The Ten Days of Car Week

The Ten Days of Car Week — Don’t get me wrong, I love classic cars as much as the next gal, but I’d rather see them in the Auto Museum in Reno than in all the venues spread out all over the Peninsula for ten days. Did you look at that interactive map on the website of Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau ( Lordy, someone bled all over that map.

The Ten Days of Car Week

Navigating Car Week

Just for grins, let us say I needed to go to my doctor’s office at the VA clinic in Marina. What day and time would be my best bet? I have to take Highway One all the way. I count a minimum of sixteen events along that path. Granted, they are not all on the same day. But is there even one day without any events along that path? Amazingly, I found two days with no events along my path to the doctor’s office — yesterday and today. Too bad she isn’t open on weekends.

So what is going on those two days? Hmmm…I am sure many of them are driving up the coast on those days to get their vehicles and themselves to this ten-day Car Week, well, except those who are bringing their obscenely expensive cars in on transports, which will be lined up next to or on the Monterey Fairgrounds, if prior events are any indication. 

Is Car Week the height of hypocrisy?

Nothing symbolizes our love affair with cars and the fossil fuel industry quite like car week. California and Monterey like to hold themselves out as forerunners in the “green” movement and eco-environmentalists, and yet, for 10 days every August, we are anything but. People put their love-affair with the automobile front and center. They drive up and down the Central Coast to show off their “baby” using up gasoline and fouling our air. Yes, they bring in money for a lot of people, from the service industry to the businesses who thrive on tourism, to the County coffers. Is it worth it? Do we sell our clean air and water and environment out to the auto and fossil fuel industries? Apparently, the answer is yes.

How does a local cope?

My plan has always been to withdraw as much as possible during Monterey Car Week. I do not want to endure nor contribute to the craziness of these events. Unfortunately, I must venture out one day this week, as my iPad, upon which I work exclusively, is now on life-support. Fortunately, in addition to the Apple Store in Monterey, there is one in San Luis Obispo. Guess which one I am going to?? I prefer to see my classic automobiles at the Automobile Museum in Reno ( or in one of the auction tents in Quartzite, AZ in January. But just in case you can’t get either place, and don’t want to venture out, here are a couple shots of classic cars for you to enjoy.

6 thoughts on “The Ten Days of Car Week

  1. I live in Cachagua & drive almost daily to Marina. Most locals seem to disappear during this time – there is a ghost town feel to Carmel Rancho & other local businesses in CV & actually if you plan things so you aren’t traveling when folks are going to or from events traffic hasn’t been all that bad – I’ve been a bit surprised the last few years. For most average local businesses Car Week sucks because there isn’t much business for them at all – most of the car people spend the majority of time & $ at or near the venues. I would encourage residents to venture out & support local biz during this time

  2. Travel before dawn on Hwy 1, if you must.
    Loop around the Peninsula on 101, as much as possible.
    You’re right- all those car exhausts stink.

    There are Lots of beautiful cars.
    Just way too many. Thanks for the pretty pics. 🙂

  3. Hello Kate ~ today’s [Sunday] LA Times has two articles in the Travel section on over-tourism. Although Big Sur (or Yosemite, or Whitney Portal) are not mentioned, it is good to see the awareness of the problems expanding. Cheers!

  4. Happy Sunday Kate, I’ll be very surprised in the coming years CV/Mid Valley Shopping Center’s new owners will want to make a big splash having its own car event someday, no doubt in my mind; residents/tenants/CVA be prepared for gridlock and expansion.

  5. If you can really bear traffic and want to see classic cars, there’s also the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. But is it actually worth the gas and stress? Guess it matters just how badly you want to see them.

  6. Thank you, Kate, for posing that important question: “Do we sell our clean air and water and environment out to the auto and fossil fuel industries?”

    Most of us don’t live car-free lives. But even if an electric car isn’t in your readers’ budgets, many can still reduce their dependence on fossil fuels for transportation. One way is to bike or bike-and-ride (e.g., take a bicycle aboard a Monterey-Salinas Transit bus or trolley ) whenever your circumstances allow.

    Help visitors, and residents, use this sustainable transportation:

    For Car Week or anytime, tips on include advice, in English and Spanish, for drivers of big trucks and buses about sharing the road with people who bike (as well as advice for people biking around big trucks and buses):

    Also on the Bicycling Monterey (County) site, now in its 11th year, info about transportation’s impact on climate change (which has been updated with a link to resources for the all-ages climate strike Sept 20, 2019):

    You can even see some of the many cool-looking cars that show up during Monterey Car Week on Bicycling Monterey. For example, see the second photo of the following post:

    As California Bicycle Coalition says, “Electric bikes are quickly becoming the ‘vehicle of choice’ for thousands of Californians.” And while an e-assist is especially popular with people who bike on steep hills, in areas prone to strong winds, or have other special considerations (e.g., aging knees), many young adults are among those who find an e-assist a smart transportation choice—for their own wallets and personal health, and for the future of their planet!

    For info on the classes of e-bikes (e.g., with or without throttle / with or without pedaling required), refer to

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