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A Car Guy’s Guide To The World
For most travelers, August is synonymous with family vacations, but for “car guys” — men and women with a passion for vintage vehicles — this is the month for attending a feast of automotive happenings.
Monterey Classic Car Week
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the world’s most renowned gathering of classic cars, will take place on Sunday, August 21, at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. The Concours encourages preservation of the world’s great automobiles, and judges look for historical accuracy, technical merit, style, and elegance. Over the years, Pebble has spawned at least a dozen other gatherings, collectively known as “Monterey Classic Car Week.” From August 15-21, the Monterey Peninsula’s spectacular scenery and world-class golf courses will take a backseat to motorsports, car auctions, a legendary car tour, and glamorous parties attended by an international who’s who of car guys. (www.pebblebeachconcours.net)
The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance on Thursday, August 18, is a parade of Concours cars through the region’s scenic driving routes. The group departs Pebble Beach together in the morning, and the cars are displayed on Ocean Avenue in Carmel for two hours before returning to Pebble Beach in the afternoon.
Starting on Friday, August 19, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion offers an opportunity to see vintage cars from various eras and parts of the globe running on the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Reunion brings vintage car racing to life over four days. (www.mazdaraceway.com)
In addition, Concorso Italiano will take place on Friday, August 19, and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, will be held at Quail Lodge Golf Course on Saturday, August 20.
More Not-to-Be-Missed Car Guy Happenings — August isn’t the only time car guys enjoy automotive events. Factory tours, auctions, museum exhibits, concours d’elegance, rallies, races, hill climbs, and tours take place around the globe throughout the year. A few of the most popular attractions are described below.
Peterson Automotive Museum, Los Angeles
Don’t discount this museum just because it’s close to home. The Peterson’s permanent exhibits include Hollywood Gallery, Cars of Film & Television and The Streetscape: The Car & the City in Southern California. From now through February 5, 2012, visitors can see Supercars: When Too Much is Almost Enough, including a 2006 Bugatti Veyron. (www.petersen.org)
Colorado Grand Car Rally, Vail And Beaver Creek, CO
One of the most scenic rally rides in the United States, the Colorado Grand Car Rally, takes place each fall in the gorgeous valley of Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado — and the cars are as spectacular as the scenery. The next one is September 12–17. (www.allvail.com)
Amelia Concours d’Elegance, Jacksonville, FL
Held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island, this concours is second in significance only to Pebble Beach. In 2011, Best of Show went to the 1933 Duesenberg SJN Arlington Torpedo Sedan from The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California. The next Amelia Concours — March 9-11, 2012 — will feature Ferrari GTO and Custom Coachwork Cadillacs. Amelia Island is located off the northeast coast of Florida near Jacksonville. (www.ameliaconcours.org)
French National Motor Museum, Mulhouse, France
Also known as “The Schlumpf Collection,” the 437 prestigious cars here include two Bugatti Royales (including the famous Coupé Napoléon), 150 other Bugattis and various Hispano-Suiza, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Maybach, and Mercedes models. The cars are lined up versus being creatively displayed, however the English audio guide is very good. With this curvaceous collection, the Cité de l’Automobile sees itself “as being to cars what the Louvre is to art.” Hotel du Parc in Mulhouse is a good lodging choice. (www.collection-schlumpf.com/en/schlumpf)
More than 70,000 visitors from all over the world flock to this car show/swap meet/auction, which takes place in Paris once a year. Some car guys are shopping for an authentic part needed for a classic car restoration. Others, it appears, come for the camaraderie and the exhibits, such as Fangio’s race cars and the Le Mans Renault 4cv. Retromobile 2012 will take place February 1-5. (en.retromobile.fr)
BMW Welt (Museum And Factory), Munich, Germany
The BMW museum reopened in its current high-tech state in 2008. It showcases the history of the BMW company, its brand, and its products in an innovative format that gets great reviews — even from visitors who aren’t interested in cars. Book well ahead for tours of the BMW production plant by calling up to six months in advance. Tours last 2.5 hours and are offered Monday through Friday, 8:30am–10pm. (+49(0)1802 118822, www.bmw-welt.com) ELIZABETH HANSEN
Nearly 100 Car Guy Attractions & Events
Sponsored by Hemmings Motor News, this race is about navigating, not speed.
This event is a fundraiser for the Phoenix Art Museum and one of the premier vintage car road rallies in North America. The next rally will be April 14-18, 2012.
