While the hoity-toity The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering was taking place on the other side of the Carmel Valley, a much more egalitarian gathering of cars was happening Friday at the Nicklaus-Club Monterey near Laguna Seca racetrack: The 10th annual Legends of the Autobahn.
BMWs dominated the event, as they always do, with a huge flock of 2002s celebrating the 50th anniversary of the seminal sedan. There were plenty of Mercedes-Benzes and a decent smattering of Audis, but no Volkswagens. And, of course, there were no Porsches, as the Porsche Werks reunion split off from Legends a few years ago. The Werks takes place the same day, at another golf course nearby, making it easy for German car fans to get a full fix with a quick drive between the two events.
Legends is the antithesis of many of the stuffy events held during Monterey Car Week: it’s informal, friendly, cheeky, and intimate, with the vibe of a really big Cars and Coffee, but with an excellent PA system. The registration fees to display a car are a fraction of what it costs just to be a spectator at The Quail. (Spectator admission to Legends is free, although you pay for parking.)
This year, former Motor Trend video personality Jason Cammisa was the MC, and his announcements throughout the day and during the awards were both jovial and in-the-know. Cammisa is quick with a lighthearted insult, whether it be directed at an unsuspecting owner or at a car itself, but they’re all in good fun, and it was clear he knew a lot of the owners whom he poked fun at. While the finalists for all the various judging categories were being driven to the awards stage, he called on his encyclopedic knowledge of German cars to spout off esoteric facts and figures—and opinions!—on every car.