Concours d’LeMons is hosted every year at the Laguna Grande Park in Seaside, California. The eighth annual edition attracted a large crowd that did not mind that not every vehicle on display was a LeMons.
“We had to make a rule that you can’t show up the night before and sleep in your car. It took years and thousands of lives to get this thing to happen,” said John Galbraith of Sacramento, who founded the show with his wife, Melissa.
The official drink of LeMons is lemonade. The awards include car plaques and goodie bags from the Dollar Store. Bribing the jury is recommended.
The event comprises two parts. The first is the show itself, and the second is the LeMons Rally.
The rally has a route going from Monterey to Fallon, Ely, then to Las Vegas in Nevada. Afterwards, it goes through the Death Valley and reaches back to Monterey after a stop in Santa Cruz.
The car categories have compelling names, such as the Soul-Sucking Japanese Appliance, Needlessly Complicated Italian, Unmitigated Gaul, Rueful Britannia or Swedish Meatballs.
The show displayed a 1964 Amphicar which was both a boat and a car, 1959 Tempo Matador camper that was used by the Vanderbilt family in a Europe tour, and 1963 Facel III Vega manufactured in France.
A couple from the Peninsula came with a 2000 Nissan Altima painted with a surfing theme. The car was later named by the public Squidly/Splash McTentacle, and the couple won the Soul-Sucking Japanese Appliance award.
The Needlessly Complicated Italian prize was won by a three-wheeled Vespa that was transformed into a coffee shop.
Another adventure was occasioned by a 1994 Ford Aerostar van. The participants flew to San Francisco without actually having any car, and there they managed to buy the van on Craigslits which cost them the incredible amount of $360.
The tires were rotten, so the couple had to replace them. However, this was not enough as during the rally the transmission overheated. The solution was a copper tubing connected to containers of ice water. In the Death Valley, the engine started to overheat too. They had to use the same system.
In the end, it was all worthwhile as they won the first prize in the LeMons Rally. The second place was taken by a team driving in a 1978 Mercedes Benz 240 D which had its hood taken off to keep the engine from overheating, and a 1959 Ford Edsel won the third place.
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