As the week progresses, the polish thickens. There are more shows, more elite invitation-only get-togethers, more and more auctions. The official numbers place the influx of visitors at less than 100,000 – roughly the same number of people who attend a major stadium sporting event.
Not all audiences are equal however, and for the last few years, that stadium sized audience has brought with it half a billion dollars, counting the auctions and associated transportation, accommodation, entry fees, charity donations and other factors boosting the local economy.
The Monterey Car Week auctions are now a barometer for the classic car market. Several auction houses net over 100 million dollars. Every year another auction is added to the schedule or existing auctions are expanded to an extra day.