Here’s an interesting coincidence: this past weekend saw two very different events take place, the American-centric Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit and the ultra-high-end Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey, California.
The Dream Cruise is a celebration of American cars that sees thousands of cars, new and old alike, cruise up and down a 20-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue in Detroit for tons of spectators.
On the other end side of the country at the same time, the most expensive and rare luxury exotics in the world gathered together on a beautiful piece of the California coast in Monterey.
We decided to ask our editors which of these two events are more their style. Here’s what they had to say:
Mike Schlee, Road Test Editor: Woodward Dream Cruise
“For me it has to be the Woodward Dream Cruise. There’s something about a wide-open, public welcome, weekend festival that just checks all the right boxes for me. There are classics, customs and muscle laid out as far as the eye can see.
If you worship at the parish of the V8, this is Vatican City of muscle cars.
But my favorite part of Woodward has to be the lack of pretention that oozes from every corner of Pebble Beach. You don’t need money to enjoy Woodward.”
Jodi Lai, Managing Editor: Pebble Beach
“I’m currently stuck in the most hilarious traffic jam I’ve ever been in. I’m in Carmel in California during Monterey Car Week sitting in traffic behind a Nissan GT-R and a lime green Lamborghini Aventador. Two Pagani Huayras passed by in the opposite lane. An insanely loud SLR McLaren just drove past with a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. And then a little Citroën 2CV putters behind me while a vintage Jaguar E-Type casually creeps forward.
There’s no cooler place to be if you love cars than Pebble Beach. Even if you don’t actually go to the events, races and auctions, this is the only place where sitting in traffic can be considered fun. Exotic supercars and vintage cars are as common here as Toyota Corollas are at home. Pebble Beach is a feast and I’m hungry. I can get used to traffic jams if they’re always like this. ”
Stephen Elmer, News Editor: Woodward Dream Cruise
“I just can’t connect with perfectly manicured lawns, goofy colored pants and cars worth millions of dollars that aren’t even driven. I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt, fixing old trucks out in the barn kind of guy. That’s why I would choose the Woodward Dream Cruise in a heartbeat.
It’s here that you see real cars, built by regular people on a budget. Sure, not everything is so shiny you want to eat off it, but that’s part of the charm. There’s no pretentious red velvet ropes to keep you from the cars and you don’t need an “all access” badge to see the good stuff. Just sit on the side of Woodward Avenue and the car show comes to you, with the owner of each right there in the driver seat ready to tell you about his or her ride.
Best of all, the cars are actually out cruising! Isn’t that what cars are all about? This was my second year cruising Woodward and I don’t plan to stop going anytime soon!”
Jason Siu, News Editor: Pebble Beach
“If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend Monterey Car Week, you’ll understand that it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the few things I’ll never forget is one time I was at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the media was interviewing a gentleman with a white cane. Although I can’t recall the exact phrasing of the question, it was something along the lines of “Why would you attend a car show if you can’t even see the cars?” The gentleman replied, “Have you heard how beautiful they sound?”
And that’s really what Pebble Beach is all about. Roaming through the hills of Pebble Beach or heading to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, there’s simply something for everyone if you like all things with four wheels.
Besides, who wants to go to Detroit? Right Mr. Craig Cole? Right?”
Craig Cole, Associate Editor: Woodward Dream Cruise
“This question is easy for me to answer: Woodward. The Dream Cruise is as friendly and approachable as it is blue collar; you won’t find a more welcoming car event. There’s absolutely zero pretence at this gathering, which runs along a 20-plus mile stretch of ‘Murican thoroughfare from downtown Detroit to Pontiac, Michigan. And if that’s not enough it’s also the world’s largest single-day automotive event, drawing more than 1.5 million spectators and some 40,000 classic cars, which hail from practically all marques and eras. Oppressive snobbery and over-the-top wealth are hallmarks of Pebble Beach, which is at best nauseating, at worst infuriating. Throngs of people that need shovels and bulldozers to count their money congest the roads and sidewalks of this peaceful California town; it’s just too much for me to bear. My tolerance for douche-baggery is extremely limited and Monterey Car Week exceeds this long before concourse Sunday.”
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor: Pebble Beach
“Exotics, one-offs and high-end luxury cars are the general vibe of the Pebble Beach Concours weekend and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. It’s where you can see Lamborghinis and Aston Martins act like Civics and Corollas. There’s a ton of expensive and beautiful hardware cruising all over Monterey during this time.
Sure you may have to rub shoulders with some pretentious millionaires, even those who may not know anything about cars, but it’s worth it to gawk at the wonderfully crafted cars of the Good Life (TM). Oh and there’s a ton of celebrities to catch a glimpse of. I’ll take any chance I can to get a selfie with Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jerry Seinfeld. Of course, Pebble Beach is also accented by the fantastic Monterey historics races, which is a bunch of fun too.”
Well, it looks like we’re split right down the middle. Which event would you go to if you had the choice? Let us know in the comments section below.