By: Al Burtoni Just remember that you have heard this here first: This year's Monterey / Pebble Beach weekend is going to be the best ever! And by a large margin!
The reason for sounding so brash is simple: every event will feature Ferrari, in magnitudes never seen before at Monterey, let alone anywhere in the world! To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is being planned, Monterey will not be its customery Friday to Monday, three day happening. Instead it is so big and extensive that it is being stretched to one week in length. From August 23-30, the center of the Ferrari World (let alone that of the automobile) will not be Maranello, but rather, the Monterey peninsula.
In the planning stages for two years, the Ferrari Club of America (and specifically, the Pacific region), has smartly gone to both Ferrari North America and Ferrari S.p.A. to help in sponsoring the event. Seeing the success of the 348 Spider debut at Rodeo Drive last year, coupled with the tremendous positive feedback of 1992's FF40 Celebration in Belgium, both Ferrari organizations have thrown their weight and enthusiasm behind the FCA's effort.
Want to hear more? How about this: at the event, under consideration at Ferrari is the world debut of not one, but three new models and the U.S. debut of the 456 GT! Need more enticement? The company hopes to have every living grand prix driver in attendance. Combine this list with storied names such as Pininfarina, Scaglietti, Foghieri, Chiti, etc., and Monterey quickly becomes a walking encyclopedia of Italian living legends.
And what is the backdrop for such an orgy of Ferrari machinery and history? Seven days on the beautiful, sunny Monterey peninsula where each day's theme covers one unique facet of the World of Ferrari. For example, Wednesday is called by the organizers "Ferrari: A Heritage of Beauty." Now, every cognoscenti knows about Ferrari and its unparalleled history of voluptuous four wheeled shapes-what better way to show all these lines off than organizing the largest Ferrari Concours ever held! Approximately 300 cars, all of them Ferraris, comparing 36 classes, will be together in one beautiful location. Over 100 judges are being used and chief judge Ed Gilbertson has said, with a large smile on his face, "Wait until you see the names on this judging list!"
Additionally, Ferrari will be the featured marque at the track for the historic races. At "Ferrari: Born to Compete," the largest-ever gathering of Ferrari competition cars will cover every aspect of Ferrari's illustrious racing career. And whether you like grand prix cars or the fabled endurance racers, you know they won't be dormant! That Saturday, we are anxiously expecting to see and hear a moving display of Ferrari machinery unlike any other!
For those that prefer the true elegance of Ferrari, Ferrari is one of the Pebble Beach headliners. With the operating theme of "Ferrari: A history of Elegance," anticipate seeing more elegant examples-including numerous one-offs and cars of historical importance-on the lawn than have ever been seen before.
And for those of us who feel a Ferrari is anything but a static object, the FCA has us taken care of. Thursday is billed as "Ferrari in Motion," where God-knows-how-many Ferraris (several hundred is probably a good guess) will participate in a rally on those wonderful roads that weave through the picturesque Carmel/Monterey peninsula.
This seven day orgy culminates at the most appropriate place possible-the track! On Monday and Tuesday, "Ferrari: Born to Compete" will see Ferrari take over Laguna Seca! The FCA and Ferrari S.p.A. have set up a wonderful, two day event that covers everyone's taste for competition and track driving. With the centerpiece being the seventh and final round of the 348 Challenge. Before and after The Challenge races will be touring and competition events for those of us who like to see what our machines can do flat out!
As if all this isn't enough. One of the most elegant Ferraris, the California Spyder, is being given special recognition. Furthermore, each night will have its own special dinner party with its own theme, an incomparable seven day marketplace of Ferrari paraphernalia will be open to all, and, of course, the world-wide coverage will be beyond any scope Monterey has seen before. And this doesn't include the surprises the organizers tell us they have in store!
How successful is this meet going to be? Already, with minimal to no advance publicity, 300 of the Ferrari Club of America's 800 rooms are sold! Event Chairman Bill Schworer tells us the demand for rooms at the event headquarters has been so strong that they are now requiring a six night minimum stay!
So, don't be left out in the cold! With at least 1,000 Ferraris in attendance, be part of an event that is one of the greatest in the last 15 years of Ferrari history: The World's Largest Ferrari Gathering!
And remember, you heard it here first! So, be prepared!!
About the author: Al Burtoni owns Milano Imports in Watsonville, CA, a full service restoration facility. Al has been in the Ferrari business for 30 years and publishes a quarterly newsletter, Al Burtoni Direct, from which this article was taken. You can contact him at (408) 847-3738.