Some truly aw­ful cars by the sea­side

The Weekend Australian - Life - - MOTORING - JOHN CON­NOLLY

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

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