Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
8/21/23 10:20 a.m.

I’ve been attending Monterey Car Week, as it’s now nearly universally called, almost every year since 1989.

While I know that things change, and in some cases for the better, in the early days, things were pretty simple. You got into town Thursday, paid a hundred dollars a night for a …

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Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/21/23 10:42 a.m.

Why are you talking about Burning Man? Or Aspen? Or air-cooled Porsches? The answer is that there are three phases to anything good. The Genesis, the heyday, and the ascendance of the moneied crowd. 

I don't know if Monterey has been spoiled or not because the only times that I've gone it's been for a single day as the guest of an exhibitor. I was particularly surprised at the Concorso Italiano because my friends Alfa was a (comparative) rat with a Buick motor. I was fully expecting a bunch of snobs to look down their noses at us, but instead they were very welcoming and appreciated that my friends Alfa got driven frequently - and fast.

Edit: btw - it was actually cheaper to show a car in the Concorso than to spectate when you factor in 2 people plus lunch.

 

essjatee
essjatee New Reader
8/21/23 3:29 p.m.

Current view entry tickets for the Pebble Beach Concours are $575.00. Granted -you have access to some of the most beautiful cars in existence...ummm for this year.

Soon entry tickets will double, and the whole hobby (let's call it what it is) will diminish to a few who can afford it.

So hats off to Tim Suddard for calling this out, and hoping/praying  "For the long term health"

#reinitin

 

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise PowerDork
8/21/23 4:29 p.m.

Going for 21 years. Always fun to see the eye candy. Downtown Carmel was nuts and is getting nuttier. Every kid with a tiktok out there .

Oh well. Enjoyed my time. Can't wait for next year.

 

The Quail is truly worth it.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/21/23 4:31 p.m.

When I lived in California I used to go every year. Back in the day you could pitch a tent in the infield at the track and avoid the cost of an expensive hotel. Even back then you could see Lamboghini Miuras and vintage Ferraris parked on the street in town.  We had fun lining up our old MGs. I'm sure that there are 5X as many cars and 10X as much money today as there was in the 80s. You probably can't camp out unless you bring a $200,000 Greyhound Bus of a motorhome. I don't need to go back. Been there. Done that. Got the T shirt. Can't afford it now. It's too far away from Texas.

I also lived in Vail for a while in a cheap mobile home 10 miles out of town and skied all the time. I don't go back there any more for the same reason. Been there. Done that. Can get the same kind of snow at Red River cheaper.

I know what a money pissing contest is. I don't really need to run up my credit cards watching another one from outside of the gate.

95customs
95customs New Reader
8/21/23 7:22 p.m.

I applaud you for this article, Tim.  It's a great question, and one worth asking.

I have only been going consistently since 2013, so nowhere near your decades of exposure, but even in my relatively modest 10 years, I've seen a dramatic uptick in costs and scale. I have found myself seeking out other events for their more simple enjoyment. The Pittsburgh vintage Grand Prix weekend is an outstanding time and is literally free if you want it to be. I also saw you this year at Highlands, which was a fantastic little event in a phenomenal venue.
 

Lime Rock vintage weekend is outstanding and very reasonably priced, relatively speaking. 

Monterey Car Week has become an increasing financial commitment. The events are more expensive. Increased demand has made the hotels irrationally  more expensive. Flights have become more expensive post-Covid.

But despite all that, I still look forward to car week every year. You will see things there you won't see anywhere else. Over a week of sensory overload like no other venue or event.

In a way, when I talk to other people about it, I think the insanity of it has almost become part of the storyline for those of us with more modest incomes.

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
8/22/23 11:47 a.m.

In reply to essjatee :

Thank you for the kind words!

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
8/22/23 11:48 a.m.

In reply to 95customs :

I will be at Lime Rock this year. And yes, it is a fantastic event.

bosswrench
bosswrench New Reader
8/22/23 2:53 p.m.

Yes to ALL the above, Tim. Wife & I used to go every year. Early on, we didn't even need room reservations- just pull in for a room about anywhere. We were attendees at the first Concours Italiano in 1982, with no Ferraris, a dozen Maser's and our Pantera- even bought the shirt. No more. I miss the historic races but not enough to wade into what it's all become. Sigh....

 

dougie
dougie HalfDork
8/23/23 12:28 a.m.

It has gotten so ridiculous, the hotel & air brb prices have priced the true vintage racer out of the game. You now have "fringe" car fans filling the streets chasing the hype that the weak reality car shows promote.  I love Laguna Seca and will race there with SVRA, CSRA or Velocity when the city doesn't gouge you for a room. I think it might be time to separate all the auctions and concours with the racing at the track. Just too much going on with too many posers filling up the restaurants and hotels.

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