking down Ocean Ave in downtown Carmel, etc. Last year we saw dozens of 458s, Gallardos, Murcis, etc. 911s are like Honda Accords. Hell, even saw a caravan of Veyrons. There are amazing new and vintage exotics parked everywhere on the streets.

What's also amazing is the seeing European exotics that you've only seen in magazines. For example, at Concorso Italiano - scores of new Lambos, Ferraris, Maseratis, etc, but also seeing a dozen or so Miuras, every F car under the sun including 250GTOs, F40, F40 60's era Testarossas. 2 Bizzarinis. A couple of Pegasos, every Alfa and Fiat under the sun and two example of the most beautiful car ever penned - the Alfa Romeo 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale.

Oh, also MUST do the Concours D'Lemons on Saturday morning. You can get in and out in an hour. It's all the goofy, crappy stuff. Met lots of cool people there including Wayne Carini (Chasing Classic Cars), Gene Simmons and his son (yep, that Gene Simmons) and Cate Blanchett (WTF?).

That's another thing - realize that many of the people milling about are BIG hitters - we are talking billionaires. That's one of the exciting things about - rubbing elbows with the rich and fabulous! :) We saw/met TONS of famous people. If that floats your boat. My wife dug it because it helped break up the car thing.
 

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The road trip is the best part in my opinion. If it's possible drive up the coast. However, if you live too far away not really a reasonable option.
Btw, you should have a plan as there are far more activities then you can actually attend/participate. With that being said, you could have a great time and not actually purchasing an official entry ticket to one of the "main shows" as the Peninsula is transformed to one giant car week. Lot's of great sights and sounds across the Peninsula. If it's first time you may want to choose 1-2 "major" shows to attend which should include a day at the track.
 

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I skipped the Pebble Beach show last year but did hit up Concorso Italiano and a few auctions, and the historic races at Laguna. Here is a little video clip I made of the highlights...it's definitely a weekend (or week!) that you'll never forget. Absolute gearhead heaven.

Even the parking lots at the events are awesome, as is sitting at red lights surrounded by everything from Ferrari's (which are a dime a dozen in Monterey that weekend) to McLaren F1s and Bugattis.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very cool all - thanks for the advice and comments.

Any feeling on how early one needs to make hotel reservations?

dave
 

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Probably last year. :)

No, just kidding. But you should get on it ASAP. Monterey really isn't a big town so it has a tough time accommodating all the people that come in that week. (There just aren't enough hotels to support such a big event.)
 

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Dave

I've been attending the Car Week for the past 12 years. If you are a petrol head, it is a must! First of all, if you want to stay at any of the nicer places in Carmel/Monterey/Pacific Grove, you have to get busy and start calling for room because every hotel Assumes the guests will return the next year and reserve the rooms...... Good luck.

As for activities, here is what I normally do:
1. Get there on Wednesday and play a round of golf, if u r a golfer,
2. Thursday, get to Ocean Ave in Carmel by 11 am and wait for all the cars come down to Ocean Ave for lunch. They fill the street for several blocks, bumper to bumper, and the drivers go to lunch, so this is a free preview of essentially all/most of the contestants for the Concourse Cars at Pebble on Sunday.
3. Friday, the 2 main events are the Automotive Gathering at the Quail Lodge (this is $450 per person, including great food and Wines. Highly sought after event, so if you don't already have the tix , u r likely sol on this one... The cars here are simply incredible. Worth the entry fee. I've been going to this event the past 4 years on Friday.). The second event is Concorso Italiano, which is the mecca for everything Italian sports cars, Lamborghini, F-cars, Masers, Alfa, Bazzerini..... Less than $200 buy you a spot in the corral parking and entry for 2 people.
4. Saturday, Watch the Historic Races at Laguna. Great venue to relive our childhood dreams to check out all the cars we fancies when we were kids.
5. Sunday, go to the mother of all car shows, the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble

Also, if you r a foodies, you should take you wife/girl friend to all the nice eateries every evening, AND friday and Saturday nights go to the auctions in downtown Monterey...

The above is what I do with my "boss" at home, a nice relaxing week with special cars, great wines and food in beautiful venues.

Hope u make it!

GTED
 
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