The Carmel Concours on the Avenue is a terrific way to start Monterey Car Week, with its low-key atmosphere, wide variety of cars and proximity to Carmel’s local shopping and restaurants. We were there again this year to bring you nine of our favorite cars from this year’s event. If you couldn’t attend, put it on your calendar for 2019—not only is it a great show, but it’s also entirely free to attend.
1954 Ferrari 375 Plus
This 5.0-liter V-12 powered Ferrari 375 Plus hails from the heady days of 1950s sports racers, with glorious engines and styling matched only by the charismatic drivers who raced them. This particular Ferrari was driven by such illustrious names as Jack McAfee, Carroll Shelby, and Ken Miles, but also by up and coming Californian racer Dan Gurney. Gurney used this car to win at Paramount Ranch, a defunct Southern California road course which lasted just three years. Gurney would later refer to that win as a significant result early in his career and one that helped make his later success possible.
1970 Austin Mini Cooper S
This Mark II Mini’s vanity plate teases at its interesting history, having been specially built for Kjell Qvale, a man who likely needs no introduction to our readers. Among his car-related ventures was his British Motor Car Distributors shop in San Francisco, where this car was delivered new. It was given to his oldest son to use in college is said to be one of just 79 1275cc versions in the country. Modifications include Minilite wheels and adjustable suspension.
2017 RUF CTR
At first glance you’d be forgiven for confusing this car with a modified Porsche 964, but in fact, this CTR is entirely a creation of Alois Ruf’s eponymous automaker. With a carbon-fiber body, aluminum tub, and a 3.6-liter twin-turbo, flat-six engine, this classic-looking “Porsche” is said to be capable of 225 mph. Just 30 CTRs will be built, according to RUF.
1974 BMW 2002 Turbo
BMW’s 2002 was a breakthrough vehicle for the company and helped the brand become the success it has become in the North American market. Ironically, the most extreme 2002 the factory built, the 2002 Turbo, was never officially sold in the U.S. This car is said to make 170 hp thanks to its factor forced induction and just 1672 Turbos were built between 1973 and 1975. We love the reverse-styled “turbo” graphic on the lower air dam that reads correctly in the rear-view-mirror of any car in front.
1967 OSI 20M TS GT
This is a recreation of a very rare car, originally built using the German Ford Taurus platform (with nothing in common with the more recent Taurus Americans know). Period-built OSIs would have received a 2.3-liter Ford V-6 from the German Taurus sedan and Capri sports coupe, but this car boasts a Ford 302ci Windsor V-8 and five-speed Tremec manual gearbox. Just five OSIs are known to be in the U.S., according to this car’s owner, and though 2,200 were built in total it is said as few as 165 may still exist.
1948 Tucker 48 Twin Turbo recreation
If you’re concerned some goofball cut up an original Tucker 48’s engine bay to stuff in a twin-turbocharged Cadillac Northstar V-8 engine, you can rest easy. This car is a Tucker recreation built by Rob Ida Concepts of New Jersey, with body panels made of steel and carbon fiber. The engine is mid-mounted and is said to produce some 550 horsepower, which is sent through a modern automatic gearbox. Very cool.
1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT Zagato
With a racing logbook that dates back some 60 years and still united with its original engine and gearbox, this diminutive, aluminum-skinned Abarth “Double Bubble” Zagato must be one of the best documented and most original cars left in the U.S. This rear-engine car was raced in Canada, street-driven in San Francisco and then finally restored in 2009.
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S
One of just 343 Series 1 Cosmo Sport 110S built in Japan, this car was also Mazda’s first rotary-engine production car. Underhood sits a 982cc, twin-rotor engine originally designed by Felix Wankle at Austrian automaker NSU. The car is light and aerodynamic enough to reach 115 mph with just 110 hp. Cosmos languished in semi-obscurity for a time, though they are highly collectible today with values on the rise.
1965 Chevrolet Corvette L88
Belgian-born Zora Arkus-Duntov, the so-called Father of the Corvette, was this ‘65’s first owner. In fact, it was a GM development car with a host of unique parts and pieces, along with being the first Corvette to receive the 427-ci L88 big-block engine. The L88 mid-year ‘Vettes are highly sought after today as a high-water mark for Corvette performance. This development car, even more so.
The MGA was a successful car for the English Morris Garages brand, with more modern, streamlined styling than the pre-war-based, T-series cars that preceded it. By 1961, the MGA was in its second series with a 1.6-liter inline-four making about 90 hp. This car is still owned by its original owner (pictured sitting on the rear fender), who bought the car new in Hong Kong (then a British colony) and now lives in Pebble Beach, California.