Your budget guide to Monterey Car Week 2019

Monterey Car Week is nothing less than a pilgrimage for car lovers worldwide. It is on the bucket list for most, but it isn’t feasible for everyone. Many of the events are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the average enthusiast and ticket prices are set accordingly. That said, the event can be done on a budget if you set your mind to it. You won’t be able to attend the Concours, but 90 percent of the experience can be had without it. We’ve come up with a list of events that the average enthusiast can attend—anywhere from $50 all the way down to free.


Lemons Rally
2017 Concours d'Lemons Sabrina Hyde

There are numerous alternative shows throughout the week, celebrating everything from the most exclusive to the quirkiest. There is a show to scratch everyone’s itch.

Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours on the Avenue

Where: Ocean Ave., Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA
When: Tuesday, August 13th, 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Concours on the Avenue is the unofficial kickoff to Car Week and is held on the main streets of Carmel-By-The-Sea. Over 175 cars will be on display, including classes for luxury cars, muscle cars, sports cars, and this year’s featured class, micro cars.

Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff Cruise-In

Where: Stevenson Dr. and Portola Rd., Del Monte Forest, CA
When: Tuesday, August 13th, 3:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

After Concours on the Avenue, head down to check out the Classic Motorsports Kickoff Cruise-In. If you plan on bringing a car, pre-registration is required—though it is free. This is a great time to mingle with fellow car enthusiasts, enjoy some entertainment, and get pumped for the week ahead. Make sure to stop by the Hagerty booth to say hi to us.

Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance

Where: Stevenson Dr. and Portola Rd., Del Monte Forest, CA
When: Thursday, August 15th, 7:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m.
Cost: Free

Want to see the concours, but don’t want to deal with the crowds or the ticket price? Then the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance is a fantastic alternative. Concours entrants are encouraged to participate in the tour and participation is used as a tiebreaker in the case of a judging tie. Cars line up before sunrise and leave in waves at 9:00. Stick around and check out the auction preview at Gooding & Company, which is situated at the start of the tour.

2017 Concours d'Lemons
2017 Concours d'Lemons Sabrina Hyde

Concours d’Lemons

Where: Seaside City Hall, 440 Harcourt Ave., Seaside, CA
When: Saturday, August 17th, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Simply put, Concours d’Lemons is the anti-car show that playfully thumbs its nose at the pomp and circumstance of Monterey Car Week. Lemons is a celebration of orphaned, derelict, and just plain weird cars of the world. Stop by and see who wins “worst in show.”

Werks Reunion

Where: Corral de Tierra Country Club, 81 Corral de Tierra Rd., Corral de Tierra, CA
When: Friday, August 16th, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Presented by the Porsche Club of America, Werks Reunion is a celebration of Porsche and the camaraderie of being an enthusiast. Cars are judged on a criteria of which have been lovingly maintained the best.

Legends of the Autobahn

Where: The Club at Pasadera, 100 Pasadera Dr., Monterey, CA 
When: Friday, August 16th, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free ($25 parking)

Legends of the Autobahn is a gathering of all German marques. Presented by BMW Car Club of America, Mercedes-Benz Club of America, and the Audi Club of America, this event draws hundreds of cars and thousands of German car enthusiasts each year. RADwood will also be part of the show this year with their own car corral. 

Exotics on Broadway

Where: Broadway Ave., Seaside, CA
When: Saturday, August 17th, 3:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Exotics on Cannery Row is where you go to see them all the supercars in one place. Formerly held on Cannery Row in Monterey, the event has expanded to their new location in Seaside. If your free time is spent following exotic cars on YouTube and Instagram, this is the event you need to attend.

The Little Car Show

Where: Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA
When: Wednesday, August 14th, 12:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Now in its 10th year, The Little Car Show is a celebration of mini and micro cars. Vehicles must be at least 25 years old and must have engines no larger than 1,601cc.


RM Sotheby’s Monterey classic cars
RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sabrina Hyde

Auctions are a great way to see once-in-a-lifetime level cars, and there’s one for everyone. If you want a more calm and reserved setting, go to Gooding & Company, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s, or Worldwide. If you are here for a party, go to Mecum during the day then head down to Russo and Steele for the evening. Preview admission is economical and a great way to see beautiful, rare, and expensive cars up close.

