San Marino Motor Classic

The San Marino Motor Classic is formerly known as the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance.

And if you’re looking to check out fancy cars while also doing some people watching then this is a good show for you.  Because the show attracts many of Hollywood’s top car guys and gals.

Details on the upcoming San Marino Motor Classic HERE.

Plus the San Marino Motor Classic takes place in June.  And iDriveSoCal contributor, Clinton “The Professor” Quan, refers it as Southern California’s “Awesome Auto Show June.”  Due to the plethora of great auto shows before summer kicks in and it gets too hot!

So here’s the Professor’s complete report on a recent San Marino Motor Classic – which remails a Concours d’Elegance even though it’s no longer part of the name.

San Marino Motor Classic banner


Recorded June 12, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA

San Marino Motor Classic

Clinton: This is considered one of the premier shows in Southern California, and definitely the biggest show in the San Gabriel Valley. It is the successor to the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, which was held at Brookside Golf Course, adjacent to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. These cars, they’re easily valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions.

Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with “The Professor,” Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

San Marino Motor Classic antique cars lined up

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.

Tom: Hello. Thank you for coming back yet again my friend. Today’s topic is… It’s actually our third installment of the second weekend of the Professor’s Awesome Auto Show June.

Last time, I didn’t actually put a sound effect in there. I just kept the dumb sound effect that I make verbally. Maybe we’ll do that again. I’m not sure.

Clinton: Okay.

Tom: Was that a pretty good one? I don’t know.

Clinton: I think that was better.

Tom: All right. Yeah, thanks. So, at any rate, this was the San Marino Motor Classic, and it’s the eighth annual. And being the San Marino Motor Classic, I guess, they have that down where? In Marina del Rey?

Clinton: This is at Lacy Park in San Marino.

Formerly Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance

Tom: Take it away, Professor. Tell us all about it.

Clinton: Well, this is considered one of the premier shows in Southern California, and definitely the biggest show in the San Gabriel Valley. It is the successor to the Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, which was held at Brookside Golf Course, adjacent to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And as you mentioned, this is the eighth year for the event.

Tom: Okay. So, hold on. The Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance. Did we cover that?

Clinton: Well, that show doesn’t take place any more.  It’s the successor. That show ran for about … I think it was about five years.

Tom: Kind of a short run for one of those…

Tom: Okay. But now, this San Marino Motor Classic is not a Concours?

San Marino Motor Classic Is A Concours d’Elegance

Clinton: It is a Concours.

Tom: It is.

Clinton: It just has a different name. They don’t use the traditional Concours d’Elegance name.  But it is definitely a Concours level type event.

There are about 40 different classes of vehicles for this event.  And that’s a lot in about 15 specialty awards on top of that.

Lavender Benz @ San Marino Motor Classic

Tom: Okay. And just scrolled through the pictures, which will be on So, check out this podcast post on You’ll be able to see the pictures.

Clinton and I are going to talk about some of the vehicles, but it is always a wildly impressive display of automotive artistry on wheels, history on wheels, and cash in the form of huge value on wheels as well.

Clinton: Yes. These cars, they’re easily valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions, I’m sure.

Cars Are Not Referred To As ‘Whips’ At Concours (Apparently)

Tom: And so, tell us about what we’re going to post, some of those vehicles, some of the highlights of those particular whips, as they say.

Do they call them whips at the Concours d’Elegance?

Clinton: No.

Tom: And in the whip category, we have the 1942. Okay, sorry.

Benz Gullwing @ San Marino Motor Classic

Clinton: Well, I’m a huge fan of Ferrari. So, as soon as I saw the Ferraris, that’s where I took a number of photos. And pretty much, all types of Ferraris were on display from classic Ferraris to modern Ferraris, including the Ferrari F12tdf, which is a really limited-edition supercar. But yeah, pretty much all types of vehicles, including Testarossa, F355, 360, 458. Yeah.

Tom: Okay. So, at this point, you’re just rattling off the numbers. I don’t know really exactly what you’re talking about. And I don’t know how many people out there are actually going to know either. But so-

Clinton: They also had some really cool Lamborghinis, including Adam Carolla’s, two of his vehicles as well, Lamborghinis.

Exotics And Concours d’Elegance

Tom: Oh really?

Clinton: Yes.

Tom: I didn’t know Adam Carolla was in the game.

Clinton: Yeah.

Tom: And I knew he was a car fan, but I didn’t know that he was at the level of… I’m impressed.

