Drive around Orange County enough and you are bound to encounter what I call supercar serendipity. That line of fluorescent Lamborghinis buzzing down PCH; a pack of pristine Porsches carving up a canyon road; or a Ferrari and a McLaren stopped at the same random intersection in Costa Mesa.
These are simply the types of chance encounters that occur thanks to the county’s ridiculously high automotive extravagance per capita quotient. And then there are times when you simply cannot wait for supercar serendipity – times when you must seek out automotive eye candy. One of the best times for that is Monterey Car Week.
Every August, automotive extravagance overruns the picturesque Monterey peninsula and surrounding areas. This year’s festivities start
with a free showing of 30 classic race cars on a single block in Old Monterey on Aug. 11 and culminate on Aug. 20 with the decadent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance competition. In between are some 16 car shows, six days of racing and six big-ticket auctions likely to gross more than $300 million.
As for the events, some are nearly as exclusive – though not quite as expensive – as the automobiles themselves. Tickets to the Pebble Beach event sell for $325 in advance. Tickets to the invitation-only The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering cost $650 and were allocated via a lottery system in February. Fortunately, there are still plenty of opportunities to encounter automotive greatness at Monterey. So in the spirit of supercar serendipity, here are a few of the great free events during this month’s Monterey Car Week:
Concours on the Avenue
Aug. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
More than 175 luxury, muscle, hot rod and sports cars will line 18 blocks of downtown Carmel for this competition.
Legends of the Autobahn
Aug. 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
It’s Germans only for this competition that typically draws more than 400 vehicles (think: a sea of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Audis) and 3,000…