Owners of vintage, classic, and sports cars from across the West will participate in one of Monterey Car Week’s oldest and most popular free-to-spectators events on August 24th, 2018.
The Pacific Grove Rotary Concours Auto Rally, held on the Friday before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend, combines the joy of viewing and sharing stories of favorite automobiles with a sunset rally along spectacular 17-Mile Drive while also giving back to the local community.
According to Rotary Club president Kyle Krasa, “Our event is unique among the many great activities offered during this time. Participants have the opportunity to join a police-escorted rally through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach and spectators have a chance to see automotive art in motion. As a bonus, funds raised by the event benefit the entire community.”
All 200 spaces in the concours line-up typically sell out quickly. Registration fees, donations by local merchants, advertising space in a souvenir program, and raffle ticket sales have raised over $300,000 for local youth and other charities since 1994. The program features each year’s automotive marque posed near one of the city’s iconic buildings. The 2017 cover, above, shows late model Jaguars in front of the Museum of Natural History.
Carmel Valley artist and master punster Will Bullas, donates collectible-poster art in his signature, anthropomorphic style. His 2018 contribution “Beaming,” above, celebrates a vintage BMW driven by steely-eyed Teutonic canines followed by the city’s trademark butterflies.
The event begins at midday. Six blocks in the heart of the historic Victorian-era downtown are closed to traffic. Rotary and other community volunteers direct participants into a line-up where their vehicles are displayed and staged ready for the evening rally drive.
Throughout the afternoon, thousands of spectators throng the streets to admire the hardware and swap automotive stories with the owners against an eclectic backdrop of architectural styles from Victorian mansions and 1930’s Spanish-revival stucco to utilitarian modern store fronts.
A beer garden at the recently opened Monarch Pub will be popular spot to relax and enjoy the view this year. Spectator viewing of the concours display is free.
Beginning at 5:00 PM drivers are escorted onto the rally route by a phalanx of California Highway Patrol motorcycle police officers.
The first leg of the rally follows the Pacific Grove shoreline past Point Pinos Lighthouse and along Sunset Drive to the 17-Mile Drive entrance of Pebble Beach.
Radio personality Dino Corbin, who has made the nearly 300-mile trip from Chico for many years, enjoys this view of the rally in 2016 from his Corvette near Bird Rock.
Back in town, drivers and their friends enjoy a barbecue dinner in historic Chautauqua Hall where Matt Bosworth presented the Best of Show award to Vincent Apicella owner of 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC in 2016
Many generous local and national sponsors have supported the Pacific Grove Rotary Concours Auto Rally over the decades. This year’s major sponsors include BMW of Monterey, Rabobank, Meguiar’s, the Monarch Pub & Restaurant, and WeatherTech Raceway-Laguna Seca. Thanks also to photographers Larry Edsall, Pepe Jimenez, Brooks Leffler, and Rick Pharaoh, whose work is posted above.
For information and registration forms to participate in the 2018 event, please visit www.pgautorally.org