MONTEREY – For the past 30 years, the unofficial launch party for Monterey Car Week has been held at the Monterey Jet Center. While this tradition continues, this year marks a new organization hosting the event as well as an associated auction. Classic car insurance and automotive lifestyle brand Hagerty has purchased the rights from local Carmel and founders Gordon and Molly McCall, renaming it from McCall’s Motorworks Revival to Hagerty Motorlux.
Founded by former insurance agents Frank and Louise Hagerty in 1984, the company began as an insurance company specializing in their passion, classic wooden boats. At this time, no other company offered designs on vintage ships and the Hagertys decided they would be first. Growing rapidly from its basement in Traverse City Michigan, the company offered classic car coverage in 1991, soon accounting for the lion’s share of the business. Today, Hagerty remains the world leader in collector car insurance.
Son of the founders and current CEO, McKeel Hagerty has grown the company into “a lifestyle automotive brand and specialist insurance provider”. In addition to a thriving magazine and roadside assistance service, Hagerty began adding several automotive events and contests to its portfolio a few years ago. Acquisitions include the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, America’s Concours d’Elegance, the California Mille and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
Motorlux, along with the new Jet Center auction presented by Broad Arrow Auctions, brought a similar feel to past events. Guests were treated to champagne and live fiddle music at the entrance as they made their way to the runway. More than 90 auction cars were on display throughout the venue, giving bidders a great opportunity to preview them before the hammer fell on Thursday night. Some examples were a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 LWB convertible limousine, a 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S, a 1990 Ferrari F40 and a 2019 Koenigsegg Regera.
Modern jets and helicopters were dotted around the airfield, where guests could take comprehensive tours and speak with representatives and pilots. The Swiss company Pilatus has brought its largest and most high-end model, the PC-24. It seats eight passengers and two pilots, has a range of 2,000 miles and can operate on short dirt runways if necessary. Bell had several helicopter models on display, allowing full cabin and cockpit access for customers.
Several historic propeller-driven planes have been scattered among the modern and vintage supercars, thoughtfully placed to create a visual scene that one might imagine from a James Bond movie set. A few retired US Air Force fighter jets were parked near some old Porsche race cars, highlighting the simple, highly mechanical and purpose-built aspects of these machines.
This year, more than 30 artisan dishes from local farm-to-table culinary stations from 15 renowned chefs were enjoyed by attendees. A few Santa Cruz County favorites were in attendance, such as Home of Soquel, which served steak tartare with gnocchi, and Seascape Resort, which served delicious ceviche. Hagerty has partnered with Edible Monterey Magazine to plan and showcase local restaurants, chefs and dishes.
Deborah Luhrman, Editor of Edible Monterey Bay, said, “Our region is one of the richest in the country for premium ingredients and these talented kitchen professionals are experts at showcasing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. , as well as unrivaled seafood straight from the bay and exceptional grass-fed meats raised on local pastures.”
No celebration is complete without wine and cocktails. Pairing with the delicious dishes was more than 24 varieties of wine, including local Monterey wineries Bernardus and Wraith. An open bar offering dozens of specialty cocktails and French Moët champagne was well received by guests and created a festive atmosphere.
In keeping with McCall’s tradition and commitment to California Highway Patrol employees and their families, Hagerty was proud to welcome the CHP 11-99 Foundation as a charitable beneficiary which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Raffle tickets were being sold for the annual 11-99 winner’s choice draw of a 2023 Ford F150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck for a cash prize of $50,000.
Established in 1982, the CHP 11-99 Foundation has provided more than $42 million in assistance, including $35 million in professional and college scholarships. When an officer is killed in the line of duty, the 11-99 Foundation provides support and financial assistance to grieving spouses and families in times of need.