by Amelia Dalgaard
Ah, Pebble Beach. The world’s fanciest, schmanciest car show occurring annually in Carmel, California. A place where people come from all over the world to do incredible things like buy $38 million dollar Ferraris. But deep in the shadow of Carmel, or more specifically, 7 miles away in the less posh location of Seaside is an even more exciting attraction, The Concours d’LeMons!
Here's why we think it's easily more fun than the main event:
10. The Dress Code
Guidelines for the Concours d’Elegance suggest attendees wear something between dressy to resort casual... At LeMons, however, it’s more like parking lot casual. Historically appropriate costumes are always embraced:
9. Bribery Is Encouraged
While the judges at Pebble Beach are getting wined and dined across town, cozying up to the LeMons team is much less subtle. Participants leave offerings of beer, money and the occasional snack on their rides to ensure preferential voting:
8. They Feed You
Admission to the Concours D’Elegance is $300 and that doesn’t include any type of food or beverage. However, admission at LeMons is free and can sometimes get you a hot dog smoked on a tail pipe. Delicious!
7. Golf Cart Action
Pebble Beach is in fact a real golf course, so there are plenty of the electric karts zooming around the grass to shuttle VIPs from one hotspot to another. There was only one golf cart at LeMons and when it grew up, it aspired to be a Land Rover. Keep dreaming zippy!
6. LeMons Loves Dogs
Here at this kooky car show, you see dogs of all shapes and sizes and most of the time they’re behind the wheel of a jalopy.
In contrast, at the original Concours most dogs are safely snuggled inside a Louis Vuitton bag. What a life!
5.These Are Cars You Know
The winner of this year’s Concours d’Elegance was a 1924 Iso Fraschini Tipo 8A. No, that’s not the 8th menu item at the Olive Garden, but an extremely rare, beautiful Italian Cabriolet. Here at the other show, you’ll see plenty of cars you probably know and have worked hard to forget, like the Yugo, the Pinto and the AMC Eagle:
4. This Ain’t No Beauty Contest
Categories at LeMons include ‘Rust Belt American Junk’, ‘Needlessly Complex Italian’ and ‘Swedish Meatballs.’ They’re all competing for ‘Worst In Show’ which is quite frankly an impossible task, especially after all the beers the judges drank!
3. You Can Leave Your Black Card At Home
This year’s Concours d’Elegance raised a staggering $20 million in charity donations, which is stupendous. LeMons is packed with charity cases instead. At least you’re safe knowing that nobody is gonna hit you up for any greenbacks, just perhaps a lift home.
2. You Can Procrastinate
Entries into the main event at Pebble Beach spend years and hundreds, often millions of dollars, waiting for the chance to show off their ride on the 18th hole. Here at LeMons, preparation can be as easy as a roll of felt and a $5 bra. But that’s quite a Miata, and we'd be shocked if they spent more than 15 minutes on it:
And the #1 Reason Why The Concours d’LeMons is a treat is:
You Have To Laugh
Spectacular views, fancy hats and flutes of champagne are fantastic and often quite enjoyable. But if you want a guaranteed good time and a chance to see cars so awful they’ll make your eyes bleed, the Concours d’LeMons is the place!