Some truly awful cars by the seaside
I WAS at Seaside, California, watching my hero, Jay Lamm, organise another great motor classic. Seaside is close to Pebble Beach, but without the class.
In fact, both the local Neighbourhood Watch and the Police Union have been trying to remove local police chief Vicki Myers because crime is said to be rampant and people are being murdered but her official numbers say not many shots have been fired.
Really the biggest crime in Seaside is that Curly’s BBQ closed. Curly’s chopped pork sandwich ($7.09) was better than Rene Redzepi’s sea-urchin toast ($211) at Noma. Anyway Jay Lamm was once again challenging the more traditional Monterey Car Week festivities with his Concours d’LeMons.
Jay describes his show as “an ugly oil stain on auto week, with rust buckets, misfits, mistakes and the worst of the automotive world on display”. “As usual,” he said, “our celebrity judges accepted bribes for our Thrift Shop-sourced trophies. The best part is, the show is free for participants and spectators, so you’ll get exactly what you pay for.”
In keeping with our new editorial direction at Weekend A Plus Motoring we are focused on helping poor people enjoy their automotive lives. So at Monterey we kept away from Gordon McCall Motorworks offering bottomless glasses of Rodererer Estate Brut and Zonda R test-drives and Eclipse jet test flights. And who would want to spend time with Dave Gooding at the Equestrian Centre where there was free drink and food and nearly every car cost at least a million-plus? Of course I had to go because the editor forced me to.
As you know, I am not writing about any more F cars. I didn’t enjoy seeing the F 1961 250GT SWB bringing $16 million or a 47-year-old Toyota (2000 GT) selling for $1.2m. I ignored Stirling Moss introducing the Maserati 250F in which he won the 1956 Italian GP and focused on the 1968 Mini Cooper S for $48,000, the 1980 FJ Land Cruiser for an amazing $140,000 and the cheapest car, of course a 1958 Alfa Spider.
Over at RM Auctions Rob Myers sold more F cars than Curly has had grits. Not that I noticed but the 1964 275 GTB/C went for 28 big ones, Vern Schuppan’s ex Steve McQueen 1967 275 GTB/4 sold for $11m and every other red Italian sold for $3m. Talking of Steve McQueen, the 1968 Ford GT40 used as a camera car in making the surreal Le Mans sold for $11m. Best value for poor people was the 2002 AAR Alligator motorbike at $18,000.
Another big event was the Barnyard Shopping Village F event at Carmel. For $32 you get wine from 20 local growers, food from 10 local restaurants and heaps of local Italian red cars.
It was a terrible week for people who have promised not to mention F cars for a year. Apart from record-breaking sales, a silver F 1954 375mm coupe won best-in-class at the real Concours. This was the first time in 46 years, since Pebble Beach started, that a postwar car has won.
Back to the Concours d’LeMons where the winner was a 1973 Acoma Mini Comtesse. This French fibreglass sculpture shares a striking similarity to a Fisher and Paykel dishwasher with a 50cc lawnmower engine inside. The Comtesse is not only dead ugly it is dead dangerous. They came standard with five wheels but even five wheels didn’t stop them rolling over.
A Toyota 2000 GT