Five cars that steal the shows at Monterey Car Week

Californian car fest draws world’s motoring rich to big-money auctions and luxury car launches

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 8:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 11:28pm

Monterey Car Week has dominated the automotive world this week with big-money classic auctions, swish concours, exclusive new model launches, and lots of track and rally events, about three hours’ drive south of San Fransisco. As the festival closes on Monday, here are five cars that are revving imaginations and maybe throttling a few wallets in California, this weekend.

Arizona-based auction house Russo and Steele has offered about 250 collectibles.You can check the lots’ results online https://russoandsteele.com/auctions/ Lot #1138 could draw a large crowd at the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong’s next Chater Road Show, on October 29. This “race ready” 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile Spec” Racecar is from the collection of comedian Adam Carolla and was originally bought by Krefeld-based Dahmen-Tuning and converted to racing specifications, the auctioneer says.

Santa Monica-based auctioneer Gooding & Co presents a 3.3-litre V12 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, which it describes as “one of the finest Ferrari Berlinettas in existence” and with an estimate of US$12 million to US$16 million. The auctioneer’s sales would have been held on Friday and Saturday, and with a live auction broadcast on www.goodingco.com.

Meanwhile Walworth, Wisconsin-based auctioneer Mecum would have expected to fetch at least US$1.9 million for a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose . Powered by a “sweet sounding” 3,286cc V12 engine with a five-speed manual transmission, the Long Nose is “an excellent representation of what collectors seek in a ‘60s-era Ferrari”, the auctioneer says.

Tyre maker Michelin is using Monterey Car Week to remind the car world of its collaborations with Koenigsegg, Ferrari, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. It addressed several of the festival’s key events, first as the presenting sponsor forthe Exotics on Cannery Row event , and then with presences at niche meetings such as the Legends of Autobahn gathering for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car club enthusiasts.

At Monterey’s Porsche WERKS Reunion of 500 cars, Michelin presented well-treaded champion cars such as the 2002 996 GT2, in which Jeff Zwart won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Michelin’s grass-roots strategy reminded performance-car aficionados of the maker’s PILOTR competition tyres, and with a social soft-sell that creates event-memories, friendships and maybe brand loyalty.

Monterey Car Week “continues to grow in size, scope and prestige”, says Johnny Valencia, Michelin North America performance segment marketing manager.

“It is exciting to collaborate with the leading innovators in the industry to create up-close-and-personal experiences that capture the imaginations of driving enthusiasts everywhere.”

Marques often launch their best cars at private viewings in Monterey.

Jaguar introduced North America to its 592hp XE SV Project 8 saloon at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The marque described the 320km/h saloon as “the most extreme performance Jaguar ever” and the second Collector’s Edition vehicle from its elite Special Vehicle Operations arm. Only 300 Project 8’s would be hand-built in Coventry, either as a blue four-seater or as an orange two-seater with an optional track pack.

“Bringing the XE SV Project 8 to North America and debuting it at the events during Monterey Car Week was a natural fit,” says Kim McCullough, vice-president of marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America.

“The week’s festivities on the Monterey Peninsula bring together the most passionate automotive enthusiasts from around the world each year.”

Land Rover also presented its the Range Rover Velar and SVO’s US$200,000 ultra-luxury Range Rover SV Autobiography Long Wheelbase.

Meanwhile, Acura has been teasing its newest race car, the ARX-05 prototype, and is expected to launch it in Monterey this weekend. The marque also launched the new 377hp hybrid RLX, a direct-injected V6 with three electric motors and all-wheel-drive.

The RLX has a new diamond pentagon grille and is described by the marque as “the most sophisticated and best-performing Acura sedan ever” with traffic radar, lane-keeping, collision-mitigation and braking electronics. Acura now makes six models, including the new NSX.