‘Classic’ moments


La Jolla car show draws crowd

For a list of winners, see the end of this story.

The sixth annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic last weekend was well attended, sold more tickets than last year and successfully expanded into a weekend-long event, organizers said.

But the jury is still out on whether the car exhibit, which drew about 130 vintage vehicles to the Cove between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, brought more business into the downtown Village.

Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery at 7946 Ivanhoe Ave. fared well.

“We definitely had a flow of individuals because of the car classic,” said gallery art consultant Carolynn Crooks-Mueller. “It was more business than we usually do on a Sunday.”

Owner Bassam Alkowni of Beyond Tech, an electronics shop at 7603 Girard Ave., said it was a typical Sunday. “We had a lot of traffic passing by, but not foot traffic that came inside a lot.”

Burns Drugs at 7824 Girard noted their Sunday business was impacted by the Motor Car Classic.

“It was less,” said store manager Susan Proffer. ‘They were selling snacks and water and soda down there (Cove) and that’s a lot of our Sunday business — they kind of took it away.”

Bill McHugh, co-owner of Jose’s Mexican cuisine at 1037 Prospect St. close to the exhibit said he didn’t see much business Saturday night but did the day of the event. “I’d say we did about 30 percent more on Sunday,” he said. “We had a very good day that day.”

A couple of blocks down from Jose’s, The Cottage at 7702 Fay Ave. — which just re-opened after remodeling — also had a good day Sunday. But they weren’t sure why.

“We were definitely really busy,” said restaurant spokesman Jason Peaslee. “But I can’t say it was from the car classic or not because it was so pretty out.”

Terry Underwood, general manager of The Grande Colonial La Jolla at 910 Prospect St. said, “We saw no more, or less, impact than in previous years,” from the car show, adding, “I believe the show has not developed to the point where its draw is more regional or national.”

John Bolthouse, executive director of La Jolla Historical Society, which presented the car classic for the first time this year, was pleased with the end result.

“Overall, it went phenomenally,” he said. “We had great attendance on the day of the event, about 1,500 tickets were sold.”

Bolthouse said they sold more event tickets than last year and “broke even at least,” which was the goal given this was their first year hosting it.

There is likely to be at least one big change in the event next year.

“There is a strong likelihood we’re going to move out of January,” Bolthouse said, adding a date later in spring was likely in an attempt to avoid the possibility of rain that would have spoiled the occasion.

Bolthouse added the Society will also seek additional ways to partner with the La Jolla business community to make them a “stakeholder” in the event.

Trip Bennett, who headed a historical society subcommittee that planned the car classic, said it was remarkable what was done because “we had just six months to do it. That was a handicap for us.”

Nancy Warwick of Warwick’s bookstore had an author book signing on Jan. 8 tied to the show that drew 68 people, and said the car classic was carried off nicely this year.

“It was elegant,” she said. “The cars were beautiful. You could hear the large waves coming in. People were engaged. They brought their dogs. It wasn’t an event just for car lovers or experts. There was something for everybody there.”

Car Show Results