The San Marino Motor Classic is the premier regional automotive exhibition in the San Gabriel Valley and one of the premier concours-level exhibitions in Southern California. Concours d’Elegance (French literal translation, “competition of elegance”) competitions have existed since seventeenth century France and since the mid-20th century in America. Other notable American Concours d’Elegance shows include Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in northern California, Meadow Brook in Michigan, Amelia Island in Florida and the Louis Vuitton Classic in New York.
The San Marino Motor Classic was established in 2011 by co-founders Aaron Weiss, Ben Reiling and Paul Colony held in Lacy Park, an exclusive 30-acre park in San Marino. It is the successor of the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance. In its inaugural year, the exhibition was a hybrid of a Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic and a contemporary Concours d’Elegance. More than 220 Brass Era, Depression Era and Post-War luxury and sports cars were showcased attracting more than 3,000 spectators. The 2011 event raised more than $120,000 for its beneficiary charities, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA and the Rotary Club of San Marino.
Entrants compete in 30 classes including Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Porsche, Corvettes and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few. Judging takes place at the end of the day in which seven awards are given, plus first, second and third place awards given per class. Some of the prestigious awards for 2012 include Best In Show, Most Elegant – Closed Car, Most Elegant – Open Car, Mayor’s Trophy – Most Significant Race Car. Art Center College of Design – “Design in Excellence Award”, Rotary Trophy – Best Woody and Meguiar’s Trophy – Best Paint and Finish.
In its sophomore year, the San Marino Motor Classic expects to have more than 250 mint condition collector cars and even more spectators than last year. Entrants and spectators are welcome to experience various events preceding and following the dazzling event including a cocktail party and dinner, an architectural tour of San Marino and Pasadena with lunch at the Huntington Library, a gala at the Petersen Automotive Museum, as well as an After Glow Party. Proceeds will benefit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA and the Rotary Club of San Marino.