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Redusernab Goes To Concours D’LeMons West

Bradley Brownell August 20, 2014 24 Hours of Lemons, Car Shows 39 Comments

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Monterey car week has come and gone, and in that whirlwind half-dozen days, some of the worlds coolest cars assembled on the Californian peninsula for all to enjoy. Car guys came from all over the world to experience practically every corner of car culture for one week, and it was glorious. From the millions of dollars brought up to bid at the major auctions to the exhilarating vintage races out at Laguna Seca, there is literally something for everyone. Even if your budgets are a bit lower, and your dream car a bit more attainable, there’s one little car show for you that isn’t so little anymore. It’s called Concours D’LeMons, and it’s fantastic.

 

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This isn’t the scene of a normal concours, of course. At a normal concours, you’d be turned away from the parking lot if you drove one of these. Here at the Concours D’LeMons, however, all manner of weird, strange, or unloved cars are welcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace when you can go to a concours event in Monterey, California and not see anyone wearing a cable knit sweater with embroidered anchors all over it, or salmon-colored flat-front Polo slacks and sky-blue leather boat shoes. Concours D’Lemons sort of bucks the trend and allows everyone to not take themselves too seriously. Though some still do, the majority of the entrants to this event are more than happy to mock or deride the ‘real concours guys’. These guys all have immaculately clean cars, but you won’t hear a single one of them talking about the angle of their hub caps, or whether all four of their valve stems are pointed in the right direction.

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Vintage bikes and old mercs with roof racks go together like peanut butter and jelly. The guy on the left was tooling around in a Messerschmitt KR200, and his goggles made me jealous. That big of a guy in that small of a car always makes for a fun juxtaposition.

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Vintage LBCs (Little Brit Cars) always have a soft spot in my heart, as the first car I ever bought with my own hard-earned was a TR7 Fixed Roof Coupe. I’ve always liked the Spitfires, especially the early ones like this red beauty. The TR3/TR250 era cars weren’t ever really my bag, but they are starting to grow on me. There’s just something about lever-arm shock absorbers that I have to love. While its hard to consider these cars very LeMony, they certainly have their fair share of electrical issues, don’t they? Ah Lucas, the proverbial prince of darkness, no? My favorite car-related quotes is from Joe Lucas “A gentleman does motor about after dark.” How apropos.

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The Aztec. Oh boy, the Aztec. All I really remember about this car is that they gave one away on the first season of the hit reality TV series ‘Survivor’, and Walt drove one for the first few seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’. It has always been derided as ‘the ugliest car of all time’, and never really gained any traction with the media of the time. As it ages, my rose colored glasses don’t really look on it with so much derision. It’s still an ugly car, but it does function well, it’s got some nifty gimmicky trinkets, and it certainly seems like a better proposition than a minivan, if you ask my humble opinion (though I do have a soft spot for those first-gen Accord-based Honda Odysseys. Maybe one with a 6-speed transmission swap and a supercharged Acura TL Type-S V6? I digress, back to the concours.) The most amusing part about this scene is that the owner of this Aztek has showed up to this concours before and always decks it out in full camping tent mode, and even though he’s done it several times before, he still needs to consult the instructions. Can’t make things too easy, can we Pontiac?

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This was probably one of my favorite cars of the event, as I always love a good old beach-comber. The Meyer’s Manx is a special little car, and I have strong desire to pick one up to drive every day. How could you not just be the happiest person ever if you drove one of those home from work every day? No matter what happened that day, it would all just melt away with a smile as you tottered on home in this little buggy. Tangerine is a color that just suits it, too.

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Have you ever seen one of these Fiats? I have not. Looks like it might be a Ritmo (called the Strada here). I didn’t get a look at the badging on the back, unfortunately.

A Trio of Cosworth Vegas!

Probably my favorite part of the Concours was this selection of three different Cosworth Vegas.

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The black and gold one rolled in first thing in the morning, and it was beautiful. A dream of a car. I was surprised to see one in this nice of shape, as all of the Vegas I had seen prior to this were pockmarked with rust and rot, and that’s if they were even running in the first place.

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Speaking of not running, this white Cossie was silent and still all morning, as the owner couldn’t get it fired up to get onto the concours field. Shame, because it looked well used and well loved, and probably would have judged well, knowing the event.

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By far, the most well presented car on the concourse greens was this gold-on-green sex machine. It wasn’t just the cleanest Vega I’ve ever seen, but probably one of the cleanest cars I’ve ever seen period, and I went to Pebble Beach last year… Meticulously clean and well prepped. The owner should certainly be proud.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get to stick around and see all of the cars loaded onto the field, as I had obligations elsewhere on the peninsula on Saturday morning, so I was only able to see the first 50 or so of the more than 100 planned cars. If you were there and have more pictures, please load them into the comments. Maybe we can select our own Redusernab best-of-show by popular vote?

All images ©2014 Redusernab/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.

