Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

Concours d’LeMons Brings Out the Worst of Car Week

Lemons, the Concours d’LeMons to be precise, has invaded the holiest of holy; Monterey Car Week. Maybe you’ve heard of the clever entry-level endurance race known as the 24 Hours of Lemons, aptly named for the classic “lemon” car that always lets you down. The rules in the racing series state that you cannot spend more than $500 for the original chassis as the base of your racecar (there is no spending limit on safety equipment, though).

Thus, all manner of absolute garbage ends up at the racetrack. And now, the lemons have invaded car week with the absolutely awesome Concours d’Lemons event in Seaside, California. When we caught wind of the event, we just had to make it down to see what strange contraptions folks would bring to the show. Naturally, we weren’t disappointed!

Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

First off, we’ll start with the winner (or is it the loser?) of the show, whose car was covered with Silly String during the awards celebration. This car really is a clear-cut winner, the reason why isn’t necessarily obvious; if you’re looking from the front it looks like a relatively well kept for Honda. Actually, looking at either front end of the car it looks entirely ordinary. But then you get a bit closer…That’s right, this 1979 Civic is just two front ends crammed together! Randy Carlson won “Worst of Show” for this insanely well pulled-off build, the interior practically looks factory. He said he picked it up in this condition; when he came across it he had to have it. When asked if he’s driven it, he said you can lock one front end straight and take it short distances.

Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

We had to take his word for it, and kept cruising around the show. There were all manner of awful builds around, with this BMW sedan adorned with a giant sausage particularly catching our eye. We were glad to see that the giant hot dog affixed to the roof had some aerodynamic bits attached — the more downforce the better!

Concours d'LeMons , fuel curve

There were also a number of notable and quite good-looking builds at the show as well, namely this Coca-Cola themed Mustang wagon. It’s not the only one-off wagon we’ve come across lately either; keep your eye on the site for a Corvette Nomad feature on the way!

Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

This show was a chill, relaxing affair — everyone in attendance seemed to be enjoying themselves far more than at any other car shows we made it to in Monterey this year. The atmosphere was much more relaxed and casual than your standard, uppity, concours event. Of course, there’s a place for everything and this just happens to be the place to appreciate a bunch of junk.

Concours d'LeMons , fuel curve

Not quite everyone’s junkers started back up when the show was over and toolboxes could be found strewn about, very much in use. When you look at some of the rats nests under the hoods of these things, it’s not really a surprise that some aren’t all that reliable!

Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

We saw pirate ships, Moosetangs, and an old Ford that played a song using the engine itself — the owner was happy to explain and fire it up for the onlookers. There was also an excellent assortment of little stands with great vintage stickers, patches, artwork, and other goodies.

If you find yourself in Monterey for car week and want to have a bit of a change of pace, this is the show for you. There were also plenty for sale or auction right there (two that sold went for $300 and $500), so you may even leave with a car if you’re not careful!

Concours d'LeMons, fuel curve

Trevor Ryan is a track day photographer from Northern California. He has experience in many different areas of photography but always comes back to automotive work in the end. To him, nothing is more rewarding than creating an amazing image of a car. Having purchased a ’66 Mustang almost six years ago, he had no choice but to end up immersed in car culture sooner or later. He also owns a ’99 Miata that he takes to the track. He has love for every part of car culture and besides track days often makes it to drift events, Cars and Coffee, tuner shows, and anything else he can find.

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