San Marino Motor Classic green sports car classic

Clinton: Yeah, he’s a big car enthusiast as well.

Tom: And I knew that. I knew he was an enthusiast. He actually has a podcast, a bunch of podcasts, I think. I’m not exactly sure what he’s up to, but I didn’t know that he was, I guess, in the rarefied air of having Concours level vehicles. That’s impressive. Way to go, Adam.

Clinton: And a lot of people here in Southern California who go to car shows, especially where there’s a big Ferrari showing, they’re familiar with that. David, Dave Lee, he’s a big Ferrari collector. So, he had a number of his-

Not Van Halen’s Dave Lee Roth At San Marino Motor Classic

Tom: Not David Lee Roth from Van Halen?

Clinton: No, no, no.

Tom: 5150, right?

Clinton: No, definitely not.

Tom: Different David Lee?

Clinton: Completely.

Tom: Big Ferrari guy though?

Clinton: Big Ferrari guy. In fact, there was an article in The LA Times about him. That’s how big of a right Ferrari collector he is. I think he had probably seven or eight Ferraris on display. Just his Ferraris alone at the show.

So, that’s quite a collection of Ferraris. And there was one that was a Dino that he just recently worked on. He stuffed this bigger engine in the car. And I know it’s on one of the websites recently.

Celebrities At San Marino Motor Classic

Maybe MotorAuthority where Jay Leno got to check out his car. I think you can drive his Ferrari as well. It’s a black Dino. And Dino, for those who don’t know, that’s Enzo’s son.

So, Enzo Ferrari named the car after his son.

Tom: That’s cool.  Yeah. Didn’t work out so well for Edsel.

Clinton Quan: No.

Tom: Folks, that’s Ford Motor Company, the Edsel. Actually, Edsel was Henry Ford’s son who started a vehicle called the Edsel-

Clinton: Called the Edsel, yes.

Edsel Ford Passed Of Stomach Cancer

Tom: …which was ahead of its time and was fantastic. Interestingly, I’m going to tie in my wife’s stomach cancer organization, Edsel Ford died of stomach cancer.

And my wife’s stomach cancer organization, Hope for Stomach Cancer, is doing fantastic. I hope none of you listening ever needs the patient advocacy organization that my wife and I started.

But should you or someone that you know need, or STOCAN, which is short for Stomach Cancer Awareness Network, dot org. Either way, you can find resources.

Okay, end of plug there. Back to the Ferraris. one of the things I want to jump back just a minute, you said that David Lee has seven or eight different Ferraris. You believe around seven or eight. Now, obviously-

Clinton: No, no. no. Just on display.  He’s got a lot more.

Tom: Yeah, many more cars, but got seven or eight on display.

Automotive Passion At San Marino Motor Classic

So, I’m just trying to wrap my head around the whole Concours d’Elegance thing. So, a gentleman like David Lee, obviously, quite wealthy, sounds like, brings seven or eight … He’s not going to drive seven or eight Ferraris to this show. So, you got to-

Clinton: No. I’m sure they’re all transported.

Tom: So, you put them on a truck to get your hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars worth of vehicles to display here. Is there any financial benefit to him doing that? I mean, that’s just a cost, right?

I mean, it is just a passion thing.

Clinton: Exactly.

Tom: That passionate, I’m going to take my millions of dollars worth of cars. I’m going to spend probably a couple of thousand dollars to have them meticulously hauled from my point of storage to this show.

Classic Mustang

Clinton: Yeah.

Tom: Show them, and then bring them back.

Clinton: Yes, that’s correct.

Tom: Just all sheer passion.

Clinton: And pretty much, a lot of the owners do that.

Tom: That’s a very common thing.

Clinton: You’ll see a lot of transporters parked all around the neighborhood or in parking lots nearby.

Tom: Yeah, that’s something, man.

Clinton: These are serious, serious car collectors. And not only from Southern California. In fact, a friend of mine, she saw some were from other states as well.

Tom: So, we’ve covered a few Concours d’Elegance now. Is it a concours or concours.

Clinton: I believe it is pronounced Concours d’Elegance.  Yeah, competition of elegance.

Tom: Competition, okay. Now, correct me if I’m wrong. Did you say that the La Jolla …

Clinton: That’s my favorite one.

Tom: Okay, that’s your favorite one?

San Marino Motor Classic – Competition Of Elegance

Clinton: Yeah, favorite one in Southern California.

