For this year’s Car Week in Monterey, I headed up a day early to catch the festivities at the early stages. Such is the lure to see 7 full days of automotive brilliance and variety. It was a great idea, my destination was set on the GPS to arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea after the 5 or so hour drive up the coast. Arriving at around midday, the show was already in full swing. This event, in a way, officially kicks off the week.
The Carmel Concours takes place on and around the main streets of the town. Like all good car Week shows, the automotive delights start long before you reach the boundaries of the show. On my short walk from where I parked, I spotted a Countach, a Porsche 550 Roadster (wouldn’t doubt that it’s original) and a car park full of Aston Martins.
I arrived just as Ed Justice Jr. and Alain de Cadenet were presenting some of the significant cars for the crowd. A string of original 60’s Minis parted the crowd after their presentation, a rare incredible 1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato Double Bubble (one of two built) was settling into the spotlight for it’s barrage of compliments. The car (like most significant vehicles around car week) appeared again at other shows during the week.
Of all the Ferrari, Porsche and other amazing cars on display, a 1968 OSI 20M TS Coupe caught my eye. This rare manufacture, (full name Officine Stampaggi Industriali) was a coach-building company founded in 1960 in Turin by former Ghia president Luigi Segre and Arrigo Olivetti that intended to be an independent design branch of Ghia’s, focusing on special projects. The 20m was their most popular car, based on the Ford Taunus 20m. It was designed by the Sergio Sartorelli who also penned the VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia (the Razor Edge Ghia). This particular car had a Ford V8 transplant and some other very tasteful additions.
Other great vehicles included a selection of older racing cars that would later tackle Laguna Seca,an obligatory selection of fine Porsches, Ferraris and a impressive gaggle of Dino 246GT’s all riding together. They later appeared at Concorso Italiano in force. We also got a sneak peak at one of the featured classes for the Sunday show, Tucker. This was a carbon fiber replica car built by Rob Ida as his personal car with a modern Cadillac V8 and air ride suspension.
Overall, the show is a great way to start the week with it’’s deep variety and high quality selection. It gives the attendees a good taste for what the week will be about.