The Monterey Car Week in California is the perfect poster child for classic cars and opulence. The nine-day event sees richest car collectors in the world turn up to show off their toys.
Despite the flash and bling being paraded around the coastal Californian city, the car week sees a rather unusual event take place in the courtyard of the Carmel Mission Church.
Officially called the Carmel Mission Classic, the event is better known by another name - The Blessing of the Automobiles — and is perhaps the most unusual event during the entire Monterey Car Week.
What makes the event so unusual is that it is a heady combination of fine cars and motorcycles, and the Catholic faith. It features the usual suspects that make Monterey so special, classic cars, wine, and the rich mingling about, along with one rather unusual extra. The event is perhaps the only car exhibition in the world, which sees priests bless the vehicles and anoint them with holy water.
The Carmel Mission Classic is a relatively new addition to the Monterey Car Week and has been running for the past four years. It draws an audience of only around 1,100 people compared to the tens of thousands who go to other events during the car week. This is despite the facts that tickets are priced at just $50 (Rs. 3,357) compared to the $375 (Rs. 25,177) price tag for a ticket to the grand finale of the car week, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Wonder if we can get a pandit, a priest and other leaders of various faiths to the next Auto Expo? Wouldn't that be a site to witness!