San Marino Concours – A Day on the Green

The San Marino Concours, aka San Marino Motor Classic is an incredible car show. Located in the greater Los Angeles area at beautiful Lacy Park in San Marino, it attracts enthusiasts from all over Southern California. And as we all know Los Angeles and car culture are one in the same.

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

SoCal has long been considered the center of the automotive universe and is steeped in car culture. The earliest days of the automobile saw racing events taking place on the dry lake beds outside L.A after WWII. In the 50’s and 60’s, Hollywood brought further notoriety with movies and television shows based on cars, and cruising.

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

As the decades went by, each passing automotive fad had a run in SoCal. Many of the design and manufacturing companies, who shape the future, were also based in Southern California. The wide ranging automotive diversity found in the community means there are weekend events for every type of vehicle you can imagine. No matter what your interest; classics, muscle cars, sports cars, or exotics, you can find an event that caters to a particular type of vehicle.

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

The San Marino Concours is unique however, as it attracts nearly every type of automobile imaginable. It’s not often you can admire a brass era 1915 Pierce Arrow and a 2006 Lamborgini Gallardo SE at the same show. In fact, fine automobiles from every decade since 1900 are represented at this event.

The event is put on entirely by volunteers, and has helped to raise 1.6 million dollars for their charitable beneficiaries; The Pasadena Humane Society, the San Marino Rotary Foundation, and the Southern California Trojan Marching Band. A troupe from the band performed the national anthem to kick off the show on Sunday, and hung out for a few hours playing for the crowd. It was way cool!

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve


The show had a vendor row, a special VIP area with wine and food, and several gourmet food trucks serving up a wide range of delicious treats. When mixed with perfect Southern California weather, it was nirvana. What was even more impressive than the caliber of cars present, was the fact that they all drove into the show. It’s a concours event so part of the judging includes a full inspection of all systems on each car; they all have to run and drive. There were no trailer queens.

The assembled vehicles fit into 42 different classes. Also on display was Adam Corolla’s collection of Paul Newman race cars, and the David Lee Special Collection Exhibit containing spectacular 60’s and 70’s Ferraris. Mr. Lee’s 1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso Competizione was magnificent.

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

As you walked around the beautiful grounds at Lacy Park, it was like a trip through time, as each era of automobiles was well represented; and they were all impeccable. You would be hard pressed to pick a favorite car of the entire show.

San Marino Concours, Fuel Curve

Let’s just take the 1950’s. Do you choose the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster, or the 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz convertible? Even if you just chose 1950’s convertibles you had the two previous choices plus a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster, a 1954 Corvette, a 1952 Allard Jax, even a 1958 Ford Skyliner with a retractable hard top; and that’s not all. If you got tired of checking out the 21 window VW microbus, you could wander across the field to rows of 1930’s Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Duesenberg, and Packard automobiles.

San Marino Concours, Fuel CurveWhen you consider that most of these vehicles were all built by hand, their beauty becomes even more impressive. Luckily there were many places to sit down, have a cold drink, or something to eat when you started suffering from sensory overload. If there is one show you shouldn’t miss, it’s the San Marino Concours. I guarantee anyone would find something there that leaves them speechless.

San Marino Concours Photo Extra!

With over 30 years of experience in all types of motorsports photography, Mike Ingalsbee has been published in over 25 publications and websites in the United States, Europe and Asia. If it burns fuel or throws dirt, chances are Mike has covered it.

Share With: