Monterey Car Week on a Shoestring

If you're a fan of classic cars but your wallet seems a little thin these days, don't despair! There are still ways to do the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance without emptying out your children's college fund. And look at it this way - if you're not bidding on Bugatti's Bugatti, you've already saved $15 million.

See It For Free

Though disguising yourself as a deer and sneaking onto Pebble Beach Golf Links 18th green may seem tempting, there are many other ways to see these great classic cars without shelling out a dime (or wearing fake antlers).

Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance

Why go to the cars when you can have them come to you? During Monterey Car Week, classic car collectors show off their vehicles at the many rallies that take to Monterey County's roads. These rallies bring the classic cars to some of the most scenic areas of Monterey County, and their check-in points are frequently conveniently located at area parks. While many keep their routes secret until the big day, you can plan ahead around one of the biggest events.

The biggest rally is the official Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance. Around lunchtime, the vehicles involved will check in at Carmel-by-the-Sea's Devendorf Park, a popular and scenic spot for a picnic. Enjoy your lunch, then stroll down Ocean Avenue for some great views of classic automobiles.

Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally

On Friday, over 200 classic cars will converge on Pacific Grove's Lighthouse Avenue and adjacent streets. Pacific Grove's old-fashioned Victorians and Main Street feel create a perfect backdrop for this event.

Car Auctions

Though it may be difficult to get close to the cars up for auction at Pebble Beach, some of the satellite auctions are more accessible. Auction firm Russo and Steele keeps the classic cars for their auction on the waterfront at Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, while Mecum Auction's vehicles are located at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. Both sets of vehicles can be viewed for a small fee Thursday through Saturday. RM Auctions also welcomes the general public to preview its Sports & Classics of Monterey auction for a fee located the Portola Hotel & Spa. You may not be able to buy a classic car, but you can certainly window-shop!

Other Events

For a moderate fee, you can get a good look at classic cars in action. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion pit classic cars head-to-head on the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The $50 admission fee on Friday, $80 on Saturday and $60 on Sunday not only earns you admittance to the grandstand; it also allows you to wander the paddock where the classic cars are kept. See the automobiles and the people who race them! 

View car-related memorabilia at Automobilia Monterey at the Embassy Suites in Seaside. This show sells everything related to classic cars and car culture from an era gone by. Check out hood ornaments, old advertising posters and photos, scale models and more. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

If All Else Fails...

Can't afford to see the best cars in the world at Concours d'Elegance? See the worst cars in the world at the Concours d'LeMons. Held on Saturday, Concours d'LeMons features Pacers, Pintos, Gremlins, Edsels and more. Cars will be judged for titles like "Worst in Show" and "Biggest Loser." 

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