HomeCar CultureCarmel Concours starts Monterey classic car festivities

Carmel Concours starts Monterey classic car festivities


A historic 1965 Lola T70 MkII race car rolls up for an award with family perched on its sides | Bob Golfen
A historic 1965 Lola T70 MkII race car rumbles up for an award with family perched on its sides | Bob Golfen

The Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours on the Avenue is a relaxed way to kick off Monterey Classic Car Week, with much of the tree-lined downtown closed off for anything but the most special collector cars.

Ocean Avenue was packed with spectators for Tuesday’s free concours, now in its eighth year, which brings out everything from rare European and American racing cars and sports cars to a selection of vintage wood-bodied cars and station wagons.

John Canepa drives his best-of-show 917K through the crowd | Bob Golfen
Bruce Canepa drives his best-of-show Porsche 917K  | Bob Golfen

After finally finding a place to park on one of the narrow streets, I joined the thousands of strollers to check out the many excellent automobiles, which numbered around 175. The crowd in this upscale coastal town was swelled by the many visitors to the Monterey area for the spate of classic car events, including the famous car auctions and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that takes place Sunday.

Porsches seemed to be everywhere. Early 356s sports cars, some of my personal favorites, included a fairly spectacular 1952 Glockler-Porsche 356 roadster race car that won the Engineering Award. Beautiful 911s were lined up, many of them with the markings of race-car histories.

A Porsche claimed the best-of-show prize: an ultra-exotic 1969 917K race car in Gulf livery that shattered the air with the harsh blast of its performance engine. Its owner, former race driver and auto dealer Bruce Canepa, drove it up on the awards stage.

Toyota 200GT owner John Egan happily greets a concours judge | Bob Golfen
Toyota 2000GT owner John Egan greets a concours judge | Bob Golfen

Ferraris also were out in force, most of them brilliantly presented, although a certain 275 GTB with alloy coachwork by Scaglietti looked like a barn-fresh survivor, but showing lots of mysterious appeal in its rough patina.

There were also many unexpected entries, such as John Egan’s bright-red 1967 Toyota 2000GT sports coupe that was awarded the Historic Vehicle Association’s Most Significant Car award. An excited Egan told me that when his car was named the winner, “I was blown away.” He added that he has owned the rare Toyota for 40 years.

Another interesting winner was the 1965 Lola T70 MkII, which acclaimed racer John Surtees drove to victory in the very first Can-Am race in St. Jovite, Canada, in 1966. The Lola claimed the Spirit of Laguna Seca Award. Its two owners, Willis Woerheide and Bobby Hogg, brought it up to the awards stage with members of their families sitting on its flanks.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. Quick corrections … The Best of Show winner was a 1969 Porsche 917K, not 1970. It also was never a Le Mans car, although two 917s won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. Chassis 017-004 was the first 917 to complete a race distance at the Nürburgring in 1969, and went on to become a Gulf-Wyer car in 1970 driven by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman. Also the photo caption says John Canepa instead of Bruce Canepa.

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