Attendees and judges gather around a 1966 Ferrari 330 P4 Drogo Spyder motor vehicle during the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d & # 39; Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, USA, Sunday, August 21, 2016.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d & # 39; Elegance, routinely described as the world's most popular, elegant, and exclusive classic car show, has created a ten-day burst of events designed to appeal to antique auto fans, regardless of their personal preferences .
Thousands of people descend on the usually quiet Monterey Peninsula coast for what has become known as the "Pebble Beach car week," but it's not an event for those who have a tight budget. Tickets for various events, such as "The Quail, a Motorsport Collection," can run into hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
"It's expensive to come to the Monterey Peninsula any time of year, but especially during the car week," said Ken Gross, a writer, a classic organizer of a car event and a long-time judge at the Pebble Beach Concours.
Getting to the peninsula is expensive, whether flying or driving. California gas is already among the most expensive in the country, and a station along CA-1, the coastal freeway leading up from Los Angeles, commanded $ 5.89 for a gallon of the premium unleaded fuel that many high-performance models require. The average price for premium gas in California is $ 3.88 a. Gallon according to AAA.
James Bond's Aston Martin was auctioned off by RM Sotheby's.
RM Sotheby's & # 39; s
Finding a place to live is the next headache. In the car week, many hotels require a minimum of four days' reservation, while also pushing up prices at astronomical levels. Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club gets as much as $ 1,800 per night. Night for a standard room over the weekend, according to their booking desk. Other times of the year, running as little as $ 200 to $ 300.
"A cheap hotel around Monterey will cost $ 300 and a good hotel close to $ 1,000," said Charlie Vogelheim, a regular car week attendee who found local Embassy Suites asking for $ 989 – before taxes. Even then, it only had one room left from Friday morning.
"People I know are staying as far as 60 miles away because they can't find a room or because what they find is just too expensive," said Vogelheim, a car analyst.
The good news is that there are plenty of things to see when you first arrive in Pebble Beach, with more than a dozen car shows, auctions, driving events and the four days of classic racing at Laguna Seca Raceway. Non-gear family members can find plenty of other things to keep busy, whether driving down the coastal road or going to the aquarium in nearby Monterey.
But few things are free, especially for classic car fans. One of the smaller events, the Carmel Mission Classic, at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in Carmel-by-the-Sea costs $ 55, though it includes a wine tasting and souvenir glass. The Rolex Monterey Reunion starts at $ 170 for basic, four-day admission, though the Flagroom pass jumps to $ 450.
Getting into the Pebble Beach Concours costs $ 375 for advance tickets, more at the gate. Admission to the quail starts at $ 950, though there is a more exclusive, $ 2,500 cartridge ticket.
"It's worth it," said Brenden Clay of Dublin, California, who has been a regular participant in the Pebble Beach car week for several years. His own hotel, he noted, raises the price five times during the event, something he and friends cover by stepping into a single suite. "It's a big leap," Clay said, but something he wouldn't miss.
"To me, good things in life don't come cheap," said Peter Borer, COO and CEO of Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotel's company that operates Quail Lodge. Demand has been strong since the charity event, now in its 17thth the year began and the alternative would be to increase attendance by changing its relatively relaxed nature.
As expensive as it may be to attend biluka, those who will also be attending one of the week's events better plan a hefty budget. Just getting a vehicle to Pebble Beach can cost thousands to hire a specialized transportation company specializing in exotic and rare cars, notes Concours Judge Gross.
Then there is the actual vehicle preparation that goes into a winning post. While owners rarely discuss what they have had to place in a project, the word "million" is often quoted for vehicles in need of major restoration work.
The cars that win on Sunday, however, see a significant increase in value, which Gross and other classic car specialists say can push in millions for a winner of the best show of the show at the Pebble Beach Concours d & # 39; Elegance.