Celebrating the weird, mundane and truly terrible of the automotive world and promising to get “bigger and dumber every year,” the Concours d’Lemons has become one of the most anticipated events of Monterey week. Of course we couldn’t resist taking a look at the bizarrely beautiful cars.
After spending the last few days among the most iconic, elegant and valuable cars of all time on the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance and seeing the latest hypercars unveiled at The Quail, we had to work hard for Sunday’s competition. So take a stroll through the rust buckets and marmite cars lining up for the bad taste extravaganza that is the Concours d’Lemons. Created in 2009 as a prank event to tease the high-brow collector car community, the anarchic anti-contest has become a part of Monterey Car Week—just like the big concourse events.
The cars at the Concours d’Lemons are divided into classes such as ‘Rust Belt American Junk’, ‘Unnecessarily Complex Italians’ or ‘Der Self-Satisfiedkrauttenwagen’ and all compete for the title of ‘Worst of Show’, although side prizes such as ‘Most Dangerous’ ‘ or the ‘WTF??? Award’ are equally desired among competitors.
Sure, the field included the usual rust buckets and thrift store finds and rotten muscle cars that seemed to have housed families of meth-headed zombies for decades, but some owners went even more creative: There was a flipped Pontiac that was still able to ride on its roof (apparently had even competed in the “24 Hours of Lemons”), and a horse-headed DYI centaur car whose owner rode on the roof and, er, carried a parrot.
Failed replica garages are always a crowd pleaser – and this year you had to marvel at what must have been the world’s worst Lamborghini Countach. And as the leotards and airbrush vans celebrated American hippie and trailer park culture at its best, and a teenage girl explained her “gothmobile” powered by what appeared to be the head of Frankenstein’s monster in a fishbowl, we felt refreshed enough to turn around. back to the manicured lawns of Pebble Beach to enjoy billionaires’ blue-chip cars all day long.
Photos by Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2022