Every second (sometimes third) week of August the small hamlet of Carmel buzzes with vehicles of the future and of the past. Monterey Car Week is a week long festival for the most discerning automobile owners, fans, and enthusiasts alike. Events range from classic car drives sponsored by clubs, to car shows scattered around the Carmel, Pebble Beach, and Monterey Peninsula. Heck, even Ferrari rented a gas station for the week and converted it to an Italian villa and dubbed it “Casa Ferrari.” Rolex is a major sponsor of Car Week events, and of course, when there is a Rolex event in the Carmel area, there is Fourtané right there with it.
Depending on your amount of zealousness for automobiles, there are plenty of opportunities to be part of the Car Week. The Monterey Car Week website lists the weekly schedule of events at http://www.montereycarweek.com./ I use this website to help schedule the week. Events range from free to the exclusive $300/person Concours d’Elegance held at Pebble Beach. One of the popular events are watching the Rolex Vintage Automobile races at the world famous Laguna Seca Raceway. Laguna Seca is a 2.38 mile circuit with 11 turns, including the Corkscrew with its five-story drop. The nice thing about Laguna Seca is that race fans can wander the pits, talk to drivers and mechanics, and see the vehicles before they are out racing. Each heat is about 20 minutes, so there is plenty of variety to behold. A great article with images is posted on TimeZone at http://forums.timezone.com/index.php?rid=12189&goto=7083496&t=tree#msg_7083496 about this event.
On each Thursday of Car Week is typically the Ocean Avenue viewing of the Rolex Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance whereby the tour departs Pebble Beach driving portions of the renowned 17-Mile Drive, and vehicles are on display in downtown Carmel for all to see. For people on a budget, this is a great way to experience Car Week. Just wandering around Carmel during the evening hours you’ll see a variety of vehicles parked on the roadside to view and appreciate.
These last few years, Fourtané hosts a reception on the last Saturday evening of Car Week just prior to the final events at Laguna Seca and the Concourse d’Elegance on Pebble Beach. Past receptions included Rolex adventurers discussing their watches such as Captain Don Walsh and Dr. Phil Nuyttnn discussing their DeepSea SeaDweller, executives from Rolex USA, Rolex collectors from overseas, bloggers such as Jake Erlich from Jake’s Rolex World, Philipe Stahl of RolexPassion Report and John Goldberger author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches. This year, Ben Clymer founder and executive editor of the uber-watchsite, Hodinkee attended the event taking pictures and chatting with watch enthusiasts (his article on Car Week is posted here).
Monterey Car Week is a must visit. Block out the second week of August on your calendar and check in with Fourtané for details on the 2016 Fourtané Car Week reception.
– Sheldon Smith