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Simon Said - Monterey Marathon: The Classic Car Olympics

There's no less preparation and the stakes are equally high for the challengers. It just takes place every year rather than every four, and the only performance enhancing substances involved are octane booster and polish. Lots of it.

Auctions. Racing. Displaying. Dealmaking. These are the major sports in Monterey, and all the top players come to compete. 

The market spoke, and it made sense. The big show prize was awarded, and as usual the winner was much debated. Someone won the racing, but what was once the main event is now a (big) sideshow so well done whoever you are.

Top tips to take home from the peninsula? Where there's a real seller there's a real buyer. Silver haired owners judged by silver haired experts still rule the concours, which remains a pre-war club. And lastly, don't try to escape using Monterey airport. "We're in an overbooking situation" is a wonderful euphemism for "we've sold the same seat twice" if they haven't already cancelled your flight. Option B is a taxi, and I now know the answer to the question: "Do you know the way to San Jose?".

Monterey is a marathon on many levels, but if you want to stay ahead you can't afford not to be there.