Every year in the third week of August, auto aficionados flock to the Monterey Peninsula for what has become a weeklong extravaganza of classic-car races, shows and tours…and we weren’t about to miss out on all the fun.
The week started for us at the Concorso Italiano, with an eye-catching array of Italian exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and their many cousins. Here Fiat introduced the 2013 500 Turbo to its lineup. Designed to hit the sweet spot between its base models and the racy Abarth, the $19,500 Turbo features a sport-tuned suspension, manual transmission, 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was the scene for a moving tribute to the late Carroll Shelby. There, more Cobras on hand than you can shake a dipstick at, and Ford and Shelby American unveiled a one-off 850-horsepower Shelby GT500 Cobra Mustang that will tour the country and eventually be auctioned for charity.
Monterey week is also a good place to catch auction fever, and a staggering 260 million dollars changed hands through five major sales. RM set a new world record for an American car with an $11 million dollar winning bid for this 1968 Ford GT40, once used as a camera car for the Steve McQueen racing film Le Mans. Not to be outdone, Gooding and Company parted with this 1936 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster for a cool 11.7 million.
Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours went to another Mercedes, this 1928 680S with torpedo bodywork by Saouthchik. While on the Concept Car lawn, future classics from the world’s sporting and luxury carmakers wowed the crowds. Lamborghini showed their Urus SUV concept for the first time in America, alongside their 2.2 million dollar Sesto Elemento track car. BMW’s Z4 Zagato Roadster adds a little more daring to the droptop’s design, while the SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition will see a limited production in this signature blue and dual white stripes color scheme.
This whirlwind sends us into auto overload every time we go, and we’ll bring you more coverage in upcoming shows.