Next Scottsdale auction: January 16-22, 2012
September 24-25, 2011, Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado. Two days of historic racing, 200 race cars, 200 car show entries, and 20,000 fans.
Pit Stops And Resources:
San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego (www.sdautomuseum.org)
Symbolic Motors, La Jolla (www.symbolicmotors.com)
Only Yesterday, San Diego (www.oldautos.com)
Art Center Car Classic, Pasadena (www.artcenter.edu/carclassic)
J. A. Cooley Museum, San Diego (www.jacooley.org)
The San Diego Collection (www.thesandiegocollection.com)
One of the most scenic rally rides in the United States. See above.
Held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island, this concours is second in significance only to Pebble Beach. See above.
The next ACD Festival will take place September 1-5, 2011
“Automobile in American Life,” one of the most significant exhibitions of its kind, is getting a complete makeover and will re-open in early 2012.
“All roads lead to Hershey” on October 5-8, 2011.
The rally starts on August 28, 2011, at the Palais des Princes Evéques in Liege and finishes in Rome on Friday, September 2.
FRANCE and MONACO
The 437 cars here include two Bugatti Royales (including the famous Coupé Napoléon) and 150 other Bugattis. See above.
Next race: May 24-27, 2012
Retromobile 2012 will be held February 1–5. See above
Pit Stops And Resources:
Hotel Bugatti, Molsheim (www.hotel-le-bugatti.com/uk/index.php)
Le Parc Hotel, Mulhouse (www.hotelduparc-mulhouse.com/accueil.html)
Volkswagen production plant, CarTowers and Group Forum with exhibitions.
Tel: +49 5361 400. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Open 9am-6pm daily. Closed December 24 and 31.
The BMW museum reopened in its current high-tech state in 2008. It showcases the history of the BMW company, its brand, and its products in an innovative format that gets great reviews. Open 9am-6pm daily. Closed on December 24 and 31. Museum: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Plant: Monday-Friday 8:30am-10pm. Tel: +49 1802 118 822. Email: email@example.com See above.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-6pm. Closed on December 24, 25, 31,
and January 1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +49 711 173 0000
The Stuttgart-Untertürkheim facilty is a production site where engines, transmissions, and axles are manufactured. The guided plant tour takes place Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:50am in English; Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:50am, Fridays at 1:50pm in German. The price for the plant tour is €4,00 per person in addition to the entrance fee for the museum. The guided plant tour takes approximately 1.5 hours. Only visitors over the age of 16 are permitted to take part in the plant tours and everyone must wear appropriate shoes. As the spots for the factory tour are limited, reserve well in advance.
In the plant in Sindelfingen you can see the production of the cars. For guided tours, email email@example.com or phone: +49 7031 907 0403 at least four weeks in advance.
Audi Forum(s), Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (www.audi.de/de/brand/de/erlebniswelt) Tel: +49 841 893 7575. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday 7am-6pm, Sunday/National Holidays 9am-6pm. Museum open 9am-6pm daily.
Nurburgring Race Course (www.nuerburgring.de/en/)
The Nürburgring is made up of two racetracks: the Nordschleife which was opened in 1927 as the “First Hilly Racing and Test Track” and the Grand Prix Circuit inaugurated in 1984. The two circuits, which visitors can pay to drive, are together about 15 miles. A total of 40 left-hand bends, 50 right-hand bends and a 300m height difference with extreme slopes and gradients ensure a significant adrenaline kick for both drivers and spectators. Professional driver Jackie Stewart called the track “Green Hell.”
Tel.: +49 711 9112 0911. Email: email@example.com Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-6pm. Closed on December 24, 25, 26, 31, and January 1.
Pit Stops And Resources:
Deutsches Museum, Munich (www.deutsches-museum.de/index.php?id=1&L=1)
In 1982, the historic Mille Miglia endurance race was revived as a road rally event. Nowadays, timing rather than speed is of the essence for the enthusiasts from around the world who race their vintage cars dating from 1927 to 1957. The race, which takes place every May, starts in Brescia.
The historic 60-mile run from Hyde Park in central London to the seafront on the Sussex resort of Brighton will take place on Sunday, November 6, 2011. To qualify, the cars must have been built before 1905.
Located an hour from Wellington, the Southward houses a collection of over 350 vehicles, as well as three aircraft and various other exhibits including motorcycles, bicycles, and fire engines. This is the largest and most varied collection of vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere. Open 9am–4.30pm every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and now being demolished, Fazaaz will reopen in the near future in a new location.