Motor Classic Shapes Up as Alluring Car Cornucopia

Aaron Weiss
Aaron Weiss

No matter your relationship to the automobile, you’re likely to find something to enjoy about the annual San Marino Motor Classic, which returns to Lacy Park on Sunday, June 9.
For the entry fee of $35 at the door (free for children 12 and younger), guests may enjoy the annual display of venerable antiques, never-before-seens and the cream of the crop that fills Lacy Park for the day. Organizers have gathered well over 400 vehicles this year.
“For the quality of what we have, the number is pretty amazing,” said Aaron Weiss, a founder of the Motor Classic. “These are all Concours-level show cars. We have some coming from as far as the East Coast. We have some pretty significant cars.”
The Motor Classic, formed in 2011 after the Los Angeles Concours D’Elegance folded, includes 35 classes of vehicles “spanning the entire history of the automobile,” according to Weiss, and there is a contest for each class. Special appearances slated for this year include a 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost used in the 1954 film “Sabrina,” a collection of Ford concept cars never shown publicly, 11 former Pasadena Rose Parade cars and about 100 Ferraris from the Ferrari Club of America. (San Marino resident and supercar enthusiast David Lee is contributing several more of his own Ferraris.)
“There’s something for everybody,” Weiss said. “I can’t think of a type of car other than hot rods that we won’t have.”
Guests will have to park on streets, but a shuttle will be used on Monterey Road and Euston Road to bring them to and from their vehicles to Lacy Park. Fourteen gourmet food trucks will be available, and dogs also will be welcomed at the event.
The Motor Classic serves as a fundraiser that has generated $1.9 million throughout its run. The organization donates proceeds to the Pasadena Humane Society, Cancer Support Community Pasadena and Rotary Club of San Marino, which in turn serves as a conduit for other recipients; for example, the club has donated Motor Classic money to the Barth Athletics Complex at Huntington Middle School and to help fund the construction of new restrooms at Lacy Park.
Weiss said he felt events like car shows appealed to a wide range of people because of our myriad cultural connections to the vehicles.
”People have had many of their significant events in automobiles,” he said. “They relate to them. I think people remember those family road trips, the car they learned how to drive in, the car they went to prom in. So many of our personal milestones have a car connected to them.
“Cars mirror the socioeconomic trends of the time,” he added. “The original cars were truly prehistoric, in a sense. They chronicle the development of the car, mechanically. All these cars, they all have a story and they all have history.”
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