MONTEREY — As the 2022 Monterey Classic Car Week kicks off this week, the 10-day affair begins as it began — with casual elegance.
This afternoon the festivities will begin with the fourth annual Concours in Pasadera, an event reminiscent of the early days of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance when patrons could park near the fairways and enjoy automotive excellence was a quiet indulgence. .
It’s an experience that Concours at Pasadera founder Rick Barnett remembers well and hopes to recreate.
“Things have changed a lot since 1979,” Barnett said, recalling his first visit to the Concours on Sunday. “You could… park not too far from the lodge and walk straight onto the lawn. Today, you have to park and take a bus (to the golf course)… Car Week has become complicated. The intention of the Concours in Pasadera is therefore to create a relaxed and elegant atmosphere where car collectors and guests can gather (and) have fun.
Held a few miles from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, today’s Concours will be held at The Club in Pasadera, 100 Pasadera Dr., from 3-6 p.m. Club members and other VIPs are invited to arrive one hour earlier at 2 p.m.
The cars on display will be a celebration of Ferrari, in honor of the manufacturer’s 75th anniversary. But Ferrari won’t be the only name on center court at the event, where 40 star cars are vying for Best in Show. Rather, the Concours is expanding its doors to promote the design houses of Ferrari: Pininfarina, Ghia, Bertone, Scaglietti, Zagato and other coachbuilders responsible for the automaker’s acclaimed looks over the decades.
“A lot of people think Ferrari is the designer and builder of the car,” Barnett explained. “But, in fact, from the earliest days going back to the 1930s, Ferrari was building the chassis, the suspension and the engine, but they were using the coachbuilders – or the body builders – to create the bodies that would be in conjunction with the automobile and chassis.
To commemorate the collaboration, Ferrari and non-Ferrari automobiles designed by Ferrari coachbuilders will make up the exhibit. Barnett said that by broadening the scope, the Competition aims to educate and entertain.
“Yes, there will be amazing Ferraris there… but there will be other cars too,” he said, naming cars from unexpected sources such as Volvo, MG and even Citroen who share a designer with Ferrari. “People will be able to see the design influences that have made up the culture of Ferrari, not just at Ferrari.”
Off center court, the Pasadera Concours intends to further diversify its display with three other showcase categories, for a total of 100 cars to admire.
One category – aptly named Corvette Coral – will be a precursor to next year’s central brand to celebrate Corvette’s 70th anniversary. Another invited some auto exhibitors from previous years to return with their cars for a special “Vehicle of the Oldtimers” exhibit. And, to round out the program, 20 cars chosen for their diversity of automotive design and technical contributions will comprise a class dubbed “Fairway One”.
While guests browse, Colin Moody, former Executive Chef of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, will be catering for the Concours. Meanwhile, proceeds from the event will benefit CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children – the Ministry of Bridge Restoration Addiction Recovery Program and the Laguna Seca Raceway Foundation.
“We’re excited to be the start, the launch, the start of Car Week in Pasadera,” Barnett said. “It is important for us to do a good job. We almost think it’s a responsibility to do it right, to represent the start of something very special here on the Monterey Peninsula.
Elsewhere on the peninsula, opening events will continue with the launch of Monterey Car Week. Returning for its 13th year, the annual exhibit will host 30 rare race cars along Alvarado Street from 5-7 tonight. Not just for show, vintage makes and models will double as active participants at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s Monterey pre-meeting Saturday and Sunday. But not before giving attendees a deeper look at what they can only briefly see from the side of the race track.
“The impetus (for the event) was that we wanted to bring the show to the community, to share these cars that are going to be seen on the track,” said Barry Toepke, director of heritage events and public relations at WeatherTech Raceway. Seca Lagoon.
Toepke added that tonight’s launch celebration is also an opportunity to meet drivers and understand the stories behind the automobiles. Meet and greet opportunities will also be available at Cibo Ristorante, 301 Alvarado St., for a Classic Car Week Drivers’ Reception with complimentary appetizers and live jazz music.
“It’s going to be a good time – and a good week,” said Toepke, looking forward to seeing this year’s slate of more than 25 Classic Car Week events. “People I’ve spoken to are really looking forward to getting out.”
For more information on the Monterey Car Week kickoff, the contest in Pasadera, or what’s happening later in this year’s Monterey Classic Car Week, go to https://www.seemonterey.com/events /sporting/contest/. For more on the Herald’s coverage of this year’s events, visit www.montereyherald.com/tag/classic-car-week/