Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


AT ONE time or another, the most interesting cars in the world show up on the Monterey Peninsula. Given that the 2013 Monterey Weekend is taking place at the moment (see, I’m celebrating it here with photos I’ve taken over the years.

The “Weekend” stretches into more than a week now. A favored routine is to arrive for Tuesday’s Carmel Concours on the Avenue.


A gaggle of bright 1950s station wagons populate Carmel’s Ocean Avenue, 2007.

The Concours on the Avenue is always fun for its eclectic nature, one year there was an American Austin/Bantam convertible (see; another, an immaculately restored cement truck (a genre yet to be treated here).

Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s the neat Automobilia Monterey, with collectibles of all sorts. Fun to encounter old friends, make new ones and browse the tables for interesting car stuff.


This studio model of a 1950s Gordini race car ( was certainly tempting, 2008.

Several purveyors of books and photos are regular magnets for me as well.

Thursday is the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. To me, this is the best—and least expensive—event of the week, in that it costs nothing to see. Just park your car anywhere along the pre-announced route, and the cream of Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours comes motoring past.


The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance exhibits cars as they should be seen—in motion. These two Bugattis and others are on the downhill portion of the Laureles Grade, 2003.

The past few years, the Tour has headed down Route 1, which means if you park somewhere along it, you get to see them travel past twice. Great fun!

Friday is The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. It’s not inexpensive (but then remember all the money saved spectating the Tour).


A Vieux Carré of The Quail, this brasserie had a Peugeot Bébé (one of Ettore Bugatti’s early designs) parked out front and its own violinist, 2004.

The Quail features festive sites at each corner, a German tent here, a French one there, with plenty of tables and chairs for sharing excellent cuisine with other enthusiasts.


This 1896 Pope Famous Chainless Bicycle was exhibited at The Quail, 2008. It features a two-speed gear, coaster brake, “cushion frame,” and, exceptionately, a shaft drive within its right-side frame member.

Saturday is a great day for multi-taskers. The vintage race cars are in the middle of their three-day extravaganza at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


This Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” replica raced at the Monterey Historics, 2003.

The classic car auctions are underway at several venues. And there’s amazing car watching to be had throughout the peninsula.


The fabulous Napier-Railton (, just hanging out at Pebble Beach’s 18th green. The event in the background was an Infiniti introduction, 2007.

There are press events going on. Serendipity occurs.

Sunday to me is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Dawn Patrol gets there at 0-dark-thirty to see the cars motor onto the green to their assigned display areas. (Truth is, there’s better motoring to be seen of those participating in the Tour.)


The Ghia Gilda whooshes in, 2008. Don’t stand too close behind it.

Designed by Chrysler’s Virgil Exner in 1955, the Ghia Gilda Streamline X Coupé was a striking machine, albeit a non-mobile one back in its auto show days.


The Gilda’s turbine powerplant, 2008.

The Gilda’s 2008 restoration involved installation of an AiResearch turbine engine and the car made a memorable entrance at Pebble.

It’s a magic week, with only one downside.


Just my luck. That Indy roadster scored the last spot, 2007.

Parking can be a real hassle. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2013


  1. carmacarcounselor
    August 25, 2013

    Oh, my! Yes. Parking. Much to the dismay of Ephraim, my late-riser friend and photographer, who deigns to accompany me and inject bits of Italiana when viewing Alfas, Fiats, Ferraris, Maseratis and Etceterini, I solve the parking problem by rising at (as you say) oh-dark-thirty getting there ahead of everyone else. I got to the Tour start so early I had time for a nap. If you were there you know that the weather was spectacular. My image of a sunrise-sparkled ’29 Murph Duesenberg Pheaton is now my wallpaper. (digital version available on request, gratis). I have not yet overcome my self-indulgence at the freedom a blog provides in terms of elimination of length limitations. For a sample see

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