I'm a fan of pretty much any Lemons-related event, and the Concours d'Lemons that's held as a much-needed counterpoint to the late-Bugatti valve-stem-cap-orginality-debaters over at Pebble Beach is a great show. After a morning of looking at cars with vastly better earning potential than you, this gathering is a much-needed reality hoagie.
This year's Concours d'Lemons had a really impressive (well, to idiots like me) collection of cars. Let's go through some now, as though you were right there with me, periodically shaking off my attempts to hold your hand:
This was the Worst Of Show winner this year: a 1949 Biscooter, designed by Gabriel Voisin and this one was actually owned by him. It's fascinating. It looks like what an alien might build if you trapped it in a recycling center and loosely described what a car was over the space-phone.
For some reason, the owners posed by it with gas masks on, which may be to escape the two-stroke exhaust and maybe just because the look fits.
This Amphicar was in fantastic shape, showing that a great Lemons Concours car can sometimes actually be concours-quality, as much as that stings.
This big-ass caddy had vaguely Goth-inspired detailing and a whole lot of loops for rope. Lots of good lashing opportunities here.
Another very lovely example of something relatively unloved: a Rambler American. My friend Tom (who helped me install my engine) has one of these himself, and is building a nicely insane hot rod based on one.
I think this was the newest entrant: an Aztek, complete with tent kit! That tent thing is actually pretty damn cool.
Is it just me, or are these Fiat Ritmo/Strada fronts kind of attractive in a sort of 80s Tron-ish way? There's three different vent sizes and shapes on that one grille! This was a beautiful example of something almost entirely absent from US roads.
Ah, the Mehari! France's plastic answer to the Mini Moke question not many people probably thought to ask. Still, I love these crazy ribbed bathtubs.
Mighty fine 2CV. Always a treat to see one in the US. It's a weird show when a 2CV is one of the more common cars.
This scene right here was absolutely fascinating. What you're witnessing is a surprisingly intense argument about the proper location of the starting assembly on the engine of a 1974 Snuggy. Not the clothes-blanket thing, but this Charly Snuggy semi-pedal powered microcar. Made in Italy, sold in France, and now the only one in the US. And those two people there are the only ones in the known universe who give a shit about the outcome of that argument.
The VW corner: a kooky '71 Super Beetle with a half-assed Herbie livery, and a pretty nice Thing.
Can't leave out our Duraplast pal when it comes to Lemons! This Trabant was in immaculate condition, and even had a leather engine cozy I featured in the engine porn post yesterday.
Hey, look! It's America's two shortest auto journalists, me and Blake Rong, crammed in an amazing Peel Trident. That bubble dome is blown via some free-form method that leaves it absolutely distortion-free. It's amazing, really — it feels like it's totally open! Right up until you suffocate from Blake farts.
Another Electra-King, in the same color as the one I tested!
This one had these puzzling green taillights, until I realized they must be "go" lights. Because the Electra-King is so slow that those lights are the only way you'd be able to tell that the thing was in motion at all.
These Volvos were all quite lovely. That Volvo 144 was maybe the nicest one of those I'd ever seen. The interior was perfect. If I licked a seat I bet I'd get transformed into a psychology professor from 1977 who's trying to work up the nerve to convince his wife to go to a key party.
I wanted to make sure to include this wonderfully-patina'd Corvair Greenbriar van since it now reminds me of Richard Feynman going to girlie bars.
Honda 600! I love Japan's minier-Mini.
Of course, a Pacer. The wagon, even. America's poster child for just about everything here.
Continuing on the AMC thread, this lime-green Gremlin is also a true icon of unloved cars. This particular one, however, is clearly loved. Deeply.
It's pretty safe to say at that moment, this was the largest gathering of Cosworth Vegas in the known universe. And that includes Vega.
Great Nader's ghost, that's a nice Corvair!
Of course, an Edsel. The grandfather of all these wonderful, miserable bastards.
At one of the stalls selling bins of car-related crap, there was this amazing old magazine, with the best trio of teased stories ever. Car radio fixing, deadly space bugs, AND metal spinning? How do you top that in the next issue?