On a manicured fairway near Detroit, pristine Pintos and Allantes took to the hollowed greens of a Concours field. Then Edsels and Yugos followed. A cream puff yellow Buick brought up the rear—literally—when it arrived towing a matching mellow yellow porcelain “throne” mounted on a trailer. It’s the call of nature that has become normal behavior at the Concours d’Lemons.
This particular group of automotive misfits took over part of the hallowed grounds of The Inn at St. John’s the day before the Concours d’Elegance of America, held earlier this summer.
The oil-dripping, smoke-belching celebration of the oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world celebrated its fifth year in Plymouth, Michigan, and the growth has been exponential. “It just gets bigger and dumber every year, just like me,” says Alan Galbraith, the self-proclaimed “Head Gasket” of the event. “I mean, where else can one appreciate a four-door Corvette, a rare-but-rusty Citroën, and a Corvair side by side?”
More than 100 underappreciated cars registered and a surprisingly large percentage actually managed to make it to the event. Celebrity judges, including Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars and Ken Lingenfelter of Corvette tuning fame, began accepting bribes from owners hoping to be awarded Dollar Store-sourced trophies and goodie bags.
Once the results were tabulated and written down in crayon, the loosely organized comedic awards ceremony began as the best (worst) in each class paraded past an appreciative (sickened) crowd.
A 1989 Cadillac Allante took home the much coveted “Worst of Show” trophy, while the car’s owner wished to remain anonymous, lest the somewhat humorless Allante Owners Club boots him. “I need to stay in the club; it’s one of the only places I can find parts for the Allante, and I will be needing lots of parts to keep it on the road,” the owner said, nervously scanning the crowd for fellow club members. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.