7 Days in Monterey 2016 – Favorite Photos

Posted by on Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Articles

I was asked to summarize my week in Monterey with just 7 photos – one for each day.  This was tough, as there are so many events, so many great cars, and I took hundreds of photographs – but here goes:

DAY 1 – The Garage Style Magazine Garage Tour – About 50 of us toured to several great garages, where the owners would take us through their process of creating the automotive ambience they chose for their garage.  This one – full of vintage touring cars – each with a story of a long drive or club tour.

Monterey 2016 1 Garage Tour

DAY 2 – Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours – There were hundreds of cool cars displayed on the streets of Carmel, but none created a scene like Gary Wales’ latest creation.  With a Batman theme and a 12-cylinder fire-truck engine, he created quite a stir entering the show – and did I mention – he does one of these every year?

Monterey 2016 2 - Carmel by the Sea

DAY 3 – The Auctions – Well, you could write a book about what was offered, what sold, and what didn’t at the 6 major auctions in Monterey – but suffice it to say the totals are just shy of $350 million sold, which is down about 50 large from 2015, with a significantly lower closing ratio throughout.  Me, I love vintage motorcycles, and here’s just a few from Mecum, where the selection was wide and deep.

Monterey 2016 3 - auction motorcycles

DAY 4 – The Pebble Beach Tour – Hard to estimate the total value of the cars that roll past you on Thursday morning in Monterey – certainly many hundreds of millions of dollars.  Gets an insurance guy’s heart a-twittering to see them parked so close together, with thousands of spectators clamoring for a look.  The crowd was huge – and no wonder – with a Concours ticket price jumping like an Olympic pole-vaulter, it’s a chance to see these great cars for free.

Monterey 2016 4 - Pebble Tour

DAY 5 – Laguna Seca – This is an easy choice for me – among all the great race cars here, the Pre-War aisle is always my favorite.  Wonderful racing for 4 days, and wandering the pits is like a back-stage pass to racing history.

Monterey 2016 5 - Laguna PreWar

DAY 6 – Concorso Italiano – I call this one “Which Color?”  I spoke with this gentleman at length, and he came specifically to see the featured Muira row.  He was gazing at these cars like a freshman boy at the Senior High School dance – and stated he had always dreamed of owning one.

Monterey 2016 6 Concorso

DAY 7 – Pebble Beach Concours – This is a photo that gets taken 1,000 times at every Pebble Beach Concours.   The cars in the feature row are not judged and have been a variety of marques over the years.   For 2016, Pebble featured an incredible fleet of Ford GT40’s.  Nicely parked, I might add – which is why every photographer snaps this one.

Monterey 2016 7 - Pebble Beach GT40


Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. The Chrysler was initially a six-cylinder automobile, but Walter steered them towards a full line offering, including everything from trucks to luxury cars. This period of great success earned Chrysler a place at the table in Detroit known as the Big Three. Many of the cars that brought Chrysler through the war years and beyond were designed by Raymond H. Dietrich with the aid of Chrysler’s Art and Color Department. As swiftly as the production of civilian cars came to an abrupt halt at the onset of World War II, it was resumed at nearly twice the speed in 1946. The Big Three scrambled to meet the imminent demand of excited new car buyers; however, Chrysler did so with a bit more creative gusto that helped institute immediate demand for some of their new models. The height of luxury at the time was the Town and Country convertible. (more…)

Race Cars Galore at Laguna Seca

Posted by on Thursday, August 18, 2016 in Articles


A visit to Laguna Seca during the Monterey Car Week is like a trip though time, with the finest field of vintage and exotic race cars you’ll ever see.

Laguna 2016 1

Thursday was only a practice day, but there were still substantial crowds and plenty of eye candy everywhere.  From the Pre-War class right on through the Can Am cars, vintage racing offers gear heads everywhere the chance to get up close and personal with the cars from their youth.

Laguna 2016 2

With special kudos to the race cars of BMW, the Laguna Seca pits offer a race fan a unique perspective on some of the greatest racing cars of the past 100 years.

Laguna 2016 3

These are quite different from the collector cars we’ll see on the lawn at Pebble Beach, as they are still being used as built for fast laps and racing fun, but added up, it’s easy to see why Monterey in August is at the epicenter of the collector car world.

Laguna 2016 4

Join Heacock Classic on Saturday at Concorso Italiano, just another opportunity to see and hear some of the most collectible cars in the world.

2014 McLaren P1 at Mecum Monterey

Posted by on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 in Articles

McLaren: the name conjures images of bellowing Orange Can Am racers, delicately sculpted Formula 1 racers and fabulous road cars like this breathtaking 2014 P1 Hybrid. Boasting chassis number 2, this McLaren P1 was the earliest serial number available to the public and – since McLaren kept serial number 1 – this McLaren P1 is the earliest chassis number in private hands today. A one-owner jewel, the supercar was delivered new in May 2014 with a painted carbon fiber body. Later in the production cycle, McLaren announced their plans to offer a limited number of cars with exposed carbon fiber body panels. The owner shipped the car back to McLaren in September 2015 to be fitted with an exposed carbon-fiber body and upon completion, McLaren shipped the completed car back in December 2015 and then later the original painted body in three separate crates. McLaren built only four or five exposed carbon fiber cars after the end of the original production run, however this P1 is the only example that was converted from a painted to exposed-finished body by the factory. The original body will be included in the sale of the car with complimentary shipping to a location within the continental United States.

