From August 16 – 20, 2017 I was invited by Michelin USA to be their guest at Monterey Car Week and represent myself and RevScene, taking in a week of countless cargasms and incredible events.
I don’t even know where to begin other than extending a tremendous amount of thanks to the entire Michelin team for the countless hours they put in to making my first Monterey Car Week a truly memorable time that will be remembered until the day I die
I heard an amazing quote recently that if an experience doesn’t take your breath away, don’t waste your breath and the incredible team certainly accomplished taking my breath away.
The moment I landed on Wednesday I had a private driver waiting for me inside the airport to shuttle me to what was one of the most magical and serene resorts I have ever seen. Situated on 599 acres, Carmel Valley Ranch was a most luxurious hotel tucked away in the lush forests of Carmel.
During my brief wait for my room, I was greeted by a couple other earlier arrivals- a couple Pagani Huayra’s (including the Roadster), a Koenigsegg Agera, Lamborghini Centenario and a Ford GT; plus a group of turkeys. Once my room was ready, the concierge shuttled me and my luggage a brief jaunt up the hill to where I was greeted with a jaw dropping suite. I swear the suite was bigger than my place at home! It featured 3 very spacious rooms, and a deck overlooking the ranch’s golf course and sprawling landscape. Also on my deck was a big, and deep bathtub in wish I longed to relax in and take in the sights, but alas I had to unpack and start getting ready for our welcome reception.
At our welcome reception we were ushered to a ballroom featuring a courtyard just off the main parking lot and were joined by some of the wonderful team with Singer Vehicle Design and one of the 12 911s they brought for Car Week in this beautiful teal.
On our first day, Thursday, we departed the Ranch at 730 am to head over to the Marina Airport where our first day was to be spent taking in an Autocross event highlighting the Michelin Pilot 4s. During this time we were given the chance to test out these new tires against Pirelli. They ensured all the BMWs were the exact same set up (suspension, tire PSI, etc) so we could truly determine the difference between the two brands. During the next 3 hours we all tried our hand at 60-70 mp/h hard braking (I failed a little at this because my instinct was to let up off the gas before slamming on the brakes), and then moved over to an autocross set up where we’d maneuver sharp turns and going from dry pavement to slick wetness around a corner. Being as it was on a closed course where I knew there was no danger, I must admit I had fun with the Pirelli’s not having a great grip and being able to fishtail around the corners; but in a wet city such as Vancouver, or heading up the dangerous winter highway of the Coquihalla I would not feel the same way.
After we finished throwing the cars around we paused for a brief lunch and then continued our day with a 3 hour cruise through the windy scenic roads and tried our hands at the Ferrari California T, the Porsche 911, and the Audi R8 that ended with us back to the ranch where we had a brief rest and time to process what we had just experienced before jetting off to the private Singer Soiree.
At 7pm we all met back at the Valet looking our best and were shuttled off to a private mansion overlooking the valley and were greeted with a magnitude of incredible vehicles that included at least 12 Singer Vehicle Design Porsches. Once the majority of the guests had arrived Rob Dickinson, founder of Singer Vehicle, gave a welcoming speech and talked about the vision behind his company. What really stuck in my mind was the fact that he said, “If it were not for the tires of Michelin, he would not be able to produce the vehicles that he does”
Friday morning was scheduled to be a long day that stared off with the Werks Reunion held at the Corral de Tierra Country Club. This incredible event was a Porsche lovers dream that included about 800 different models of Porsches, including such models as the 987 spyder, 1977 911RS, 1954 speedster, 356, 934, 1970 914-6 and many more. I was definitely cargasming all over the place with these seductive models but one of my memorable highlights was meeting and getting my picture with Magnus Walker. Also very cool was meeting Jeff Zwart and having his race cars on display with the Michelin booth.
I could’ve spent all day drooling over the Porsches but alas after a couple of hours it was time to depart and head over to the architectural dream of the Nicklaus Club Monterey for Legends of the Autobahn. Upon arrival to this we were greeted by the BMW Car Club of America who enriched our knowledge on the history of BMW.
After a couple hours of sexy Germans it was time to head back to the ranch for a brief rest and change of clothes before heading to probably one of the most talked about, and social media covered events – Exotics on Cannery Row.
Michelin was the main sponsor for Exotics on Cannery Row and together with the event organizer Aimee Shackleford (Petrolgirl) they had arranged a battle of the HyperCars which featured about 10 Koenigsegg’s, 8 Pagani’s, 3 Ferrari F50′s, the Ford GT, the McLaren P1 GTR and many others. This was the place you wanted to be if you were a car enthusiast, as also on hand were legends such as Christian Von Koenigsegg and Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni; how great it was to be able to catch up with these fantastic men and meet up with friends that I’ve only been able to chat with through Instagram.
Saturday we were whisked off to the Rolex Monterey MotorSports Reunion at the world famous Laguna Seca, where we were treated to many special goodies such as time with Risi Competizione and the Michelin Super Paddock with my friends HyperCar Development and Singer Vehicle Design. Upon arrival we were surprised with the fantastic opportunity from British racecar driver Justin Bell to walk onto the famous corkscrew for a brief photo op!
Our last full day Sunday was an early day for me, thanks again to Michelin, it had been arranged for me to take in Dawn Patrol with Ed Loh of Motor Trend for a Facebook live coverage as about 200 priceless automobiles made their way onto the 18th green for the final event of the week, I even managed to snag one of only 200 of the coveted Haggarty Dawn Patrol Hats.
For lunch we were guests at the Peterson Automotive Museum and after only seeing him in Geneva and briefly at the Ranch, I finally got my chance to meet Horacio Pagani and a quick photo op.
I had been hoping Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was finally going to be my time to see my dream car the McLaren F1 in real life, but unfortunately it was not there. The event definitely did not disappoint though as I was treated to many other drool worthy cars such as an old school Fiat Abarth, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet, the Pagani Zonda Barchetta, Italdesign Automobili Speciali Zerouno, and so many more.
As someone who is privy to what it takes to put on smaller events, I want to take the time to thank everyone involved for all their countless hours and sleepless nights to make this experience what it was. Planning these events for the team at Michelin is not what their actual full time jobs are, this is one of the many hats they wear. From the moment I was selected, until even today as I type this, the team has worked tirelessly to make my experience as perfect as possible. I had so much fun reuniting with old friends during this week and making new ones and cannot thank the Michelin team enough for all that they did for me! It was an absolute pleasure spending the week with you, you all are such an incredible team that showed me such kindness and hold a special place in my heart!
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for everything
If you’d like to see more of my adventure, check out my facebook page @Saucywoman