Tom: Okay. But then overall, Rev Auto, which is a show that we covered in a podcast last week-

Tom: …that’s not a Concours, but-

Clinton: It’s not a Concours. It’s a judged event. A Concours d’Elegance is a judged event.

Tom: It is a judged event, okay.

Clinton: Yeah, and there are different classes of vehicles.

San Marino Motor Classic white Ferrari

Tom: And every Concours has different classes, right? They don’t have to have all the same classes or do they do?

Clinton: They all have different classes.

Tom: So, where does the San Marino Motor Classic … Easy for me to say. San Marino Motor Classic, where does that fall in your kind of … Oh, it’s top list of Concours.

Clinton: It’s definitely in the top five.  Yeah, I would say La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, San Marino Motor Classic, the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

Clinton: Those are all my top five.

Tom: But to be clear, we’re still on the professional… Man, I’m having a great time with pronunciation today. You know what, my son, eight months old, kept us up like … I, basically, have been up since 2:30 in the morning.

Yeah, yeah. I love my boy, I love him, I love him to death, but he likes nightlife baby. So, what did I just mispronounce? Oh, the San Marino Motor Classic. So, that was the eighth annual.

One Of SoCal’s Awesome Auto Shows In June

But to be clear, this is the third installment, the second week of the Professor’s Awesome Auto Show June. And we have a couple of podcasts left of that; therefore, a couple of weeks left of that. But what are the next ones we’re going to be covering on that?

Clinton: We’re going to be covering-

Tom: Yeah, on this Saturday, right?

Clinton: …the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

Tom: That’s on Sunday?

Black and red antique at San Marino Motor Classic

San Marino Motor Classic

Clinton: Yes. It’s always-

Tom Smith: All Concours are on Sundays.

Clinton Quan: Yes. All Concours are always on Sundays.

Tom: And the Beverly Hills one is always on Father’s Day?

Clinton: And it’s always on Father’s Day.  Plus, this year is very special because it’s the 25th anniversary. So, it’s the silver anniversary. And from what I understand, all the cars on display for the show will be silver.

Tom: And they can’t be gray. The manufacturer can’t have called that color gray that year. Otherwise, they are not qualified. I’m being like-

Clinton: I don’t know.

San Marino Motor Classic – Formerly The Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance

Tom: Yeah. Shut up, Tom. Okay. So then, what’s the next one after that?

Clinton: Well, there’s also the-

Tom: We’re talking Professors Awesome Auto Show June.

Clinton: … the Highway Earth Auto Show. That’s also in Beverly Hills the following Sunday.

Tom: So, the next two Sundays in a row, the Professor will be in Beverly Hills.

San Marino Motor Classic

Ferrari Additive for 2019

Clinton: I’m not sure. Actually, I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend the last one.

Tom: You have to. It’s the Professor’s Awesome Auto Show June. How can we … Sorry, folks. We promoted this Professor’s Awesome Auto Show June, but, you know, we can’t make the last one. And the San Marino Motor Classic Concours d’Elegance. What’s the ticket for that?

Clinton: It’s $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

Tom: Okay. So, that’s reasonable.

So, that was the eighth annual that we just covered. A bunch of cool cars. Lots of old stuff. I, particularly, like the Gullwings, the Mercedes Gullwings.

Clinton: The Gullwings are just beautiful. They probably had about six Gullwings on display there, or I shouldn’t say six Gullwings. About six 300 SLs and a-

Dress Accordingly For Competition Of Elegance(s)

Tom: A couple of convertibles, right?

Clinton: Yeah. So, probably, I think, four of them were Gullwings. Four or five of them were Gullwings.  At least, one or two are convertibles.

Tom: And to wrap this podcast up on the San Marino Motor Classic, which is part of the Professor’s Awesome Auto Show June.

Associate Professor @ San Marino Motor Classic

Associate Professor Quan

I love to compliment the Professor on his costumes that he wears to these shows from time to time.  And the Professor and Professor Jr., or his Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, how would we like to refer to your son?

Clinton We can call him the Associate.

Tom: The Associate Professor.

Tom: The Professor and the Associate Professor have a very appropriately themed attire. I won’t call it a costume. Attire. You guys look great.

Clinton: Yeah, thank you, Tom.

Tom: Okay. Thank you for a great analysis of a great Southern California automotive event, Professor, as always. And for iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thank you for listening.