October 31, 2022

Memories from Monterey Car Week

Larry Futers
7 Communications
President & CEO

It’s been a minute since Monterey Car Week lined the banks of the California coast with some of the world’s most precious and historic automobiles.

There truly is no other gathering quite like “Car Week.” Its culminating event — the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — traces all the way back to 1950 and remains one of the automotive world’s most important calendar dates. Every year, tens of thousands descend on this piece of rugged coast two hours south of San Francisco.

I recently sat down to capture the essence of a few very memorable days in Monterey and added a few photos throughout to help add some visual context.

Left: Detailed close-up of the rear end of a Rolls Royce car, featuring a Rolls Royce branded plate. Upper Middle: Detailed close-up of the rear end of a Rolls Royce car, featuring a Rolls Royce branded plate. Lower Middle: An exquisitely arranged long dining table with elegant tableware and set places. Right: Three cheerful individuals pose in front of an aquarium backdrop, each holding a glass of wine

For the Canadian guests of our client, Grand Touring Automobiles, the festivities began immediately upon arrival. On the Thursday of Car Week, guests were chauffeured from their arriving airports via Rolls-Royce Ghosts to our host hotel in Monterey.

Check-ins took place over a glass of Champagne, and after they’d freshened up, guests were escorted down Cannery Row to the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. Hosted by Grand Touring Automobiles CEO, Paul Cummings and his leadership team, guests were joined by global Rolls-Royce executives who enjoyed a four-course curated culinary experience as stingray, hammerhead sharks and other aquatic life floated by in the aquarium’s 1-million-gallon tank with ninety-foot viewing window. It took the concept of “dinner and show” to a whole new level.

Friday was spent at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. One of Monterey Car Week’s most notable events and perhaps the most intimate 3,000-person experience you will ever attend. Our guests were granted VIP access to the Rolls-Royce Atelier and Lounge where they again brushed shoulders with the brand’s executives, and had a chance to browse the full lineup of offerings. To say the Quail is an exceptional sales opportunity for those marquees in attendance is an understatement. In fact, for most if not all of the manufacturers presenting their upcoming vehicles and concepts — including but not limited to Bugatti, Rimac, Lucid, Czinger, McLaren, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini and, of course, Rolls-Royce — this is the single best sales day of the year.

Upper Left: A lively scene with a crowd of people gathered outdoors, at a motorsport event. Lower Left: A group of people watching a TV display, with one person pointing to features on an image of a car, engaging in a discussion or demonstration. Middle: A prominent metal statue featuring the Rolls Royce logo. Upper Right: An interior view of a Rolls Royce, highlighting the luxurious design. Lower Right: A group of people posing for the camera, all smiles and holding champagne glasses, capturing a festive moment.

California’s weather gods smiled upon us as we moved from amongst the themed tents, enjoying British ales and Beatles tunes in the U.K. tent, for example, and delicious eats and entertainment in the Italian tent.

The festivities continued that evening in the Carmel Valley, where the Global CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, hosted a private dinner for just over 100 attendees at the stunning Rose Garden at Bernardus Lodge.

Representing the spirit of the event itself, the five-star resort surrounded by vineyards on the Santa Lucia Mountains was built by a wealthy individual who wanted a beyond-comfortable venue for his race-fan friends and contacts to be able to stay and play while enjoying the adjacent Laguna Seca motorsport track. An evening of remarkable conversations and a culinary experience extraordinaire was a perfect way to conclude a very special day.

Saturday morning began in the Carmel Valley with a breakfast hosted by Automobili Pininfarina at the hypercar maker’s gorgeous (rented) private estate. Here, with hand-pressed espresso and breakfast in hand, we were treated to an up-close look at the brand’s newest vehicle, a revolutionary $400,000 SUV dubbed the PURA Vision. So exclusive was our preview that all of our devices, cameras and phones were sequestered by staff outside the presentation area as we interacted with the SUV. Suffice to say, the PURA Vision is not your typical SUV, but rather a work of art on wheels.

Left: A sign on a tree indicating "Espresso Pizza Gelato" with an arrow directing to the left, guiding visitors. Upper Middle: Two Lamborghini cars showcased on display in a parking lot. Lower Middle: People relaxing under umbrellas in an outdoor space, surrounded by Lamborghinis. Right: Detailed close-up of the front left side of a Lamborghini's hood.

A sign on a tree indicating "Espresso Pizza Gelato" with an arrow directing to the left, guiding visitors.

Next up on the itinerary was a trip to the famed Pebble Beach, where our guests enjoyed lunch at the Lamborghini Lounge located in a stunning and expansive house off the course’s 18th fairway. The Italians know how to build stunning supercars, but they also know how to prepare amazing food.

Those wishing to shop the Italian automaker’s offerings were invited into various product areas, including a configuration suite in which I joined one of our VIPs as he and his wife configured their new Urus — an exceptional experience by the Automobili Lamborghini Canada and America team.

As difficult as it should’ve been to follow that up, Aston Martin somehow managed to wow us once again. Aston Martin created a brand showcase overlooking the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach that was stunning. I must have overheard half a dozen individuals asking “how do I put a downpayment on the [million-dollar] Valkyrie today.”

Upper Left: Ariel view of a large group of people seated at rows of dining tables in an outdoor garden, illuminated by strung lights, enjoying a social gathering. Lower Left: An automobile on display with groups of people observing and congregating around it. Middle: A detailed close-up of a Bentley steering wheel. Upper Right: Close-up of headrests in a convertible with the top down. Lower Right: A group of musicians performing live music at an event.

Later that afternoon, two shuttles departed the hotel: one for Bugatti owners invited to a private cocktail reception with Bugatti’s global leadership team, and one to meet the captivating founder of Koenigsegg, Christian Von Koenigsegg. The two shuttles converged after cocktails at The Beach & Tennis Club overlooking Stillwater Cove at Pebble Beach for an evening hosted by Bentley Motors. What a day!

On Sunday, we returned to Pebble Beach for the famed Concours d’Elegance.

I’ve been to the Super Bowl, and I can honestly say this is the closest thing I can think of to compare it to. Only, instead of thousands of screaming football fans, you have thousands slightly quieter (but equally excited) car enthusiasts. The crowd was as eclectic as the classics that rolled down the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach, with people in period costumes, owners leading their dogs and parents introducing their children to the wonders of the automotive world. Everywhere you turn, you see cars worth tens of millions of dollars. The Rolls-Royce Showfield Hospitality overlooking the fairway action provided some respite from the buzz outside for our VIP guests.

Left: A sizeable crowd of people gathered at a car event near a lake, observing and admiring a lineup of cars on display. Right: A crowd of people in stands, celebrating an event with confetti flying in the air.

That evening, we enjoyed another outstanding meal on the rooftop terrace at Grasing’s in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Prepared by their chef who’s resume includes Best Chef in Monterey for seven of the last ten years, we were joined by top execs from Bugatti and Lamborghini. It was the perfect conclusion to a weekend of luxury, motoring history and great company.

If guests had even half as much fun as I did, something tells me they’ll be returning to Monterey in 2023.

For some additional insights into this program, click here.