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2023 Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff: A Journey Through Automotive Time and Style

2023 Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff: A Journey Through Automotive Time and Style

This Year's Monterey Kickoff in Pacific Grove Was a Gallery of Mechanical Marvels and Human Moments

The coastal enclave of Pacific Grove, California, known for its beautiful beaches and idyllic weather, was recently converted into a mecca for automotive enthusiasts. On August 17th, from 2pm-6pm, the 2023 Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff took over Lighthouse Ave, transforming it into a dynamic tableau of vehicular beauty. 

A Record-Breaking Crowd

For those who weren't part of this year's sea of attendees, you missed what was arguably the most awe-inspiring collection of cars, people, and canines. The weather was Californian perfection—sunny with a soft breeze, making the gleaming chrome and paint jobs all the more impressive.

"The crowd this year is unprecedented," was the collective sentiment echoing through the avenue. Unlike most car events that cater to a specific niche, this Kickoff was an all-ages affair, and delightfully pet-friendly, adding an extra layer of charm. Families, friends, and fur-babies thronged the venue, making for a delightfully diverse crowd.

The Automotive Panorama

As for the cars, the lineup presented an incredible diversity. There were classic American muscle cars with their bold, aggressive lines next to svelte European models known for their design intricacy. From winged classics like 1964 Triumph Spitfire 4 to European gems like the 1955 AC Aceca, the range was breathtaking. Even the 1980s and 1990s weren't left out, with Radwood icons like the 1998 Renault Sport Spider and the 988 Porsche 911 Carrera getting their share of the limelight. For those who had an appetite for the modern, a variety of today's latest supercars were also present, leaving no stone unturned in the realm of automotive indulgence.

Entry Nuances and Organizational Highlights

This year presented a minor departure from previous editions. A $75 vehicle entry fee was instituted, elevating the event's exclusivity and resulting in many beautiful machines languishing on the waiting list. This wasn't just a car show; it was a curated experience designed to showcase only the most exemplary models. 

Our interaction with the event organizer, Tim Suddard, was particularly enlightening. He introduced us to his son, Tom Suddard, who will take the reins in 2024. Tom's enthusiasm and obvious respect for the legacy he is about to inherit promise an exciting future for the event.

Classic Motorsports Event Organisers During Monterey Car Week

The Casual Meets the Elite

What sets the Monterey Kickoff apart is its refreshing lack of pretense. Although the event resonates with the grandiosity usually reserved for formal concours, it maintains a casual and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of Cars & Coffee events. And while there were no judges wielding scorecards, special prizes were awarded by some of the classic car world’s top names, adding an extra layer of excitement.

The Cream of the Crop

But even in this automotive utopia, one vehicle stood out like a beacon—Matthew Ivanhoe's 1991 Jaguar XJR-15. A three-time purchase for Matthew, this particular car isn’t just rare; it’s exceptional. Out of the 28 ever produced, only three were colored anything other than blue. Matthew is the proud owner of two of these unique yellow machines, with the third belonging to the royal family of Brunei. 

Other Winners and Acknowledgments

Of course, the Jaguar wasn't the only show-stopper. A plethora of other stunning models grabbed eyeballs and made camera shutters click ceaselessly. A vintage Ford Mustang here, a meticulously restored Volkswagen Bus there; the range and quality were second to none, reinforcing the event as a pivotal experience for automotive aficionados.

Anticipation for 2024

And if you think this year was grand, just wait for what’s coming next. "Classic Motorsports Magazine is planning an even larger event for 2024," states Will Elkadi, founder of Monterey Car Week Guide and Publisher of Given this year's colossal success and the broadening demographic of attendees, one can only imagine what next year has in store.

Final Reflection

In a world where our love for cars often gets overshadowed by debates over efficiency and sustainability, events like the Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff serve as a heartwarming reminder of why we fell in love with cars in the first place. They are not just modes of transport; they are art pieces, historical markers, and above all, creators of human connection.

The 2023 Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff was not just a car show; it was a celebration of everything automotive, and a shining example of how a simple love for cars can unite people from all walks of life.

