Car Show Classics: Monterey Car Week Part 2 – Lemons and More

As I mentioned in Part 1, this is my second time posting about the Concours d’Lemons show. Self described as “The Oil Stain of the Car Week” it had a slightly different feel than the last few times I’d attended. It’s getting more popular, and there were a few cars there that really didn’t fit in. For this post, I’ll try not to repeat cars I showed last time, but I’ll also include quite a few pictures of cars I saw on the street or in parking lots outside the Lemons show itself. In fact, one of the highlights of Car Week for me are the sightings of interesting cars, often juxtaposed against other equally interesting but very different cars, or just cheek by jowl with the ordinary cars that fill our streets daily.

The lead picture is somewhat representative of the cars at the show. The Tercel is a modest car, ignored by collectors (but not here at CC), though this example is perhaps a bit too nice. And note what’s parked Curbside beyond the Tercel. Not in this show, just grabbed an empty parking spot. That’s an example of what one sees all over the Monterey area during this week.

The 1987 Mazda B2200 pick up is a rolling time capsule, original with just 35000 miles on it. Now, admittedly these trucks are still daily sights here, working for a living with gardeners and house painters, but it fit in well here. But the restomod LS-powered Toyota FJ40 should have just stayed home. At least, that’s my opinion.

Similarly, this Kellison was too perfect. But at least it’s weird enough to fit the Lemons ethos. The Kellison was a fiberglass-bodied kit car sold from the fifties until about 1970. Judging by the size of this one, I think it may be Corvette based, but smaller versions used Bugeye Sprite and even VW platforms. Paul spotted one here, though some body details look different between the two.

Somehow I felt the Ferrari 458 fit in better than the LS-power Cruiser. It had Kansas plates and the owner had driven it to California. I learned later that the owner is a YouTube celebrity named Tyler Hoover who creates the “Hoovie’s Garage” channel. I watch way too much YouTube but have bypassed that one. Apparently it had been wrecked at some time, rebuilt and carried a salvage title. It made a nice contrast with the Fiat 500; both were on display in the “Needlessly Complex Italian Car” section of the show. The Fiat won the class.

This was an example of another kind of car one sees at this show. It’s a Nissan Leaf, repowered by a Kawasaki motorcycle engine. The ZX next to it is another kind of “Lemon”, a Japanese car from the broughamy pre-Lexus and Acura era.

The driver of this Mercury, a Marquis not a Monterey, showing off its verdant flanks and snow white roof (and wheels), must have spotted the Porsche and figured he was in the wrong place. So he tried to back out, only to be blocked by a TransAm.

Now THIS Firebird is a true Lemon: Period correct (and for a period about ten years after it was new), well used but quite roadworthy.

Another Mercury, this one assembled at the San Jose (aka Milpitas) Ford plant just one county north of Monterey. This 1975 Bobcat Runabout Villager was PERFECT – better than new. The owner, a mechanical engineer in the colorful shirt, was probably not even born when it was new. We chatted a bit. It’s one of several Bobcats and Pinto’s that he owns. He’s had this one over ten years and has been restoring it for some time … and he admitted that the panel fit and upholstery quality is better than anything that the Ford plant would have turned out in the late Seventies. He showed me the precise alignment of the plaid pattern in the perfectly re-upholstered front seats, compared to the (mis)alignment of the pattern in the original rears. Jim Klein, this guy might want that Pinto shell you just featured as a Junkyard Classic. I wonder if he reads CC.

Time to go visit France in “The Unmitigated Gaul” section of the show. A DS21, complete with Star Wars paraphernalia (?), a nice R16 and a 505. Plus more.

