State officials suggest moving events to Utah or Nebraska
Citing the impact of concentrating so many non-catalytic-converter-equipped vehicles within such a small and environmentally fragile geographic area, the state of California has issued an order banning Monterey Car Week activities for 2019.
The state Department of Air Particulates based its decision on the findings of inspectors from its own agency and from the California Air Purity Board who went to the Monterey Peninsula in August 2018 to observe Car Week activities and their impact. While there, they reported seeing occasional outbursts of visible and “obviously noxious” exhaust fumes emitted by some of the classic cars.
The officials also found “alarmingly high concentrations of carbon, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants” coming from the tailpipes of the tested vehicles, which included a 1914 Pierce-Arrow, a 1937 Cord 812, a 1955 Cadillac and two vintage racing cars.
“This is just not acceptable environmental impact,” CalAPB said in a news release. “What we have for one week on the Monterey Peninsula is, in terms of air pollution, the equivalent of the Mount St. Helen volcanic eruption.”
The inspectors also noted a number of oil spots on the roads and lawns where the classic cars had been parked, adding to their consternation.
In its announcement, state officials said Car Week events might be permitted in 2020 and beyond, but only if participating collector vehicles, which date back more than a century, are emissions controlled with catalytic converters or, even better, have been converted to electric power.
As an alternative, the DAP suggested that all the various Monterey Car Week events could take place in 2019, just not within the same week, or even the same month.
“We want to clear the air, quite literally,” one state official said. “So many old cars, some of them leaking oil onto the ground and most of them spewing unfiltered emissions into the air, present an unacceptable hazard and threat.
“We suggest re-scheduling such events over a much longer period of time, and preferably over a much larger geographic area, like Utah or Nebraska.”
Monterey Car Week attendees and classic car collectors were quick to dispute the state’s ruling.
“Arg!” the owner of a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 540K being readied for Car Week events exclaimed when told of the decision. “That is just so ridiculous. It’s like this whole thing is a bad April Fool’s joke. I guess I should check the calendar before believing everything I read online.”52 comments