The San Marino Motor Classic had its best year ever in 2016.
“This is the best year we’ve had in every category,” said Aaron Weiss, event co-founder, co-chair and San Marino resident. “We had more cars on the field, better cars and probably raised more money. Everything was more. We know that we have a big challenge to do better next year.”
An estimated 7,000 people attended the concours-level show on Sunday that had more than 300 classic and collector cars on display at Lacy Park.
“It was so crowded that you couldn’t drive a golf cart along the perimeter road,” Weiss said. “I don’t remember that many people here ever.”
Even retired “Tonight Show” host and car enthusiast Jay Leno showed up during the afternoon. He has been to the event several times in the past.
Weiss said he’s been getting many emails complimenting Sunday’s event.
“People feel it was the best show we’ve produced in six years, the best show in Southern California and maybe in the state with exception of Pebble Beach,” he said.
Weiss added that everything went very smoothly and was well-organized.
The 2016 title of “Best in Show – Pre-War” went to a 1930 Rolls-Royce Towncar owned by Jack and Helen Nethercutt, while “Best in Show – Post-War” was given to a 1956 Mercedes Benz 300Sc Coupe owned by Vin & Erika DiBona. See a full list of winners here.
Weiss said he was happy with the wide selection of cars.
“There was something for every automotive enthusiast there,” he said.
Dydia Delyser was invited by the San Marino Motor Classic organizers to display her 1991 Nissan Figaro. She and Paul Greenstein of Los Angeles own what Delyser calls a Czechoslovakian Batmobile—a 1941 Tatra T87—that they also brought.
“This is our first time at the show,” Delyser said.
Delyser and Greenstein were thrilled to have ridden in a Stanley Motor Carriage Co. steam-engine vehicle at the Motor Classic.
“That’s only happened to us twice in 30 years,” Delyser said. “That’s a very rare opportunity and really fun.”
“That alone was worth the price of admission,” Greenstein said.
Kyle Galloway of Pasadena attended the Motor Classic for the first time. His uncle Joey Galloway, also of Pasadena, was showing his 1965 Porsche Cabriolet.
“We thought it would be a good idea a week before Father’s Day—my son and I—to check out the other vehicles they have in the showcase,” Kyle Galloway said. “My son is so excited to see all of the different cars. He had a chance to sit in some of the vehicles that he likes. It’s a big event.”
Joey Galloway said it’s his second time showing a vehicle and fifth time attending the event, which he said gets bigger and bigger every year.
“I tell you what I really like is that it’s a lot of local representation as far as the cars,” he said. “I think that means a lot to the community, too.”
Phillip Phung and Thao Dinh were also first-time attendees of the San Marino Motor Classic and said they appreciated that fact they were able to bring their dog.
“I really like it a lot,” Phung said.
“There’s a lot of cool exotic cars,” Dinh said.
San Marino native Bob Green, now of Arcadia, has been to every San Marino Motor Classic.
“It’s a great collection of cars,” he said. “They’re very unique, special cars. Some of these you’d never see around. It’s not as large, as stuffy and as expensive as the big one in Pebble Beach, but they still have some high-level cars.”
Green added that he likes seeing many people he knows at the event.
Brookes Treidler of Pasadena and Larry Campbell of Los Alamitos were among the many car buffs at the event.
“We go to a lot of these concours events in the area,” Campbell said.
“This is one of the key events of the year,” Treidler said. “This is the perfect place to hold an event like this. It’s probably the best short of Pebble Beach.”
Miles Caldwell, 12, of San Marino has been to the Motor Classic three or four times before.
“I like to look at the cool cars and see all the engines run,” he said.
San Marino celebrity barber Jann of Sweden said he comes to the Motor Classic because he’s always been interested in cars. He used to own a 1939 Ford that he drove in the San Marino Fourth of July parade.
“For three years in a row, I had my antique silver saddles here at the car show,” Jann said, explaining that his 1920 horse saddles still related to transportation. He said it’s become too difficult to bring them to the Motor Classic.
The event emcees this year were ABC 7 automotive specialist Dave Kunz and automotive racing icon Ed Justice Jr.
SMMC proceeds will benefit Rotary Club of San Marino and Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.
There was a pre-event gala on Saturday called “A Symphony of Cars: The USC Trojan Marching Band in Concert” when 10 cars spanning more than a century drove down the runway to tunes of the era in which they were built with music by the USC Marching Band. Gala proceeds will go toward the USC Trojan Marching Band.
San Marino Motor Classic
“A Symphony of Cars”