For sale. For a not totally unreasonable price. And not too far from my house. The owner was reducing the size of his fleet, and decided that he’d keep only one Citroen, a Traction Avant. This is a 1978 AK Dyane, or Acadienne (a French play on words like DS/Deesse). Registered and titled here as a 1970 2CV to avoid smog inspections required on post-1975 cars. 602 cc, 4 speed, inboard disk front brakes. Very appealing …

This BMW 502 looked pretty sad, like it had been sitting in a German barn with hungry rats munching on the interior for a few decades. I like patina as much as the next guy but this was too far gone. But what do I know, because the Concours judges voted it “Worst in Show”. In case it’s not clear, that’s the top prize.

Crossing the Channel now to England. Here are a three-wheeled (Reliant) and four-wheeled (Mini Marcos) duo.

And a six-wheeled British vehicle also. Between the Mini Marcos and the six-wheeled was another four-wheeled British car, which I had seen and photographed at the Little Car show a few days earlier.

It’s a Berkeley, a car I loved as a kid, from pictures in British car books, as it shared its name with my home town. The original 3 cylinder two stroke engine has been replaced here by a Honda VFR800 motorcycle V4.

A few more Lemons, before we move outside the show grounds to highlight some other around-town sightings.

An upside down Camaro grafted ont0 a fully drivable Ford Festiva base. Yes, the “tops” of the Camaro fenders do clear the ground and there’s a rolling chassis under there. It’s raced in 24 Hours of Lemons events so it is fully qualified to be here:

A nice Hudson; the Avanti behind it didn’t do anything for me.

Donna Reed’s Edsel. I have heard of Donna Reed but I am too young or just the wrong demographic to know anything about her. So the signage was helpful.

A couple of GM trucks. One a lot more common than the other.

And a couple of Mopars. This was not the only Ghostbusters themed car I saw in Monterey. There had a been a similarly decked out Mini wagon at the Little Car Show. Sorry, I don’t get it. Almost as foreign to me as Donna Reed, both the original and the remake.

I’ll finish the Lemons show with this pairing, both with AMC genes. And then we’ll walk around town a bit. Note that in the interest of geographic accuracy, the Little Car Show was actually in Pacific Grove, and today’s post was all photographed in Seaside. These towns are on the coastal side of Monterey County and straddle the city of Monterey. 

Parked just across the street. Not my favorite Ferrari, but at least the driver of this 308 GT4 was willing to squeeze it into a Curbside spot. Car Week may be the only time when Ferrari’s outnumber Tesla’s in Monterey.

This guy was looking for more protected parking. I’m pretty sure that’s a Chevy 250 six in this roadster; what a great alternative to an SBC or even a Flathead V8.

As I mentioned earlier, the juxtaposition of cars makes for great photo’s. The picture says it all here. Two iconic sedans.

Two sporting Fords.

A pair of Corvettes.

Ignore the background and it’s 1970 again.

Or 1960. And there’s another air-cooled car hiding behind the 356.

A Franklin. The white Mercedes ML in the background kept photobombing my pictures of air-cooled cars. Those tires – yuck.

But the Corvair was very nice, even with slightly non-period-correct wheels.

Are whitewalls coming back? I hope not – at least not on 35 profile tires.

More pairings – will the Mazda Tribute be attracting attention at a car show in 2080?

Both of these cars are featuring oversized add-ons. Since this is the first, and quite possibly the last, Nissan Rasheen I’ll ever see, I don’t know if that grill guard is OEM or aftermarket. This reminds me that while I was thrilled to see all these cars, and I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at them too, this is probably all in an hour’s sightings for Tatra87 in Tokyo. But I’m not sure he’s seen one of these.

It’s been mentioned in comments here on CC, but never featured. This is a Brazilian VW, Type 145TC, supposedly designed by Giugiaro as a successor to the Karmann Ghia. Sold only in Latin America, almost 20,000 were built from 1972 to 1975.

I’ll close out with one more group shot – an AutoZam convention. The fourth gullwing car in the background, a DeLorean, is modestly keeping its doors tucked in. Next year these AZ-1’s should be eligible for the Little Car Show, as they are getting close to being 25 years old. Thanks for tagging along. If any Bay Area CC’ers are interested in a field trip next year, let me know.