Carmel Concours thrills again with casual but impressive show

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Carmel Concours
Porsche race cars on one of Ocean Avenue's side streets } Bob Golfen photos

Delightfully laid back and absolutely free to enjoy, the popular Carmel Concours on the Avenue once again attracted many thousands of spectators who crowded onto scenic Ocean Avenue for the impressive array of great cars.

What was formerly the kickoff for Monterey Car Week – there’s now a small but high-end concours that takes place the Friday before – the sprawling collector car show in this wealthy enclave remains one of the week’s highlights as a casual, family friendly event.   The avenue is also lined with shops and cafes for whenever you need a break from fabulous automobiles.

Carmel Concours
A wide-open Ferrari gets some attention | Bob Golfen photos

This was the 12th annual Concours on the Avenue, which typically includes more than 175 special cars spread out over 18 blocks of Carmel, on Ocean Avenue and adjoining side streets.

Carmel’s downtown does get packed with people from all over, with languages from around the world being spoken.  We detected Italian, German, Spanish, French, Japanese and English accented by British and Australian speakers.

As usual, Porsches dominated the gathering, with a number of classes ranging from early 356s and a cool group of ’50s Speedsters to roaring 911 race cars, which most likely will be taking part in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at nearby WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca later in the week.

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Carmel Concours
The 1952 OSCA MT4 by Vignale won Best of Show

The show also is full of street rods and customs, classics from the U.S., Europe and Japan, plus plenty of showstopping exotics, including a number of spectacular Ferraris from just about every era.

A class of historic endurance racers commanded special interest, with fans gathering around each time one of them was started with a shrieking blast.  Those racers also will be making their way to the Laguna Seca track for competition runs this weekend.

The Best of Show winner was a terrific 1952 OSCA MT4 by Vignale, well-deserved.

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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.

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