Blue chip meets blue collar at Carmel


It's easy to get lost in the world of record-breaking 250GTOs and coachbuilt wonders that headline the auctions and concours events of Pebble Beach Car Week, but early birds enjoy a more down to earth automotive celebration at the very beginning of the week: Carmel by the Sea's Concours on the Avenue. 

This year's event, which took place on 12 August, was a standout occasion, with dozens of stellar classics packed into the picturesque streets of Carmel. Everything from Ferrari F50s to rodded Chevrolet Coupes could be found on the avenue, which proved a truly level playing field throughout the event; as well as some particularly special cars, such as Clark Gable's Jaguar XK120 roadster, there were plenty of more humble Triumph Spitfires and MGBs, which attracted equal attention. 

The anniversary of Ford's GT350 Mustang was marked in fine style by a seemingly endless row of special examples, from street cars through to track-ready monsters, which parted the crowds with the bark of their side-exit exhausts throughout the day. 

Like the more high-end concours of Car Week, headline cars were brought onto the ramp and their owners interviews by C&SC contributor Alain de Cadenet – though open access ensured spectators could get as close as they liked to take photographs. 

In addition to the countless concours entries, a bit of exploring beyond the bounds of the event was rewarded by a host of additional classics parked in the surrounding roads. 

While fully restored classics were the order of the day, a special class simply titled 'Patina' featured some true survivors, including a distressed Porsche 911 and a remarkably complete Land-Rover Series I. 

Elsewhere, a mud-spattered Ford Model T took pride of place at one of the main intersections, having just completed an epic drive from the east coast to San Francisco. 

With Car Week's Porsche Werks Reunion in its second year, Stuttgart's finest featured prominently throughout the day. A stunning Porsche 356B Carrera Abarth proved a favourite for many, but the most popular was undoubtedly Steve McQueen's last Slate Gray example, which was shown prior to going under the hammer later in the week. 


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