Anyone who has lived in Mooresville (Race City USA) knows that cars are a big part of life for many folks here. From NASCAR to the local drag strip to our monthly Cruise-ins and weekly gatherings of car collectors of all kinds, if you are a car fan, this is THE place to be…well with the exception of Monterey California during “Car Week”!
One of my client’s, Brett Hemphill, thought it might be fun to share a bit about this incredible week for those that may not have been lucky enough to attend it. All I can say is WOW and I hope you enjoy it:
Car Week 2009
One of the best ways to wind down summer is to spend five days in Monterey and Carmel for the various car events collectively known as “Car Week”. This was my second time experiencing the “car overload” and can’t wait to do it again.
This year’s event was a little different in that we were selling our Touchless Car Cover and trying to fit all of the great events in. We figured a way to do it.
The week started with the McCall’s Revival Party at the Monterey Jet Center on Wednesday evening. The grounds are filled with aircraft, rare cars and plenty of car talk. Porsche used this event to introduce the new Panamera sedan. The attendees are well heeled, I am told. Rumor has it that there were 15 jets sold at the event in 2008.
Thursday morning is an early wake up call. We head over to the start of the Pebble Beach Concours tour. This event features cars that will be shown on Sunday on the 18th green of Pebble Beach. It is great to see these cars lining up near the equestrian center at Pebble Beach in the early morning. If there happens to be a tie on Sunday at the Pebble Beach Concours, the car that participated in the Tour gets a bonus point and wins.
We spent Thursday afternoon prepping two cars that my business partner is auctioning the following day at the Russo & Steele Auction at the Marriott in downtown Monterey. At this point, a brush fire has started nearby and there is ash in the air.
Later, we had to drop off three car covers at Concorso Italiano. The Blackhawk Museum contacted us and wanted the Touchless Car Cover to protect and hide their three Alfa Romeo BAT cars from the evening foggy mist and prying eyes. Then it was off to La Dolce Vita to set up our Touchless Car Cover booth in preparation for sales at that event on Friday.
That evening is the Russo & Steele VIP party in the parking structure with all of the cars that will be sold during the next two days.
Friday morning we were off to Concorso Italiano to retrieve our covers. The venue was quickly filling up with Ferrari’s, Lamborgini’s and all things Italian. Then it was off to La Dolce Vita. We unveiled a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C Grand Sport. Organizers of the event asked us to cover it with a Touchless Car Cover to protect it from the aforementioned ash shower that seemed to be getting worse. We spent the day meeting people from around the world and talked about cars.
Friday night found us at the Russo & Steele Auction. We did some viral marketing by offering a Touchless Car Cover with the first car on the block. This was followed by going to the invite only party at Mercedes Benz on the 4th fairway of Pebble Beach. An interesting crowd varied between under dressed and over dressed. Cocktails and chocolate were being served. The Mercedes evening was capped off with the Pointer Sisters singing a mini concert. Since we did not expect the lack of food, we ended up at McDonalds. How is that for a contrast?
Saturday was spent at the Mecum auction. I was standing 50 feet away from a Daytona Cobra race car signed by Carol Shelby as it went through the block at $ 7.25 million (plus the buyer’s premium). The auctioneer asked the excited audience: “Do you know the difference between a car and a house? You can sleep in your car, but you cannot drive your house”.
Our celebrity status (read: they want to sell us advertising) got us invited to the $100 per head Sports Car Market seminar at Gooding & Company. Gooding definitely had the premium cars to auction including one of Mario Andretti’s Dean Van Lines Indy car.
Saturday night we were back at Russo & Steele doing viral marketing with the first car on the block. Then it was off to dinner with friends – at the table we discussed cars. Imagine the conversation of five Porsche owners in discussion with one Corvette owner. The guy didn’t have a chance.
The weekend was capped off by attending the Pebble Beach Concours. It is just as much fun to see where the cars came from as it is looking at the cars. We saw cars from Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and more. Forget the cost of the cars, how about the cost of transporting them back and forth? The biggest chuckle I got was watching one of the owners trying to start up a million dollar car. He had no idea how to operate it and had the assistance of an unsolicited mechanic. I am fairly convinced that he had never driven the car.
We took highway 101 South toward Newport Beach and made a detour to the Peachy Canyon Winery for a tasting. The girl serving admired my car. We knew we had picked the right spot as we sipped wine and discussed cars with our wine expert who currently drives a Mini Cooper (S – of course).