San Marino Motor Classic celebrates its third yearMon, 10 Jun 2013
There may be more car collections hidden in Southern California garages, hangars and warehouses than anywhere else in the world, and Aaron Weiss knows almost all of the collectors.
Weiss, along with co-founders Ben Reiling, Paul Colony and a large contingent of car-crazy compatriots and sponsors, put together the third annual San Marino Motor Classic on June 9 with 250 cars ranging from grand tourers to a Wells Fargo stage coach hauling guests around the show.
“It's the best of the public and private collections in the Los Angeles area,” said emcee Ed Justice Jr., president of industry products company Justice Brothers. “They are able to convince collectors from all over Southern California to bring their best cars.”
The Classic is centered around the ginormous lawn of Lacy Park in old-money San Marino, Calif. The park is more than 30 acres big and we're guessing half of that is the huge central lawn, a place we're keeping in mind should we ever have helicopter troubles anywhere in the greater LA area and need a place to land.
The bread and butter of the show is the Classic Car Club of America Southern California Region's Grand Classic, an event that brought 60 beautiful, stately old tourers to show this year. The first car show in Lacy Park took place the year before the first San Marino Motor Classic. Three years ago the CCCA show was opened up to all manner of great cars and the San Marino Motor Classic was born.
“It's a fabulous venue and a great place to do it,” said Terry White, treasurer of the CCCA.
This year the CCCA brought in a superb collection of old Cadillacs, Packards, Lincolns and Marmons. There were two Bugattis and at least three Delahayes scattered across the grass.
But the beauty of the San Marino gathering is the diversity and depth of cars you get to see. There were four classes for Alfas this year, for instance, two each for Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes, as well as Shelby Cobras and the first-ever gathering of Shelby Mustangs at this venue.
This year was also the first for car corrals, featuring one from Alfa Romeo and one from Rolls-Royce where club members could come right in driving, for instance, an Alfa 164.
“It gives a guy a conduit to bring in a car he might not otherwise get to show,” Weiss said.
This year there was a class for micro cars, largely filled by the collection of Michael Malamut and featuring the PEZ-liveried 1958 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter you may have seen at the Bruce Weiner Microcar auction recently in Madison, Ga.
It was a little bit of everything brought together for just about everyone. With all the space, the ambiance is downright relaxed, from the Dixieland Jazz band to the casual dress among almost everybody.
“There's no reason you have to put on a coat and tie to attend a car show,” said Weiss, who was wearing a golf shirt and ball cap.
Watch for next year's show at sanmarinomotorclassic.com.
By Mark Vaughn