SAN MARINO MUSCLE CARS
This Concours Is Ripe for a Name Change
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.