Monterey car week has come and gone, and in that whirlwind half-dozen days, some of the worlds coolest cars assembled on the Californian peninsula for all to enjoy. Car guys came from all over the world to experience practically every corner of car culture for one week, and it was glorious. From the millions of dollars brought up to bid at the major auctions to the exhilarating vintage races out at Laguna Seca, there is literally something for everyone. Even if your budgets are a bit lower, and your dream car a bit more attainable, there’s one little car show for you that isn’t so little anymore. It’s called Concours D’LeMons, and it’s fantastic. This isn’t the scene of a normal concours, of course. At a normal concours, you’d be turned away from the parking lot if you drove one of these. Here at the Concours D’LeMons, however, all manner of weird, strange, or unloved cars are welcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace when you can go to a concours event in Monterey, California and not see anyone wearing a cable knit sweater with embroidered anchors all over it, or salmon-colored flat-front Polo slacks and sky-blue leather boat shoes. Concours D’Lemons sort of bucks the trend and allows everyone to not take themselves too seriously. Though some still do, the majority of the entrants to this event are more than happy to mock or deride the ‘real concours guys’. These guys all have immaculately clean cars, but you won’t hear a single one of them talking about the angle of their hub caps, or whether all four of their valve stems are pointed in the right direction. Vintage bikes and old mercs with roof racks go together like peanut butter and jelly. The guy on the left was tooling around in a Messerschmitt KR200, and his goggles made me jealous. That big of a guy in that small of a car always makes for a fun juxtaposition. Vintage LBCs (Little Brit Cars) always have a soft spot in my heart, as the first car I ever bought with my own hard-earned was a TR7 Fixed Roof Coupe. I’ve always liked the Spitfires, especially the early ones like this red beauty. The TR3/TR250 era cars weren’t ever really my bag, but they are starting to grow on me. There’s just something about lever-arm shock absorbers that I have to love. While its hard to consider these cars very LeMony, they certainly have their fair share of electrical issues, don’t they? Ah Lucas, the proverbial prince of darkness, no? My favorite car-related quotes is from Joe Lucas “A gentleman does motor about after dark.” How apropos. The Aztec. Oh boy, the Aztec. All I really remember about this car is that they gave one away on the first season of the hit reality TV series ‘Survivor’, and Walt drove one for the first few seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’. It has always been derided as ‘the ugliest car of all time’, and never really gained any traction with the media of the time. As it ages, my rose colored glasses don’t really look on it with so much derision. It’s still an ugly car, but it does function well, it’s got some nifty gimmicky trinkets, and it certainly seems like a better proposition than a minivan, if you ask my humble opinion (though I do have a soft spot for those first-gen Accord-based Honda Odysseys. Maybe one with a 6-speed transmission swap and a supercharged Acura TL Type-S V6? I digress, back to the concours.) The most amusing part about this scene is that the owner of this Aztek has showed up to this concours before and always decks it out in full camping tent mode, and even though he’s done it several times before, he still needs to consult the instructions. Can’t make things too easy, can we Pontiac? This was probably one of my favorite cars of the event, as I always love a good old beach-comber. The Meyer’s Manx is a special little car, and I have strong desire to pick one up to drive every day. How could you not just be the happiest person ever if you drove one of those home from work every day? No matter what happened that day, it would all just melt away with a smile as you tottered on home in this little buggy. Tangerine is a color that just suits it, too. Have you ever seen one of these Fiats? I have not. Looks like it might be a Ritmo (called the Strada here). I didn’t get a look at the badging on the back, unfortunately.
A Trio of Cosworth Vegas!
Probably my favorite part of the Concours was this selection of three different Cosworth Vegas. The black and gold one rolled in first thing in the morning, and it was beautiful. A dream of a car. I was surprised to see one in this nice of shape, as all of the Vegas I had seen prior to this were pockmarked with rust and rot, and that’s if they were even running in the first place. Speaking of not running, this white Cossie was silent and still all morning, as the owner couldn’t get it fired up to get onto the concours field. Shame, because it looked well used and well loved, and probably would have judged well, knowing the event. By far, the most well presented car on the concourse greens was this gold-on-green sex machine. It wasn’t just the cleanest Vega I’ve ever seen, but probably one of the cleanest cars I’ve ever seen period, and I went to Pebble Beach last year… Meticulously clean and well prepped. The owner should certainly be proud. Unfortunately I didn’t get to stick around and see all of the cars loaded onto the field, as I had obligations elsewhere on the peninsula on Saturday morning, so I was only able to see the first 50 or so of the more than 100 planned cars. If you were there and have more pictures, please load them into the comments. Maybe we can select our own Hooniverse best-of-show by popular vote? All images ©2014 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.