  • Pete.z

    That is indeed a Fiat Ritmo Bertone cabriolet, nice cars, I actually owned one back in the early nineties, nice car, horrible electrics.

    • BradleyBrownell

      Thanks for the confirmation!

  • nanoop

    Le Concours DuMons – I'm surprised how many trailer queens are depicted!

    • <img src="; width="400">

      I'm told it's a longstanding Concours d'LeMons tradition.

      • nanoop

        That trailer surely was a hot contender!

        • No, I repacked the wheel bearings before setting out. It was fine.

          • nanoop

            Cool.

      • Have you seen Episode 2 of James May's Cars of the People special?

        • nanoop

          I wasn't even aware of episode 1 until right now… would you mind to elaborate, or did I just kill a joke?

          • Ep 2 covers microcars, including the model mdharrell owns. Ep 1 covers people's cars (VW Beetle, Trabant, Lada).

            • nanoop

              Oh, I'm aware of mdharrell's uhm, special interests. I was just rolling on the trailer theme. I didn't know that he has an MG, too!

              • Well, I had that one, anyway. I later traded it for my HMV Freeway. I still have an MG Metro, however.

                • Alcology

                  I'm sorry.

            • I had no idea. Thanks! The KV review runs from the 8:20 point to 11:36:

              Other than getting the name wrong and incorrectly claiming "there are no keys or anything" May delivers a fair impression of the overall KV driving experience.

              Without a key, however, what would one do with one's Charles de Gaulle key fob?

              <img src="; width="350">

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    This year's Worst of Show was an Acoma Mini Comtesse. VSP FTW!

    • JayP2112

      Looks like my clothes dryer.
      Congrats to the winner!

  • Sjalabais

    Goggles: .

  • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    Salmon colored Mercury LN7 is better than salmon colored slacks.

  • Did you make it home, BB?

    • BradleyBrownell

      As a matter of fact I did. It was a debacle, but I made it.

      I'll be writing it up for FlatSixes this weekend, hopefully posting soon.

      • FЯeeMan

        Will you be sharing with us here?

        • BradleyBrownell

          Potentially. I might could do that.

  • Alff

    The Western Safety mechanic's gloves ($5.99 @ Harbor Freight) are the perfect complement to the goggles and leather helmet.

  • dukeisduke

    The white Cosworth is interesting. It has the same problem my '76 GT had – the aluminum reveal molding on the swing-out quarter windows is held on with clips that are glued onto the glass, and eventually the glue gives up, so the molding falls off. Then the grommet for the button through the glass for the latch rots out, and/or the pot metal latch (two pieces, with a spring pin used as a pivot) breaks.

    • Rover_1

      Fiat 124 coupe's had the same problem.

  • dukeisduke

    I love the green on the last Cosworth, of course it's BRG, and not an original color. The spoilers are aftermarket, too. And all three of those are '76 models, superior to the '75 models.

  • Why you gotta hate on my shoes?

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    • Rover_1

      It's not the shoes catching our eye. Did the photographer catch you before you got the other sleeve down?

      • Jeff Glucker

        Ha, that's actually how the dress is designed.

        • Rover_1

          And I'd stick to that story if I were you!

    • Alcology

      Damnit! Sorry for the accidental downvote. How's Newport these days anyways?

      • Jeff Glucker

        This wedding was in Martha's Vineyard… I felt the pants would be appropriate.

        • Alcology

          You were not wrong in the least. Now you just need to showcase those shoes doing heel-toeing in every review video you post. Even if it's an auto just put a shot of your shoe doing a shuffle down there.

          • I did wear them specifically for my NSX review… my nod to Senna, in some very very very very small way.

    • topdeadcentre

      Wait… there are shoes in this photo? Where?!!??

  • Joe Dunlap

    More Lucas jokes…… Ill start….. Why do the Brits drink warm beer?…..Lucas refrigerators.
    The Joseph Lucas Two Fuse Electrical Circus
    C'mon, lets hear em!

    • Rover_1

      The three-position Lucas switch–DIM, FLICKER and OFF.

      The other three switch settings–SMOKE, SMOLDER and IGNITE

      It's not true that Lucas, in 1947, tried to get Parliament to repeal Ohm's Law. They withdrew their efforts when they met too much resistance.

      • Joe Dunlap

        Awesome!!! More please

        • Rover_1

          Lucas is an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices.

          The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."

          Lucas–inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

          Lucas–inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

          The original anti-theft devices–Lucas Electric products.

          "I've had a Lucas pacemaker for years and have never experienced any prob…

          If Lucas made guns, wars would not start either.

          Did you hear about the Lucas powered torpedo? It sank.

          Did you hear the one about the guy that peeked into a Land Rover and asked the owner "How can you tell one switch from another at night, since they all look the same?" "He replied, it doesn't matter which one you use, nothing happens!"

          Back in the '70s Lucas decided to diversify its product line and began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they offered which didn't suck.

          Quality Assurance phoned and advised the Lucas engineering guy that they had trouble with his design shorting out. So he made the wires longer.

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