A Guide to Enjoying Vintage Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula

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In a little less than a month, the Monterey Peninsula with be teeming with action as enthusiasts and their automobiles from around the globe will gather for the smorgasbord of vintage car events held there yearly. The map above courtesy of Monterey Car Week shows the location of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the satellite events that have sprung up around it over the years. We have put together this report with our readers in mind so that you will know where to go and what to see for a pleasurable experience.

All serious old car enthusiasts need to attend the happening least once in their lifetime to experience what it is all about, and it’s not to late too think about going this year. We have put together a guide to the events that are sure to please. Plan on getting there by Monday and settle in, which will give you plenty of time on Tuesday to see the sights and find your way around the area.

Plan on spending everyday Wednesday through Sunday to see the most important events. And bring some warm clothes – light layers and a jacket, as if it is foggy it can be quite cool. Check with Monterey Car Week for a calendar.

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On Wednesday plan on taking in Automobilia Monterey in the ballroom of The Embassy Suites. It is billed as the largest automobilia show in America with forty-five top dealers from around the world. There you will find an amazing assortment of the best vintage posters, photographs, signs, original art, scale models, literature and books to be found anywhere.

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For Thursday plan on taking in The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. The area is known for its scenic beauty and roads that wind for miles through pine and cypress forests. The tour takes in parts of 17-Mile Drive, explores inland sights and the spectacular coastline. This year the Tour will once again take a lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The tour usually wraps up for lunch in the center of Carmel-by-the-Sea where all of the cars are displayed in the middle of the town.

The cars that will be on display in the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday are not required to complete the tour, but if two vehicles tie in class at the competition, the vehicle that has completed the Tour gets the nod.

Plan on getting there very early and visit the start (seen above) between Collins Field where all the transporters park and the Gooding and Company Auction tents. Find out exactly where the tour is going (the Concours office is very helpful) and after the start, find scenic a place where you can watch the entrants pass by. 17-Mile Drive or Route one if the tour goes down the coast are spectacular vantage points.

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On Friday you should plan on attending, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. In time it has become a must see experience for motorsports enthusiasts and collectors. At the Quail, you will be treated to a wide assortment of sporting and racing  automobiles and motorcycles on the greens of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. After you leave the event plan on taking a drive over the scenic Laureles Grade, which ends very near the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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On both Friday and Saturday one of the cornerstone events to take in is the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Over five-hundred racing cars attend from all over the world at this premier vintage racing event. A car is accepted to participate only after its authenticity, race provenance and period correctness has been determined. This year Maserati is the featured marque which should bring out many rare examples.

Practice and qualifying races are held on Thursday and Friday. The main race days are on both Saturday and Sunday with seven races run-off before the lunch break, and eight in the afternoon, each is about 20-minutes long. Get a pit pass which will allow you to full access to inspect the cars. You can find the full Rolex Monterey schedule here.

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Of course, the most important event for most is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held on Sunday. Plan on getting there before day-break to partake in what is called – The Dawn Patrol, were if a spot can be found you can watch as the entrants drive on to the field. General admission to the field opens at 10:30 and the awards presentation starts at 1:30 and continues until the Best of Show winner is announced later in the afternoon. You can find the schedule here.

Full details of all of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance events are here. Other facets of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are: The Pebble Beach Auction by Gooding and Company, the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) Exhibition and the Pebble Beach RetroAuto.

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Road Striping Operations on Route 66 in Missouri

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We have to admit that line-painting trucks and the use of them is a bit out of our field of expertise, but fortunately we have posted photos of earlier operations, so we have something to fall back on. Several images can be seen here of other road striping trucks that may have been taken during World War II of similar trucks. One of them was dual purpose and was also used for covering the road shoulders with boiling asphalt.

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The photos above date from 1948 and show a Missouri State Highway Department unit. The mirror mounted above the front bumper on an angle was used by the operator for centering purposes, and the long wheelbase helped with keeping the line as straight as possible. By 1954, the Missouri Highway Department’s striping equipment was being changed over to the pickup truck and trailer operation as seen below.

The photos are courtesy of Joe Sonderman, who has written a series of books covering Route 66. You can look back at twenty-five pages of his Route 66 photos here on The Old Motor.

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The Packard Patents – A Graveyard of Automotive Designs From the Past

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  • A 1919 overhead cam design by H.D. Church, a Packard Engineer

One of the most enjoyable parts of researching for The Old Motor articles is uncovering important forgotten automotive designs from the past. The other day we stumbled on to a large number of patents assigned to the Packard Motor Car Co. Many of them originated from within, but many were apparently designs Packard bought from the inventor and had them patent the design in the name of the Motor Car Co.

The drawing above shows a 1919 s.o.h.c. design by H.D. Church, who was Packard’s Chief Truck Designer. The Company had been involved with other o.h.c. designs at the time including the Packard Liberty engine, the 299 Packard engine and the 905 Packard. Church’s 1919 Packard overhead cam design may have been the first design for the automaker to use what Church called, a valve operating sleeve. This inverted cup (part no. 2), did away with all side thrust from the cam on the valve assembly.

You can learn more about this era including Ralph De Palma’s involvement with Packard and the racing car between 1914 and 1923 in an article by Gary Doyle at Packards International. The racing car engines were tied together with the aircraft designs because Packard engineer Jesse G. Vincent knew that it was easier to develop them in a racing car  on land rather than it was in the air. 

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  • OHC cam design, 1918 – Railcar design, 1918 – A rotary valve design, 1911

Three more designs that caught our eye can be seen left to right above: Another 1918 s.o.h.c. design also by H.D. Church; a 1918 design by F.H. Dewey for converting a Packard Truck into a railcar, and a 1911 design by M. Tibbetts for a double overhead rotary valve design.

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  •                       1903 Packard walking-beam engine patent drawing

Having been involved with Duesenberg walking-beam racing engines, finding the first application of this design to an internal combustion engine has always been of interest. The earliest reference to this concept we have found so far are these 1903 patent drawings above and below for one of the designs by none other than J.W. Packard.

The design is seen below for a two-up, two-down engine with bolt-on crankshaft counterweights. The unusual linkage designs seen above were intended for governing engine speed. You can learn more about this walking-beam engine here, and many more Packard patents here.

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