The Legends of the Autobahn car show faced a big challenge this week. After the event was approved to be held at the Carmel Valley Village, the Carmel Valley Association of local residents objected to having several hundred cars arrive for the Saturday show.
As a result, the show was evicted from its location with just a few days to find another location. The three national car clubs that stage the event — BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz owners club — scrambled and gained approved to move to the Monterey County Fairgrounds.
Not only the owners of the cars being shown, but sponsors and exhibitors that had planned on the village location needed to be notified and adjust their own plans accordingly.
Somehow, in a matter of a few days, people adjusted and the event went off August 14 without a hitch.
This show features areas for cars being judged and for those just there on display. Basically, the cars on display were parked in the fairgrounds’ rodeo arena area, which has a dirt surface. Even so, people were busy cleaning their cars as best they could. I’d just run the new 2021 BMW M3 I was displaying through a car wash on the way to the fairgrounds.
The field for the judged cars was on grass.
BMW, Audi and Mercedes usually have corporate displays as well, but apparently only BMW had time to make the needed adjustments and displayed — on grass — the new M4 GT3 race car, the new M4 convertible, M5 CS, and the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe.
BMW also brought along three pro drivers — 2019 Daytona 24 winner Connor De Phillippi, 2020 Rolex 24 winner John Edwards, and Bill Auberlen, the winningest IMSA driver of all time. They were around to chat with fans, sign autographs, and will race in the Pro/Am Challenge races at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.
To celebrate Bill Auberlen’s record 63 IMSA victories, watchmaker Franck Muller had a special display of tribute timepieces.
The field of show cars was quite impressive. Standouts include Mercedes-Benz 190SL I have seen, a BMW 328 driven by a 90-year-old, and a number of tremendous Audis.
Despite all the issues, the three clubs held a fantastic show that drew a large group of spectators.