The roaring engines have quieted, the crowds have dispersed, and the sun has set on Lighthouse Ave. But the memories crafted during those four glorious hours will fuel conversations and dreams for many months to come, until we reconvene in 2024 for another unforgettable journey through automotive excellence.

To stay up-to-date with the Monterey Car Week schedule and make the most of your experience, check the Monterey Car Week Guide. Explore the upcoming events and auctions, and immerse yourself in the world of automotive excellence that Monterey Car Week 2024 has to offer.

2023 Classic Motorsports Monterey Kickoff Results

Best of Show: 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 of Matthew Ivanhoe (Classic Motorsports photo shoot and story)

Best Alfa: 1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal of John and Julie Tomlin (Alfa Romeo picnic basket from Centerline International)

Best Aston Martin: 1964 Aston Martin DB5 of Terry and Paul Carrubba ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Audi: 2007 Audi RS4 of Karl-Heinz Lachnit ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Austin-Healey: 1956 Austin-Healey 100M of Steve Cameron ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate)

Best BMW Pre-1977: 1967 BMW 1600 of Lisa Hong ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best BMW 1977 and Later: 1988 BMW M6 of Gregg Kellenberger ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Corvette Pre-1984: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette of Ivan and Shauna Romano ($100 National Parts Depot gift certificate)

Best Corvette 1984 and Later: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette of Chuck Beckley ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Ford: 1966 Ford Mustang of John Flanagan ($100 National Parts Depot gift certificate)

Best GM Other: 1955 Chevrolet Gasser “Orange Crate” of Kevin Moore ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Italian: 1967 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior of Steve Fields (Alfa Romeo backpack from Centerline International)

Best Jaguar Pre-1962: 1953 Jaguar XK120 of Sandor Kovacs ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate)

Best Jaguar 1962 and Later: 1963 Jaguar E-type of David Payne ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Japanese: 1974 Datsun B210 of Ian Babcock ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Mercedes-Benz: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL of Hap Frank ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best MG: 1960 MG MGA of Andy and Marla Preston ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate presented by Snake River Classics)

Best Miata: 1991 Mazda Miata of James Hendley ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate)

Best Mini: 1967 Mini Cooper of Eric Newland ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate)

Best Other American: 1960 Imperial Crown of Bill and DJ Mitchell ($100 National Parts Depot gift certificate)

Best Other British: 1955 AC Aceca of John Thompson ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best Other European: 1973 Volvo 1800ES of Chuck and Rosetta Gutierrez (a half-day rental from Monterey Touring Vehicles)

Best Porsche Pre-1974: 1964 Porsche 356SC pf Eli Lester (Schwaben 26-piece stubby set from Pelican Parts)

Best Porsche 1974 and Later: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera of Mark Robinson (Schwaben ¼-inch drive 46-piece set from Pelican Parts)

Best Triumph: 1964 Triumph Spitfire 4 of Barry Connally ($150 Moss Motors gift certificate)

Best Volkswagen: 1964 Volkswagen 13-Window Bus of Brent Cook ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate)

Best 1980s-1990s: 1998 Renault Sport Spider of John Alevras (gas certificate and 1980s-themed gift bag from Field Auto Works)

Best Car on Coker Tires: 1957 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce of Nick Smith ($250 Coker Tire gift certificate and Coker Tire bag)

Best Car From the Farthest Away: 1971 BMW 2002 of Geert Kistemaker from Netherlands ($500 Reliable Carriers gift certificate)

Best Finish: 1959 Marcel Roadster of Luc Deley (an assortment of Lithium cleaning products)

Best Local Car: 1994 Lotus Esprit Sport 300 of Rob Bernardino (The Monarch Pub & Restaurant gift certificate)

Best Manual Transmission: 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton of Kenneth Miselis ($150 Classic Motorsports gift certificate presented by Tremec)

Best Restoration: 1970 Pontiac Trans Am of Scott Steinhauer (Griot’s Garage car care kit)

Editor’s Choice: 1970 Porsche 914/6 of Mike Malamut

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