RM Sotheby’s

Preview: Wednesday, August 14th, 10:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday, August 15th–17th, 10:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.
Auction:  Thursday–Saturday, August 15th–17th, 5:30 p.m. (bidders and consigners only)
Where: Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA
Cost: $40 (admission for one, preview only), $300 (admission for one bidder and one guest for all auction days)

Gooding  & Company

Preview: Wednesday–Thursday, August 14th–15th, 10:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.; Friday, August 16th, 10:00 a.m.—9:00 p.m.; Saturday, August 17th, 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. 
Auction: Friday, August 16th, 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, August 17th, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, intersection of Stevenson Dr. and Portola Rd.
Cost: $40 (admission for one), $100 (catalog plus admission for two), $200 (bidder and guest, plus catalog and reserved seating)


Preview: Wednesday–Thursday, August 14–15 9:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.; Friday, August 16 8:30 a.m.—10:00 p.m.
Auction: Thursday, August 15th, 2:00 p.m.; Friday, August 16th, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Quail Lodge & Golf Club, West Field, 7000 Valley Greens Dr., Carmel, CA
Cost: $40 (admission for one), $120 (catalog plus admission for two), $180 (bidder and guest, plus catalog)

RM Sotheby’s Monterey car sale
RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sabrina Hyde

Mecum Auctions

Preview: Tuesday–Saturday, August 13th–17th, gates open at 8:00 a.m.
Auction: Thursday–Saturday, August 15th–17th, vehicles start at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey, CA
Cost: $20 (advance admission for one per day), $30 (admission for one in person), children 12 and younger are free

Russo and Steele

Preview: Wednesday, August 14th, 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., Thursday–Saturday, August 15th–17th 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
Auction: Thursday–Saturday, August 15th–17th, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Old Train Station, 290 Figueroa St., Monterey, CA
Cost: $30 (general admission), $325 (bidder and guest)


Preview: Monday–Thursday, August 12th–15th, 9:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
Auction: Thursday, August 15th, 5:00 p.m.Where: Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links, 77 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA
Cost: $40 (admission for one), $100 (includes catalog and admission for two), $150 (bidder VIP seating for two and catalog)

Other events

Laguna Seca racing
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Evan Klein

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Where: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
When: Thursday–Sunday, August 15th–18th
Cost: $70–$190 (prices depend on the day and advance purchase)

If you go over budget anywhere, or if you have some extra scratch to cover entrance to any event that isn’t the Pebble Beach Concours, make sure it is the historic races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Aside from the fact that Laguna Seca is one of America’s historic race tracks, the event is a car show in motion. There are very few places where you might possibly see a Shelby Daytona, Ford GT40, or even a Ferrari 250 GTO driven in anger, and this is one of them. This year’s featured Marque: IMSA series race cars. Come cheer on our very own Logan Calkins and Larry Webster as they compete over the week as well.

General Car Spotting

2017 Legends of the Autobahn people's choice
2017 Legends of the Autobahn Sabrina Hyde

Parking lots

Where: Most events
When: All week
Cost: Free

Seriously, one could spend an entire week just checking out the cars in the parking lots at the main events. In fact, the car spotting is nearly as good there as it is in the actual event. Last year, a Ferrari 250 GTO was even parked out front of Gooding & Company’s venue.

Tunnel Under the Portola Hotel

Where: Lighthouse Ave.
When: All week
Cost: Free

It is a well-known fact that tunnels make all cars sound better. The tunnel under the Portola Hotel is a great place to hang out and listen as exotics pass by. While most are Ferraris and Lamborghinis, sometimes you get lucky and a Lexus LFA makes an appearance. Yes, it sounds as good as you are currently imagining.

Street Parking

Where: Everywhere
When: All week
Cost: Free

You don’t need to troll through every parking lot to find good cars. Just walk around downtown Monterey; they’re parked and driving everywhere. Just keep your eyes peeled and you may find an Alfa Romeo SZ parked on a side street like we did last year.

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