Twenty-one years ago, while strolling along Carmel’s Ocean Avenue with his wife, Doug Freedman saw potential. “I said to Genie, ‘We need to put cars on these streets,’ ” he remembers. When the Atlanta resident floated the idea in 2001, city officials said it couldn’t be done. “But I believe that if you have a dream, you should pursue that dream—and we pursued and pursued,” Freedman says.
Their persistence paid off in 2007, when the inaugural Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue drew 4,000 guests for a day-long auto extravaganza benefiting the Carmel Foundation. This August, the title event adds new exhibits and expands to two full days. Sixteen blocks along and adjacent to Ocean Avenue will close to traffic for the free festivities, which feature 1947-1973 Porsche and Ferrari models on Monday, August 11, and 1946-1971 gems during the multi-marque presentation on Tuesday, August 12.
Approximately 135 cars will be included in each day’s display and judging, and a new “Heritage Avenue” exhibit spotlights additional automobiles that don’t fit the event’s judging categories but still have special merit.
“Our goal is to highlight underserved marques on underutilized days,” says Freedman, who is past national president of the Ferrari Club of America. “Carmel deserves its own signature moment during these ten great days of auctions, events and vintage racing on the Monterey Peninsula in August.”
Freedman’s Motor Club Events LLC puts on the Carmel affair, as well as an invitation-only Carmel by-the-Sea Ocean Avenue Motor Club celebration on August 14.The club’s August 8-17 Concours in the Windows competition encourages downtown businesses, restaurants and shops to outfit their windows with elaborate car-themed exhibits.
“This event is great for Carmel. It’s great for the participants and for people who love cars to be right here in the heart of downtown,” says Carmel Chamber of Commerce CEO Monta Potter. “I heard over and over last year how happy everyone was.” Freedman recognized the support of the chamber and local leaders, including Dennis LeVett of Cypress Inn, Carmel Community Services Director Christie Miller and Carmel Mayor Sue McCloud, by naming major event awards in their honor.
“A whole host of organizations got behind us,” says Freedman, “so it was a natural thing to do.” As he gears up for the celebration’s second run, Freedman praises the community’s enthusiasm for volunteering and giving. “We just had to do this here. After attending many street shows in many towns, I knew Carmel was different and special.”
For more information, go to www.motorclubevents.com or call 404/237-2633.