Classic car show to honor restorers for first time

Antique cars and those that restore them will be highlighted at the fifth annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic, which will be held Jan. 11 at La Jolla Cove.

“We will have the most prestigious group of cars we’ve ever had at this event,” said Bill Price, a car aficionado who is a member of a committee staging the event. “Right now we’re at well over 100 cars.”

The list of classic cars being exhibited in the juried car show, which is sponsored by Promote La Jolla, includes a 1932 Cadillac, a rare 1956 Jaguar race car worth about $5 million and a 1935 Mercedes Roadster.

There are a number of firsts at this year’s car event. One, $15 is being charged for admission. Until now, the show has been free. The event will be visible to passersby, but a 4-foot-tall fence will encircle much of the park.

In selling the community on the necessity for charging for the juried car show, which costs about $80,000 to put on, Promote La Jolla has pledged to return about $40,000 in anticipated profits to community improvement projects. Those include $5,000 for Cove restroom improvements, $1,200 to replace aging Scripps Park palm trees and $26,000 to replace aging hanging flower baskets throughout the Village.

Another first this year, according to Price, is a tribute to the restorers who actually rebuild the vintage antique automobiles.

“We’re honoring 20 restorers from as far away as Kansas City and Seattle,” he said, adding a representative from McPherson College in St. Louis, the only school in the nation offering a degree in auto restoration, will also be present.

One of the restorers who will be honored is Alan Taylor, owner of Alan Taylor Company, Inc. in Escondido. He said auto restorers often do not get the recognition they deserve.

“The restorer is actually the artist who transforms these derelicts into objects of art worth sometimes many millions of dollars,” Taylor said.

He said La Jolla is a perfect venue to showcase the craft of restoration since the community, in its early days, was an artists’ colony.

If you go:

  • La Jolla Motor Car Classic
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 11
  • La Jolla Cove
  • (619) 233-5008