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Carmel’s Concours by the Sea Comes Back Strong in 2011

By D. Brian Smith
Photography: Ben Moment & D. Brian Smith
With no apologies to the United States Declaration of Independence or to Mr. Thomas Jefferson, the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue is a Concours for the masses, of the masses and by the masses. In fact, if Mr. Jefferson lived in our era, he would applaud the Motor Club Events’ produced Carmel Concours, which occurs all-day Tuesday of Monterey Car Week every August along 16 blocks of Ocean Avenue in Carmel, California. Now for the most amazing part – the Carmel Concours is free! When is the last time you could spend a day with other automotive enthusiasts and their highly prized possessions in a superlative seaside West Coast town, and the cost of admission is gratis? Remember, this is a Concours. It’s not a little local gathering of some small car club, nor is it a local yokel cars and coffee sort of deal held every Saturday morning from O dark hundred until 7:30 am, and all the cars zoom out of the parking lot. It’s a judged Concours that has scintillating automobiles on display in one of the nicest streets in the world. And it’s free! Are we getting our point across?

Imagine being near enough to the Pacific Ocean to taste the salt and sense it in the foggy-mist of the morning sky on your skin. Picture in your mind that you’re walking along Ocean Avenue, in Carmel, California and the Avenue is lined with automotive masterpieces from the earliest days of the horseless carriage through the coach built masterpieces of the 1930s traveling forward to European exotic sports cars and supercars of the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and through to the present day. You’re free to walk down Ocean amid the shops and restaurants of Carmel surrounded by historically significant automobiles and their current passionate caretakers. You’re going to see Porsches, American muscle cars, Ferraris, BMWs, Panteras, Aston Martins, Alfa Romeos, Lola racecars, Mercedes, perhaps a Lotus or two, Corvettes, Mustangs, ‘Cudas, MGs, Lamborghinis, and etc., as you mingle with the beautiful people and perhaps poke your head in a trendy shop or two for some appreciating or possible purchasing.
Redline Review’s coverage of the 2011 Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Avenue began well before the event started. We grabbed a great collection of Concours-set-up photos hours before the show participants drove their cars into position. While Ben Moment, RR’s resident photography master, clicked away on the shutters of his expensive digital SLR cameras, RR’s chief scribe, namely me, snuck away for a quick spot of tea and some breakfast nourishment at The Tuck Box. Jeff Le Towt, president of The Tuck Box, opened up this tiny cottage that specializes in preparing delicious breakfast delicacies, such as scones, eggs Benedict, waffles, omelets and the like, in addition to very satisfying English Breakfast Tea (a morning staple for RR’s humble scribe ). Given the town and the time of year, no more than five minutes had elapsed before other automotive enthusiasts had gathered in The Tuck Box, and several tables of patrons in the ultra-quaint and cozy eatery were talking cars as I explained RedlineReview.com to an intrigued and admittedly captive audience (The Tuck Box scones are thought to have a hypnotic and purely positively addicting effect on imbibers).

Once back in the throes of the automotive magnificence lining the Avenue, I enjoyed the aura of gustatory contentment from my spot of Tea and a delightful waffle, and communed with other like-minded car aficionados, as well as their well preserved and highly prized automobiles.
As with many a perfect car event that RR has covered, the weather went from foggy morning cool to sunny, breezy perfect. There was nothing about this Carmel Central California day that wasn’t absolutely exceptional. The RR team also managed to schedule several feature photo shoots of some of the classy cars that we’d like to write more about.

The Carmel-by-the-Sea-Concours is free for spectators, while participants pay an entry fee. The proceeds from the event benefit the Carmel Foundation, a non-profit organization that started on April 21, 1950. “The Carmel Foundation respects the spirit, wisdom, experience and diversity of those 55 years of age and older by enriching and improving the quality of their lives.”

Throughout the morning and into the day, people of all ages enjoyed the Carmel Concours and all the amenities offered in this fabulous seaside California town. We hope you’ll be so appreciative of the automotive finery found in the following photos from the Carmel Concours, that you’ll head out to Central California for next year’s CC in particular and Monterey Car Week in general, during the middle of August. Until then, take pleasure in some of what RR benefited from at the Concours for, by and of all the people.

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