My Car Quest

September 20, 2021

Editorial: Congratulations 2021 Monterey Car Week Venue Producers

by Wallace Wyss –

I just finished four days on the Monterey Peninsula for Monterey Car Week 2021 and enjoyed almost every moment. I experienced some priceless moments.

Like that morning when I arrived at WeatherTech Laguna Seca racetrack early and stood in a empty parking lot where I heard the banshee wail of a V12, then many V12s, and shortly thereafter was surrounded by a dozen or more Ferrari SP2 open roadsters, whose owners promptly took off for a few laps of the track.

Ferrari SP2

Ferrari SP2s lined up

Then, invited by a hostess at a hospitality suite in the trackside building, I got to look just as a group of GT cars practiced, and had the opportunity to photograph my favorite among them–a Bizzarrini GT 5300–from a bird’s eye view (the photographs will inspire a painting, which will be posted here).

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Bizzarrini GT 5300

I enjoyed a new venue for me–photographing the tour. Maybe this opportunity existed before but I didn’t go. I didn’t realize how much fun it is to hear the adventures of those who drove their classic in a tour in the real world, not just in the rarified air bubble of Pebble Beach.

I also enjoyed meeting people from other countries when I had expected a lockout of many because of the pandemic quarantine rules. I know they have these great events in the UK and on the Continent but the fact that foreign visitors went to such trouble to come to our event in California made me appreciate that the producers involved in Monterey Car Week have created a gem.

Various clubs were gracious enough to extend a welcoming hand, like the Pantera Club of Northern California who treated us to a nice dinner while I told how I discovered the De Tomaso marque in 1968 even before the Pantera existed.

Simultaneously, my cohort, Louis Van den Berg, (on a weekly radio show we co-host on KUCR FM Riverside) was across town addressing the Iso & Bizzarrini Owner’s Club. We both were impressed by the club members’ interest in their favorite marque’s history.

Bizzarrini GT 5300

Bizzarrini GT 5300

I particularly admire the chutzpah of those who persevered and produced Automobila, a memorabilia show that had two previous promoters back off. They made it free to the public, so I hope they get more repeat visitors next year.

I realize, after seeing several electric concept cars at Pebble Beach and The Quail, that we–traditional car fans–are inevitably headed for a historic reckoning with this thing called motoring. If the electrics win, we will have to wean ourselves from our devotion to RHUMPHA-RHUMPA and VAROOM-VAROOM and decide if we still want to remain motorheads (well, admittedly, these new ones do have electric motors…).

I will be one of the last championing internal combustion engines. Hell, internal combustion and I go way back. I remember flying the Atlantic in ’56 in, what, a 4-prop Constellation?

Now it looks like the nastier Delta variant of Covid might close some events again, but I’m glad restrictions relaxed enough for one shining moment in mid-August 2021 to allow the ultra-enthusiasts to gather at Monterey. Now we’ll all have new memories that I hope will turn golden in time…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is an author (18 car histories) now wearing an artist’s hat, creating commissioned portraits of collector cars. For a copy of the Hemmings story on his art, write malibucarart@gmail.com

 

 

 

Lamborghini Countach at Pebble Beach

Lamborghini Countach at Pebble Beach

Photos by Wallace Wyss.
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Editorial: Congratulations 2021 Monterey Car Week Venue Producers
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Editorial: Congratulations 2021 Monterey Car Week Venue Producers
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I didn't realize how much fun it is to hear the adventures during Monterey Car Week of those who drove their classic car in a tour in the real world, not just in the rarified air bubble of Pebble Beach.
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