Pacific Grove – 16th August 2017
Let’s begin the content heavy Monterey Car Week features with a light starter, literally. I had just arrived in sleepy Pacific Grove after driving from Los Angeles, and was met with exactly what I was hoping, a collection of quirky small cars. The Little Car Show rules are simple, any car 25 years or older with a displacement no bigger than 1601cc (or electric), limited to 100 vehicles. They are all displayed along Lighthouse Avenue, the main street in the town.
Minis, Beetles and rear engined Fiats featured well but the less obvious models stood out. An early 60’s Lancia Appia Sport and an odd custom Honda Civic made from two front halves didn’t disappoint.
An NSU Prinz with a rear-mounted 600cc engine got a lot of odd looks as, like the Honda, appeared to travel in both directions. Loved the stance on the mild custom 1976 Fiat 126, looked great lowered and detailed in a rodder style.
The British in me was proud to spot an old MG 1100 Sport Sedan, the big brother of the Mini which features hydrolastic suspension.
A 1931 Austin 142 Roadster really stood out with its two toned paint, almost looked like a toy. A couple small cars with daringly large displacements seemed to sneak in too. There was a Nash Metropolitan with a huge V8 and wheels mounted outside of its body.
This car underwent a complete reinvention, the body sits on a custom frame. Another was a VW Beetle with a modified 2200cc engine with a turbo and a massive nitrous bottle in the frunk. Not sure how both of these vehicles snuck into the show with their relatively large engines…
One vehicle I have not seen in person before was the Ogle designed rebodied Mini SX1000 produced between 1959-62, only 66 were ever produced. Jack Brabham bought one for his wife. Unfortunately David Ogle, the owner and designer of Ogle, was killed in a crash in one.
Enjoy the rest of the gallery and follow ColumnM for more updated from Car Week in Monterey.