There’s an old adage “if March enters as a lion, it will leave as a lamb.” Such is the story of the Garage Style Garage Tours for the last couple of years. COVID struck before Car Week in 2020, GSM was moving from California to Texas, and print was being replaced by digital – the perfect storm.
Change isn’t always easy or fast, but our loyal subscribers and fans have remained steadfast that the Garage Tour would return “someday” to Monterey. The GSM Garage Tour wasn’t the only event overcome by events, we all remember the Concours on the Avenue, and the Carmel Mission Classic. Its always hard to pick up where you forcibly and abruptly left off, especially when it’s something you’ve worked so hard to continue to grow.
Our fearless editor-in-chief, Don Weberg, along with his many supporters and friends in the community never gave up hope, and that’s where this story begins.
Part 1: (19th Annual) Automobilia Monterey International Expo
We kicked off the tour by meeting at the Laguna Grand Ballroom of the Embassy Suites in Seaside, CA for some irresistible shopping. Items spanned the spectrum with a notable focus on marques like Porsche and Ferrari. As we all know, it’s very difficult to come to an event like this and not come home with a new model, painting, book or other automobilia to help complete our collections. I’m quite thankful that Don ushered us on to the next part of the tour before too long, because an hour was already becoming too much for my wallet to bare.
NOTE: If you’re reading this during Car Week, you can still use our discount code (below) for entry to the Automobilia event located at Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside (1441 Canyon Del Rey Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955)
Part 2: Monterey Touring Vehicles (The Luncheon)
Heather Gardner and Erin Sollecito of Monterey Touring Vehicles (MTV) stepped up to help support this years Garage Tour in a big way.
They opened their garage doors to us and hosted the official kick-off location with a lunch provided by renowned Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Monterey Peninsula realtor and avid car buff Mark Ryan.
MTV proved a great venue for everyone to gather up before heading to our host garage. While there, we learned that Monterey Touring Vehicles (2228 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940) is the only company on California’s Central Coast that provides the opportunity to rent classic and vintage cars (especially during Car Week). Their eclectic, privately owned collection of classic cars is sure to put a smile on your face. Before departing to Adrian and Laurel’s garage, we were invited back to MTV for an after party, with more to come on that.
Part 3: The Garages of Adrian & Laurel
We departed MTV in a quasi-organized caravan of classics and exotics up into the mountains of Salinas, CA following twisty, narrow roads to a beautifully constructed, Spanish-style home overlooking Carmel Valley and within earshot of Laguna Seca Raceway.
Minimalism is in. And Adrian and Laurel’s garage, like all of our garages, reflects their personalities. An American and a Brit coming together in a display that says “clean and vaguely European.” The stark white background of the five garage bays, which can hold six cars when perfectly parked, let’s the vehicles tell the story with beautiful paint schemes popping from behind the doors.
The garage isn’t completely devoid of decoration, quite the contrary. There are carefully selected Porsche racing prints that hang on the walls of the “working side” of the L-shaped configuration where Adrian spends his time servicing or rebuilding his projects, like an imported Series One, Honda K20-swapped Lotus Elise.
Its not always about the style of the garage, but often more about its ability to serve your needs. Adrian and Laurel have what they need from the various tool boxes, shelving, two-post lift, and kitchenette stocked with goodies for everyone to have a great party or prep Laurel’s prized Porsche Boxster for the upcoming Prancing Ponies Concours.
We are extremely grateful and appreciate Adrian, Laurel, and son Oliver for stepping up with the offer to open their home for our Garage Tour this year, they were tremendously gracious hosts and helped make the return of the Garage Style Magazine Monterey Peninsula Garage Tour a success. Their garage is just the beginning of GSM’s return to Monterey, and acts as a springboard for the 2024 season. We had a wonderful time and hope to see them throughout the week in Monterey for more festivities.
Part 4: The Porsche Monterey Classic
For those of us in the original 20+ car group that went on this years tour and remained together after Part-3, we soldiered on and headed back downtown to Porsche of Monterey for a gathering of the faithful. Many of us were eager to see what all the fuss was about at Porsche of Monterey (1781 Del Monte Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955), because after all, isn’t a dealership just a big garage full of new cars?
With local travelers annoyed by a complete road closure on Del Monte Blvd so that Porsche’s could be put out on display, the rest of us enjoyed this block party with music, along with free wine and champaign. Being not only a “petrol-head” but an avid Porsche-phile, owner, and PCA member I was in my element. Sparing you all the technical details – like one loves to share at these kinds of events about various specific models, packages, and features – below is a wonderful sampling of some of the cars we saw.
Part 5: The MTV After Party!
Returning to Monterey Touring Vehicles after a long day of sight seeing and car spotting was just what we needed. The event featured a live band, libations, hors d’oeuvres, and other finger foods. As Heather and Erin mentioned earlier in the day “we bring fun to cars” they certainly delivered on that promise. The MTV after party was full of energy, allowing us to close out our tour on a high note. We can’t thank MTV and the entire team there for supporting the 2023 GSM Garage Tour enough, and we hope to see them again next year!
After the Tour…
Thinking back over this year’s Garage Tour, one might argue that the right course of action is to make a HUGE splash with a circus, fireworks, parades, and dancers… but that’s not the Garage Style (pun intended). It takes a lot of planning, preparation and support to pull off a successful event during Car Week.
With the skills akin to a professional racer, Don really looked ahead, setup his entry, settled the nose, kissed the apex, waited for the right moment to mashed the throttle. That’s the recipe for success: slow in, fast out. That said, Garage Style is BACK in Monterey and we hope that even if you missed this year’s event, you can plan on attending next years tour which already has THREE host garages lined-up and all sorts of other surprises throughout the day. #spoileralert. If you’d like to pre-register for the 2024 GSM Garage Tour and get notified as more details come together – CLICK HERE.