SAN MARINO MUS­CLE CARS

This Con­cours Is Ripe for a Name Change

Muscle Car Review - - Contents - By Drew Hardin

This con­cours is ripe for a name change

One of the things we en­joy most about the San Marino Mo­tor Clas­sic (SMMC) in Cal­i­for­nia, be­sides the fact that it’s a 20-minute drive from home, is the diver­sity. This is the kind of con­cours d’el­e­gance where you can ex­pect the ex­pected—pre­war Clas­sics, brass-era cars, even a steamer or two—as well as the to­tally un­ex­pected. Co­me­dian, pod­caster, and film pro­ducer Adam Carolla brought 10 of Paul New­man’s race cars. (“The salad dress­ing guy?” my daugh­ter asked.) A 1970 Buick Es­tate Wagon was not only on dis­play, but it also won a class award, as did a 1967 Ford Coun­try Squire. And we were glad to see that the His­toric Ve­hi­cle As­so­ci­a­tion had its own class of well-pre­served orig­i­nals, with awards given to a 1954 Jaguar XK120, a 1939 Lin­coln Ze­phyr, and a 1972 Citroen SM.

Like we said, diver­sity.

We were there with cam­era and note­book in hand be­cause a healthy per­cent­age of the 350-some cars parked on the beau­ti­ful grounds of Lacy Park were mus­cle cars. Class Man­ager Joe Salvo and As­sis­tant Class Man­ager Paul Gins­burg worked hard over the past year to gather enough high-per­for­mance Detroit iron that they filled four classes, two for big-block cars (GM and non) and two for pony cars (Mus­tangs and the rest). Mo­tor Clas­sic in the show’s name may have to change to Mus­cle Cars if Salvo and Gins­burg keep this up.

As if stun­ning cars parked in a gor­geous lo­ca­tion weren’t enough to rec­om­mend this show, it also takes place in early June, so the SoCal weather is usu­ally per­fect (not too hot, not too gray). There’s a wide as­sort­ment of food trucks parked on the grounds to sate any taste. And all money gen­er­ated by the con­cours goes to lo­cal char­i­ties. This year the show raised more than $300,000 for the Pasadena Hu­mane So­ci­ety & SPCA, the Ro­tary Club of San Marino, and the USC Tro­jan March­ing Band, mem­bers of which played on the grounds through­out the day. Now in its eighth year, the SMMC has gen­er­ated $1.9 mil­lion for char­ity.

n We are suck­ers for orig­i­nal-owner mus­cle. Ap­par­ently the SMMC judges are, too, as they gave Tim Mun­yer’s 1967 Chev­elle SS396 First in the Amer­i­can Big-Block Mus­cle Cars 19621972 GM class. Af­ter buy­ing the Ta­hoe Turquoise Chevy as a new car, Mun­yer put 17,000 miles on it in two years be­fore stor­ing it in his par­ents’ garage be­cause his em­ployer, Ford Mo­tor Com­pany, didn’t like him tak­ing it to work.

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