2014 McLaren P1

The McLaren P1 demonstrates that the supercar concept has advanced exponentially in the last decade. More than just a freakish powertrain wrapped in wads of carbon fiber, the P1 is an exquisitely rendered system of systems. Its aero design imparts more downforce than any other production road car in the world. It supplements that with a combination of RaceActive Chassis Control and an adjustable rear wing to add ground effect aerodynamics and maximize the downforce inherent in the car’s sculpting. Its revolutionary MonoCage monocoque, one of the lightest such structures of any road car at just 180 pounds, is composed of carbon fiber with five times the strength of titanium and incorporates the additional protection of Kevlar.

McLaren designers and engineers simultaneously drew on both the past and the future of Formula 1 for the P1, employing such outlawed technologies as the aforementioned active aerodynamics and suspension while previewing the change to hybrid powertrains introduced in the 2014 rulebook. In addition to its all-carbon-fiber construction (McLaren pioneered its use in Formula 1), the P1 incorporates many present-day Formula 1 technologies, including IPAS (Instant Power Assist System), a development of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that instantly delivers maximum power, and DRS (Drag Reduction System), which adjusts the rear spoiler to maximize straight-line speed, all at the touch of steering wheel-mounted buttons.

2014 McLaren P1 4 rear

Power is wrought through a combination of a twin-turbocharged 3.8L DOHC 32-valve V-8 rated at 727 HP and, in the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, a permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor adding 177 HP for a total output of 903 HP and more than 700 lb-ft of torque. Mounted amidships and fed by a roof-mounted snorkel air intake inspired by the McLaren F1 road car, this power package blasts the P1 to 60 MPH in 2.7 seconds, 100 MPH in 5.1 and 185 MPH in just 16.5 seconds, the latter 5 fewer than the McLaren F1. The F1’s exotic silicon-carbide-coated carbon-ceramic disc brakes, supplied by Formula 1 partners Akebono, halt the P1 from 120 MPH in a mere 380 feet.

Drivers can choose from several modes of performance, beginning with E-mode, which uses only the electric motor and the most docile suspension setting. Things start happening fast from there, drawing the driver into ever-more intimate contact with the P1 that climaxes in full-on Race mode. It is there that the P1 is truly in its element, delivering its pilot into the nirvana of car and driver operating as one. The RaceActive system hunkers the car down two inches closer to the ground, inducing full ground effect, and the wind-sculpted rear spoiler ascends almost a foot from its enclave to generate more than 1,300 pounds of downforce at 160 MPH, the key to the P1 driving experience at its outer limits. Power delivery is seamless and unrelenting thanks to the interplay between the two power sources; acceleration, braking and cornering are forays into new and wonderful gravitational realms, all performed to the visceral, unfiltered soundtrack of that shrieking twin-turbo V-8.

2014 Mclaren P1 3

At rest, the P1 is a study in the laws of airflow wrought in complex beauty and fine detail. Like a handcrafted timepiece that shows off its intricate movement through glass, P1 number 2’s carbon-fiber surfaces are tinted rather than painted, exposing the artfully hand-laid woven material through a glass-like coating of green lacquer. The effect is appropriately stunning on a car whose beauty—in even the most pedestrian color—arrests onlookers as if suddenly locked in suspended animation.

Green metallic lacquer ties the Pirelli P-Zero-shod 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels to the overall scheme, which repeats inside with green carbon-fiber accents and stitching on the black leather upholstery. The P1’s racing-style seats and focused controls are typical of McLaren’s driver-centric design philosophy, which also makes room for such conveniences as climate control, navigation, carpeting and an exclusive Meridian sound system.

A championship racing pedigree, shocking performance and exclusivity: this McLaren P1 has it all, with the added attraction of being in a league of its own as what McLaren itself calls, “the most exciting, capable, technologically advanced and dynamically accomplished super sports car ever made.”

Serial no. 000002, the earliest P1 serial number offered to the public

  • One owner and 576 miles since new
  • Hybrid twin-turbocharged 3.8/903 HP engine
  • Dual clutch gearbox
  • Rear wheel drive
  • RaceActive chassis control
  • Instant power assist system
  • Drag reduction system
  • Launch, track, boost and E modes
  • Akebono carbon ceramic disc brakes
  • Active rear wing
  • Roof-mounted air intake
  • Full carbon fiber body
  • Green carbon fiber lacquer tint
  • Kevlar and carbon fiber monocage
  • Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires
  • 19 and 20 inch lightweight aluminum wheels
  • Leather interior with Green carbon fiber accents and stitching
  • Climate control and navigation
  • Meridian sound system

Description details courtesy of Mecum Auctions

With the introduction of the elegant Model N limousine in 1905, Packard became one of the first American automakers to offer its patrons both contemporary styling and the advantages of protection from the elements. Hats, goggles and dusters became optional motoring attire. Peerless followed suit that same year, as did the other of the famed Three P’s, Pierce-Arrow. Cadillac enclosed its first car in 1906, adding the Model H coupe to its luxury offerings. By 1910, sedan, brougham, town car and limousine body styles had been introduced by nearly every American automaker to complement traditional touring, phaeton and speedster models. (more…)

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