STEEL, LEATHER & LACY PARK
2016 San Marino Motor Classic
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Jun 19, 2016
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Story and photography by Sean Spear
If you gathered 100 people and asked them each what their favorite food is, you would probably get scores of different answers. To take it a step further, asking for a single restaurant to cook all of those different food types would seem ne-impossible. Yet, the San Marino Motor Classic tackles the equivalent of this task for cars every year with a can’t-fail attitude. The result is an annual smorgasbord of all types of automobiles that succeeds in having something for everyone.
Last year, San Marino expanded to a full-weekend program. This year features a repeat of the Saturday Architectural Driving Tour of Pasadena, San Marino and the Huntington Library that morning, later followed by the Symphony of Cars "Vintage Automobiles and their Music" Gala that same evening. A new event, the After-Glow Party, now follows the main concours show on Sunday.
Celebrating its sixth year in San Marino, the show has automobiles from every era; be it the pre-war grande dames of the members of the Classic Car Club of America, notable post-war marquees from all over the world, one-of-a-kind Hot-Rods, and even recent future classics. Perennial favorites like Ferrari, Cadillac, Mercedes, Lincoln, Porsche and Corvettes were back in full force, but each year the event organizers attempt to shine the spotlight on some less celebrated classes of cars. This year’s elevated classes were Japanese Sports Cars (Datsun, Mazda & Hino), Lotus, and the only class that had the name of single person on it.
“I’ve always loved Italian Cars and was lucky enough to own a variety of them, but it really started about four years ago when I first got my ’65 275 GTS.” explains David Lee of his passion for Ferrari. “Learning about the racing history and heritage really put me on the road towards collecting Ferrari.” It has become commonly known that David has one of the most notable collections of Ferrari’s in the United States. His collection includes Prancing Horses from across all eras and production types; including grand tourers, race-inspired models, and actual race cars. The five examples David brought to this event included an F40, an Enzo, and the newly coveted LaFerrari.
While most owners would go on at length about each of their cars, David expressed appreciation for an unexpected reward that came with his ownership of this special brand. “At first it was all about the heritage for me, but it has become much more about the comraderie and shared experience that comes with Ferrari ownership. I’m going to the Cavalcade at the end of the month that will have Ferrari collectors from all over the world. I have gotten to know the company management, the dealers, and fellow owners; and travelled because of Ferrari. It is like a lifestyle.” Like a good parent, David was quick to convey that he loves all of his children equally. However, his next words exposed his favorites. “When I bought the Enzo, I didn’t know a lot about the brand. All you needed to know was that it was a really beautiful and cool car. But the research I did before buying the 275 made me appreciate the car more. How it was shaped, how it works…the mechanicals. I could then imagine how the first owner felt driving it; how he interacted with the car. Even what was on his mind on a given day. It’s almost like going back in time to that era.” It is safe to suspect that a future owner of any one of the cars that were shown in Class S-1: Ferrari Collection of David Lee might share those exact same thoughts someday.
The Priest With A 427
A San Marino staple is the Muscle Car Class, featuring your typical assortment of Shelby Mustangs, LS1 454 Chevelles, and GTOs. While those cars got their justly due attention, a very rare mid-year Impala caught many a discerning eye. The badging on the car was the first clue.
Th Chevrolet Club. The fact that it was an [Impala] SS with a 427 and a 4-Speed [Manual] grabbed my attention.” With its dark blue skin, vinyl roof, and wire wheel covers (later replaced by Steve with mag covers), one could imagine the original owner escaping the disapproving eye of the parish bishop; at least until he did a burnout in the church parking lot.
For Steve, this well-optioned car has stood out in his collection. “I’ve owned and sold ten to fifteen ‘65/’66 Impalas and Caprices, but the rare options on this car has made me want to keep it.” Steve immediately points to the optional headrests, original window sticker, and the console-controlled stereo multiplex. “These are pretty rare on this car [model].” Not to be discounted is the fact that Steve drives the car everywhere, “I’ve driven her a couple times from San Diego to South Dakota. It’s just a nice driving car.” It is definitely that and more.
About the San Marino Motor Classic
The 6th Annual San Marino Motor Classic attracted more than 5,000 show-goers and over 300 exhibiting cars. Here are the highlighted award-winners for this year’s Classic:
Best In Show (Pre War): 1930 Rolls-Royce Towncar, Jack & Helen Nethercutt.
Best In Show (Post War): 1956 Mercedes Benz 300Sc Coupe, Vin & Erika DiBona.
San Marino Rotary Trophy: 1969 Mazda Cosmo, Steven Sego.
Pasadena Humane Society Award: 1948 Packard Station Sedan, Orv Madden.
Muscle Car Review Magazine Award: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, Warren & Raymon Seko.
Each year, the San Marino Motor Classic features a broad array of motorcars that span more than a century. Co-founded by Aaron Weiss, Paul Colony and Ben Reiling, it is considered the successor to the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance. For more information, visit www.sanmarinomotorclassic.com.