Classic Review

A splendid new concours debuted on the sprawling main lawn of Lacy Park in sunny San Marino, Calif., on June 12--the San Marino Motor Classic. Featuring nearly 200 classic cars of all eras--from a Brass Era 1909 Pierce-Arrow Touring to a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO--there was depth and breadth enough to satisfy everyone.

While modern Porsches, Ferraris and even hot rods and Cobras spread out on side lawns of the great park, the balance of the show--82 of 179 registered entries--were Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Packards, Lincolns, Cadillacs and Rolls-Royces, scattered across the main lawn.

Those cars had been on this lawn before, when the Southern California region of the CCCA held its Grand Classic here two years ago.

"We had about 75 classic cars [in 2009]," event founder Aaron Weiss said. "It was so great and the feedback we got from all the members was so great that we decided to have it here again."

Combined with all of the other entries, the subtitle of the new show is "Design in Motion & CCCA Grand Classic." So while it's sort of the second great concours at the park, it's the first with the new name and with entry open to all manner of cars.

There were plenty to draw from. The hills of San Marino hide some of the most spectacular homes in the world, and in those garages lurk many a great automobile. Weiss has a collection of about 40 cars, and several neighbors brought out their cars to show. But the event drew from all over.

"We're seeing some local cars, but by and large the cars came from all over Southern California, Arizona and Northern California, as well," Weiss said. "We were real pleased with the turnout."

The concours benefits the Pasadena Humane Society and the San Marino Rotary Club Charities. Healthy pre-event sales had the event in the black before the gates opened, so receipts from Sunday were icing on the charitable cake.

With the strong CCCA turnout and 100-point judging for CCCA entries, one could make some comparisons with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, held a couple months later up the coast. Could Lacy Park ever match the 18th green?

"Well, I don't think I'll live long enough for that to happen," Weiss said with a laugh. "By and large, I think this could be a great regional show, and I think that's where we're headed."

Carolyn Nguyen