La Jolla Concours – 8 April 2018
La Jolla, affectionately known as ‘Beverly Hills by-the-Sea’, is an opulent and gorgeous Pacific facing conclave just north of San Diego, California. For me, it’s just beyond the limit of a reasonable day return driving distance from my home in Los Angeles. Fortunately it give me an excuse to visit family members nearby, an excuse I made for the first time last year and needed more. I was very eager to use that excuse once again this year to visit one of my absolutely favorite car shows on the calendar in Southern California. In it’s 14th year now, La Jolla Concours is accurately described as ‘world class cars, world class experience’.
The whole experience is a series of social events that starts on the Friday with a 30s/40s style cocktail party, continues through the Saturday with exclusive tours through private car collections, and culminates with a jaw-dropping display of automobiles set along the picturesque cliffs of the Pacific Ocean on Sunday. This picture essay starts from that very day.
135 world class cars amassed on the perfect lawn in 20 classes of competition, the depth of the selection from a steam-powered 1923 Stanley Model 740 to the very latest gas-powered Bugatti Chiron. Was also wide, from a 1959 Ferrari 250 LWB California Spyder to a 1970 Datsun 240Z Sport Coupe. In one part of the show, a centerpiece was a skeletal stage of a WW1 Sopworth Camel airplane build. The show was perfectly organised, like a mini Pebble Beach, each class carefully curated and precisely positioned.
Lincoln was the feature marque class, other unique classes included Rolls-Royce & Bentley (1919 -1966) , Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (1968-1973 Daytona), Mercedes-Benz 190SL (1955-1963), and Porsche 356 (1950-1965). It was a joy to see a health selection of Japanese class that included the Toyota 2000GT, Coupe and Roadster versions of the Honda S600, alongside a Mazda Cosmo 110s and R360 Coupe. A small eclectic selection of racing cars included a rare sight of a 1963 Lola GT Mk6 next to a drop dead gorgeous 1952 Siata 208 CS Spider Corsa Bertone Open. To really mix it up, the literal ground breaking 1977 Mickey Thompson Challenger IV which paved the way for much of the innovation seen on modern high powered off-roaders. This was one of it’s first appearances since it’s loving restoration.
Best of show went to Peter Mullin’s perfect 1939 Bugatti Type 57SC Aravis Cabriolet which came from his incredible Mullin Museum in Oxnard (highly recommend a visit if ever in Southern California). Tucked right next to it was another sibling, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Suisse-Graber Cabriolet. Personal highlights for me was the stunning lime green metallic 1969 Lamborghini Islero S with a white interior, this is an often forgotten GT gem of Ferruccio’s early cars. Other rare spottings included a Bugatti EB110GT, and a 1930 Duesenburg J Murphy Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe with its raw polished metal top half.
Needless to say their next event on the12-14th April 2019, the 15th of this very successful concours, is already in the calendar alongside my next excuse to see my local family members.