Monterey, Pebble Beach, Concorso Italiano, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca via CX-5

My Mazda CX-5 looking very at home at its namesake racetrack

photography by me

If you are thinking about a compact/midsized crossover, lemmee tell you about a dandy one. I recently spent a week with, and put over 1000 miles on, Mazda’s new CX-5. It’s about the size of an X3, but costs a lot less. What an ideal rig; it’s right sized, and drives more like a car than a reconfigured truck. It’s good-looking, rides well, handles sportily (Zoom Zoom, and all that), parks easy, and doesn’t cost body parts to buy or lease. I’m not currently in the market for such a vehicle, but if I were, this would be on my very short list. The “base” model isn’t very base, and well equipped enough that you’d probably be happy with one just as it comes, saving a ton of bucks on pricey options. At the other end, I’m not sure you can even load one up to thirty grand, so it’s just not a pricey rig.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca pace/safety car is also a CX-5, and some nice company

A handsome black over black CX-5 was my ride this year to Monterey for the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, Concorso Italiano, Concours d’LeMons, all the Pebble Beach stuff, and the usual third week of August Car Woodstock happenings on the Monterey Peninsula. The CX-5 had just enough room for all my stuff, and didn’t slurp too much $4.50 a gallon gas. Available only with a super efficient four-cylinder engine, it has adequate power, but is no screamer. The six-speed automatic trans makes the most of it, but ten more horsepower would go a long way in this little guy.

Like I said, I lived with and in this thing for a week, and would absolutely own one. If you think it’ll fit your needs and budget, I encourage you to test drive one…but first learn more at

A few more Monterey pix…

What would an Italian car show be without red Ferraris? I love Concorso Italiano

I now own a Maserati Merak SS, so had to check out all the Meraks at Concorso Italiano

With Carroll Shelby's recent passing still fresh on everyone's mind, all the auction houses brought out a raft of great Shelbys to sell. This genuine R model and barn fresh Cobra were at RM

Three fabulous Cobras await RM Auctions' sale. The blue 289 in the middle was so fabulous it made me weepy

You could have bought the original Shelby American Cobra Daytona Coupe Bartoletti-bodied Fiat transporter for around a million dollars. A pair of FIA Cobras? Not a chance.

Everyone's new favorite car show; a place for the Worst in the West: Concours d'Lemons

My Friend Bruce Meyer's CSX2001 first production built Cobra is one of the world's best Shelbys, and grabbed a special race car award at Pebble Beach

David Sydoric's Zagato bodied '56 Maserati wowed the crowd and took first in class

Vroom with a View - now that's the way to watch the Pebble Beach awards ceremony, from the balcony of a private suite overlooking the field and the blue Pacific ocean

Vintage done right: My Classic daughter, Mo (Evan Klein photo)

the end…