The month of August only means one thing for many automotive enthusiasts – Pebble Beach Car Week. For over 50 years, Carmel and the rest of the Monterey Peninsula have been the home for what is arguably the greatest yearly gathering of automotive machinery past, present, and future.
Each year, fans from around the world descend upon what is normally a quiet community in Central California, to attend one of dozens of car related events that take place during the week. Enthusiasts can see cars being auctioned for dozens of millions, one of a kind machines tackle Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca‘s famous 11 turns, or simply enjoy a casual stroll on the 18th Fairway of Pebble Beach during its Concour d’Elegance.
This year we chose to spend a majority of our time at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which takes place at the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This year’s featured marque was the Corvette, and the event featured many fine examples of the model. But to us, the Corvette we were really hoping to see is the car in the photo above. Before arriving at the track, we had heard rumors that this car would be making its public day-view here, but nobody would 100% confirm. The car we are talking about is the new C7.R., which replaces the extremely successful C6.R, and will make its endurance racing premier this coming January at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Earlier in the day, we attended a Q&A with Tommy Milner (Corvette factory driver) and Sir Jackie Stewart. Milner mentioned that the team had only recently begun testing the car, and promised us that we would see it on track soon. Few in attendance believed it would be that soon. Late on Saturday afternoon, the doors in Garage 15, which were suspiciously closed all day long, flew open, and out came the C7.R in full force.
Tommy completed 4 laps around the track, and when many thought he was going to park it on the front straight, he instead flipped a quick u-turn, took one of the track exits for emergency vehicles (almost running us over in the process) and drove directly into the back of a car transporter. In the competitive world of racing, you just can’t be too careful in letting your opponents see too much ahead of time!
As you can expect, there was no shortage of incredible cars at this year’s Reunion. It’s hard for us to pick favorites, but there are definitely some that clearly stand out. And to us, the car shown above was one of them. Between 1962 and 1964, in order to meet FIA Homologation requirements, Ferrari built a total of only 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs. To say that these cars are rare is an understatement. Five times more Toyota Camrys are sold each day than GTOs were ever built. A car similar to this one, originally built for Sir Stirling Moss, sold for over $35 million. We still cannot believe how hard the car pictured above was driven at this year’s Reunion, making inside passes on Turn 11, fighting hard for position in its short 20 minute race.
Although we did spend about 90% of our time at this year at the track, we did manage to venture out and see some of the cars being auctioned throughout the weekend. One of the highlights of this year’s Mecum Auction was the car pictured above. This is one of 3 original Ferrari California Spyder replicas built for the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And yes, it was meticulously restored after smashing through the garage’s glass window in the movie’s most famous scene. The scene, which still to this day makes us cringe a bit inside, was actually filmed 9 times, and edited together into one sequence. The replica sold for $235,000, but as Ferris famously says in the movie, “it is so choice, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up”.
Every great weekend of racing eventually has to come to an end. But we are already looking forward to next year’s Pebble Beach Car Week, and cannot wait to see what it will bring us. If you consider yourself an automotive fan, you owe to yourself to see the spectacle that is Monterey in August. And if you don’t enjoy the idea of paying $350 for a $39 motel room, we suggest you book a place now!