If we can agree that the best car shows are the free ones, then Concours d’Lemons California is so good that they almost ought to pay you to go.
This year’s pointed counterpoint to Pebble Beach took place Saturday on the grounds of the Seaside City Hall, and honored the Muntz Jet and the Chevrolet Cosworth Vega, which was represented by eight examples of a really neat little car that should have worked.
But didn’t. But should have.
Among such notable as the Edsel once seen on “The Donna Reed Show” (Google it, children) to a Ford Mustang station wagon with taillights from the J.C. Whitney catalog (which is not remotely a criticism), the overall winner of the uncoveted Worst of Show award was Randy Carlson of Aguanga, California, and his 1979 Honda Civic.
Or Civics. It’s actually a two Civics joined at the hipster, each with an engine up front, and an engine up front. There’s a steering wheel on the right and on the left, as well as on the left and the right. It will go forward and backward, meanwhile, it is also going backward and forward.
Or it can be driven by only one driver, going in one direction: You just lock the ignition on the trailing Civic. “But it handles kind of weird,” Carlson said, which will come as a big surprise.
So how did Carlson build the switch-hitting Civic? Actually, he didn’t, and he isn’t sure who did. It was owned by Lane Motor Museum, one of the coolest places in Nashville, Tennessee, “and I traded it for an electric car I had,” Carlson said.
What kind of electric car? He doesn’t remember. Maybe it was residual giddiness from driving the Civic in the honorary parade circle, first this way then that way, while an admiring audience sprayed the car with ceremonial Silly String Brand Spray Streamer, which is what the company suggests we call it, or risk receiving an official-looking letter from their attorney. Whose mother must be very proud: “My son is the attorney for Silly String Brand Streamer!”
Anyway, congratulations to all the award winners, of which there were, like, 18. There’s always next year, Donna Reed’s Edsel.