This weekend marked the 13th annual La Jolla Concours D’Elegance. Located just a few miles from my house in the Ellen Browning Scripps Park of the La Jolla Cove, it is perhaps one of the most scenic car shows you’ll ever attend with waves crashing, palm trees blowing in the breeze, and sea lions & seals swimming next to snorkelers and tourists. La Jolla is one of the most prestigious (and wealthiest) cities in not only California, but the US, so it’s not surprising that the cars found here are truly special. A normal day in downtown La Jolla is bound to turn up at least a few exotics or supercars, but on Concours weekend it is absolutely bonkers. Just walking from the off-site parking to the event itself I found a Morgan(!), several Ferraris, and more Bentleys than I could count.
The show itself is a little expensive to enter, at $70/ticket, but they shut down the street and there are tons of cars you can see for free on display right outside of the main show, which is what I’ve done in years past. This year the Porsche Club of San Diego had a ton of great cars on display, as well as a handful of Jaguars, Ferraris, Superperformance Shelbys, and a few other treats. This alone would make for a pretty good day, but my friend Moyzes and I decided to splurge and see what life was like on the other side of the fence and enter the actual show itself. It did not disappoint.
Immediately upon entering you are greeted by a pair of gorgeous Mercedes 300 SLs, and you know your admission fee was well spent. The next few minutes are spent feeling totally overwhelmed at the cars that surround you – all priceless pieces of work, from the timeless lines of the Jaguar E-Type, to Concours-level restorations of Bentleys, Packards, Alfa Romeos, Delahayes, and other historic brands dating all of the way back to the 1920s. It’s a great event to attend and broaden your horizons a bit, as you can learn a ton of history and really see the different eras of cars from past to present and how they evolve and blend with each other.
The featured marque this year was Packard, a brand that is special to me as my family owned a 54 Packard Convertible for quite some time before selling it just a few years ago. Packard was made in Michigan and made some of the most luxurious automobiles in American before going under in the late 1950s. The winning Packard, below, was one of many Packards on display showcasing a different era of coachbuilding/design in the US:
My favorite Packard happened to be this 1930 Packard coupe in a stunning yellow color, but as you’ll see in my mega gallery below these cars all had exquisite details and long, flowing designs. It was neat to see so many together from so many different decades and really gain an appreciation for the brand, which is the neat part of picking a featured marque for a car show – especially one that many of the newer generation of car enthusiast has never heard of.
Because I know my audience, I’ll talk a little bit about the modern supercars too – don’t worry, this wasn’t (only) your Grandpa’s car show. The two “jewels” of the modern day era, in my opinion anyway, were the Ferrari F50 and the Porsche 959, both parked next to each other (and owned by the same gentleman). They were also parked next to a custom Ford GT, AMG SLS, and a few other modern day collectables.
There were really too many highlights to keep naming them all out, and I managed to grab over 200 photos and edited them down to “just” 115 good ones that you can check out below. Even then I missed a ton of cars that were worth photographing but for one reason or another couldn’t get the shot.
The variety was the best part of the show, from vintage racers to luxury town cars, and new to old, although they all had one thing in common – a Concours winning attention to detail. If you’re not familiar with something being “Concours” level, think of it as the strictest judging of car shows possible – the judges will go over every inch of the car to make sure the turn signals work, everything is clean, everything is period correct & original, etc. to make sure the car is absolutely perfect. If seeing a clean car makes you happy, then a Concours event will put you over the moon. The judging lasts all weekend, and then the judges pick three winners in each class (American Muscle class below, and yes that is a real Cobra) as well as a Best in Show.
The best in show this year went to a 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition. Never heard of a Delahaye? Doesn’t matter, because just look at her below..gorgeous! A similar model sold for $6.6M in 2014, just to give you some context as to how rare and collectable a Delahaye 135 Competition is. It would appear this exact car is for sale on Hemmings, although the price says “Inquire” and we all know what that means (if you have to ask…).
The Delahaye wasn’t the only priceless piece of car history though, far from it. From vintage Ferraris to a Porsche 906 Carrera 6 race car there was an unbelievable collection of cars to enjoy. Even James Bond would be able to find something to drive, such as this 1960 DB4:
It’s tough for me to pick a favorite, but I tried to feature the ones that really struck me in this blog post. I loved the Mercedes 290 in green on green below, a color combination that is pretty tough to pull off no matter how beautiful the car is underneath the paint:
This Bugatti was another favorite, and also sported a unique paint scheme that somehow really worked for a Bug and reminds me a little bit of the Veyron and it’s take on the two-tone paint as well as the circular lines.
And it’s hard not to like a vintage Porsche race car parked next to a gullwing, so I need to mention that too. Both cars are for sale by Symbolic International here in San Diego, if you’re in the market…
The row of classic Ferraris was also neat to see, such as this 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT. To quote the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, there are plenty of modern Ferraris everywhere, but if you owned a classic Ferrari “You would not be a self-indulgent wiener, sir… You’d be a connoisseur.”
Last but not least, this Porsche 997 GT3 RS4.0 in white on white was a real head turner, and located in the “free” part of the show nonetheless.
Check out my gallery from the show below, with over 115 photos to click through. If you like my coverage, please share on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you like to hang out digitally and tag nickscarblog.com (@nickscarblog on most channels) for photo credit.
Link if slideshow doesn’t work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickroshon/sets/72157682312756996