Quail, LotA, and Werks. It sounds like a weird personal injury law firm or an off-menu order from a popular hipster restaurant. However, they’re three of the most prestigious events that Monterey Car Week has to offer. Here’s a sampling of what we saw at each gathering. Get ready for so many pictures.
Where old-school elegance meets new school pizzazz.
This particular beauty is an international traveler. It was born in England, came to America for some hill climbing, decamped for Australia for some racing, and was abandoned until current owner Jim Taylor brought it back and restored it over the past two years to the pristine machine you see here.
Taylor did the rebuild himself, flipping the drive back from right to left and swapping in a hemi under the bonnet, and tried to figure out its proper lineage. “The prior owner had a J2X and a J2, and he took both everywhere, so we’re still not quite sure what raced where,” Taylor said. Either way, it’s great in our book.
Much like people, cars with more than one name sound more regal, but anything that looks like this would still be magnificent even if they just called it “A.” It’s for sale — $300,000, if you’re interested — and the DuPont Registry description reads thusly: “Modern-day coachbuilt classic combines Chip Foose-designed Deco Rides Auburn Boattail body with Figoni Falaschi Delahaye pontoon fenders and 1937 Bugatti Type 57s grille.” Buy it and you can call it by its real moniker: The Bugnaughty.
This second annual gathering of Porsches is now also the largest gathering of Porsches in the hemisphere. More than 700 German stunners turned up.
While all on display were special, four were standouts for one simple reason: they represent the pinnacle of Porsche ingenuity and engineering. I’m talking, of course, about the four GTs. Michelin kindly corralled them from all over the globe and put them together in one spot for the first time ever. How’s this for a line up?
This beaut was designed for competition, and designed well. It won its debut race at LeMans. There’s a handful of street versions, but only a few cup cars. Regardless of whether you’re on the track or a twisty side road, if you see the likes of this mid-engine screaming up in your rearview, you can bet it won’t remain behind you for long.
This is the mythic 911, because it’s purposefully built for the hardcore driver. “When designing this, Porsche told its engineers to just go for it and make what they believe to be the ultimate 911. This is what they created,” says Oscar Pereda, Director of Michelin High Performance. “You can have a Porsche and still be a poser. Show up in a GT2 and everyone will know you’re legit.” A glance at this cockpit set up confirms Pereda’s assessment.
Look at it’s tow hook, hanging there like a nose ring on an angsty teenager. It just smacks of attitude, as if to say, “Yeah. I know I’m great. What about you?” The GT3 is supremely nimble, offering one of the purest driving experiences you can find, says Pereda. “It has an improved chassis, further solidifying that it’s most at home when on the track. There’s also an RS version which is more radical, with wider Michelin tires, a stiffer suspension and more.”
As if the first three GTs weren’t enough to bestow upon the world, Porsche continues to be kind to humanity with the GT4. We started with a mid-engine, and with the fourth installment, we come full circle with this mid-engine behemoth. This is the only one of the four on display that’s factory-owned, which means folks from the factory weren’t very far away. Andre Oosthuizen, VP of Marketing for Porsche, admitted he “has a soft spot for this latest gem,” though he hesitated to name an overall favorite amongst the herd.
“I’ve seen some 356s, 550s, and 993s that have impressed me, but don’t discount this collection, either,” he says, gesturing to the GTs. He recently had the pleasure of putting the GT4 through its paces at their new Atlanta facility, where he said it’s simply pure thrills — the very epitome of a mid-engine Cayman. By the by, if you can’t swing the hefty sticker price of a GT3, for the cost of your trip to Georgia, plus $700, you can spend an afternoon in one of the bucket seats, flying around Porsche’s track.
If you like German sports cars, welcome to heaven.
More than a decade ago, a battered shell of a 2800 CS rotted on the side of the road. Tom Panacci saved its life by returning a movie to Blockbuster. ...Blockbuster? “Yes,” he laughs, adding it was sitting nearby with “Make offer” scrawled on it. After seeing its potential, and — more importantly, he notes — conferring with his wife, Panacci made a very low bid, won, and began nursing this Beamer back to health. “I had three goals. Make it drive well, make it sound good and make it look good.”
He first swapped the 2.8 liter M30 engine for a 3.5 liter, and added a Flowmater exhaust system, specially engineered for European in-line sixes with smaller displacement. Michelin tires went on the Alpina rims because “you can’t mess with Pilots. They stick great and they really bring the car together.” The wood from the interior was shipped off to Budapest, where one craftsman there has become “the standard for E9 woodworking.”
Now, goals reached, all that’s left to do is drive the thing. “I’ve only put 900 miles on it since I started,” Panacci admits, though his friend says it corners like a dream and nails any straight, so there’s little doubt he’ll have trouble finding a reason to get it out.
Lastly, wandering around varied hallowed auction grounds, you’re privy to overhearing some outlandish statements from prospective bidders. Here are some of our favorites. Names, locations and cars have been withheld to protect the audacious.
- “It’s only $350,000? That’s so cheap, I could get two.”
- “Well, I do own the original…”
- “It’s 1.2 million. That’s practically a steal. I’d be an idiot not to get it.”
- “I recently got fresh hair plugs, so I’d prefer something with a larger windscreen, so as not to blow them all away.”
- “No, the Pope’s Enzo isn’t the only supercar to have been inside the Vatican. I once drove a 1930s Bentley in there.”
- “Park it under a sap-covered tree. Who cares? I can buy four more of those next week.”
- “Now, see, there’s a car you buy for your mistress.”
Now that you’ve seen (and heard) what’s happening at Monterey Car Week, it’s time to get in on the action. Enter the sweepstakes and share a photo or video featuring your favorite car-related moment — whether something from your personal history or a historical event — using both the hashtags #MichelinSweeps and #CarWeek. This year, Michelin is giving one grand prize winner an all-expenses-paid trip for 2 to Monterey Car Week 2016. Seven Jalopnik readers will also win a set of MICHELIN® brand passenger or light truck tires. Born from endurance racing, they give you the exhilaration of driving the best performing street tire in the world. Head to michelinsweepstakes.jalopnik.com to see other entries for inspiration.
Congratulations to Patrick who won a brand new set of MICHELIN® tires yesterday for their winning #MichelinSweeps entry here.
There’s plenty of time to enter for tomorrow’s giveaway and the grand prize trip for two to Monterey Car Week 2016. And check back Monday for more from Monterey.
Michelin’s contest rules apply, as well as our standard contest rules. Only open to US residents, 18 and older (19 and older in Alabama and Nebraska). Readers may also enter by sending their contact information to Gawker Media, Attn: Michelin Sweepstakes at Monterey Car Week, 114 Fifth Ave, Second Floor, New York, NY 10011. The contest begins on August 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM ET and ends on August 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM ET.
Photos by DW Burnett/PUPPYKNUCKLES.
Sean Evans is a writer living in New York who is as shocked as you are that it’s still possible to make a living as a writer. He’s big on all things automotive, whiskey, and heinous reality television. He tweets here and Instagrams here.