Yesterday evening I heard the throaty exhaust note of a V12 and looked up from my Mac to see a bright yellow Lamborghini pass beneath my window. And then another. And a two-seater open-top Rolls, a couple of Jag XK140s, and a Maserati. I took my gin & tonic out to the front steps and watched exotic cars make their way down to the Carmel gate to the 17-Mile Drive. That kicked off another 24 hours of free can thrills.
This morning I drove to Seaside for the Concours d’Lemons, “Celebrating the Oddball, Mundane, and Truly Awful of the Automotive World.” The Concours d’Lemons is a good-natured poke in the eye of the upper crust Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that takes place tomorrow. Lemons is free; tickets to Pebble start at $175.
I did not stay for the Lemons awards ceremony (where the judges openly discuss the bribes received for each entry), but I would have chosen this Studebaker hybrid with two full size V8 engines upfront for most interesting vehicle:
“Do you race this thing?” I asked the owner. “No, we just drive it around town,” he replied. “See? How many cars can draw a smile like that to your face?”
Among the losers like the Pinto, the Corvair, the Pacer, and a Le Car were some great (but just odd) vehicles like the Delorean, a Tatra, and this beautiful Citroen Deux Chevaux:
As we’re finding everywhere we go down here, there were dachshunds for petting:
I drove to downtown Monterey to take in some of the cars to be auctioned.
How about this Bentley and its oddball hood ornament?
This incredible Henderson four was the first motorcycle to circumnavigate the globe. You can buy it for a mere $250,000. (Listening to a potential sale of another Henderson, I discovered the prices are very negotiable.)
Countless works of art on wheels, here an Indian and a Siata:
The auction house wanted $40 to tour the paddock but I found I could ogle the cars through the fence and from the balcony of the Monterey Museum of Art.
I wandered across the street to Fishermen’s Wharf to gawk at pelicans and sea lions. These pelicans are the most fearless birds I’ve ever encountered. I took a few photos from 18″ away.
Back on the streets I encountered auto excess.
Exotic cars are everywhere. Coming home along 17-Mile Drive, the traffic coming the other way included two two-seater Rolls, a Facel Vega, a Masterati, three or four AMG gullwings, Astons, E-types, Alfas, Lotus, Corvettes, and (they’re everywhere!) Ferraris.