Our first awareness of the La Jolla Concours’d Elegance held on April 9th was when Nigel Matthews contacted us about 6 weeks before the event through our website. He informed us that they had chosen Austin Healey to be the marque for the British sports car class and they were distressed that only one had been entered so far. If they didn’t get more entries soon, our favorite car would be removed as the marque, probably never to be so honored again. We immediately decided that that this could not occur and began hustling about to find quality Healeys to be entered. Fortunately, between our and the San Diego clubs, we were quickly able to get five more cars entered and approved...which is not easy, due to the stringent La Jolla requirements. The cars entered included Steve Kirby’s, Marty Hovivian’s and Ed Neumeyer’s from our club and Terry Cowan’s and Dave Grundies’ from the San Diego club. My BJ8 was not entered in the Concours judging but was present in the club corral with several classic Jaguars.
If you have never been to the La Jolla Concours, it is one of the most prestigious in the country, behind Pebble Beach and Amelia Island. The event is held on Sunday each year on a grassy cliff area overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On Saturday evening, there was a cocktail party with heavy hors d'oeuvres and very interesting carnival- like characters prowling the area. The weather for Saturday and Sunday’s events was gorgeous.
We stayed nearby at the Torrey Pines Hilton.
Early Sunday morning, we drove down and parked our cars in the appropriate areas...the Healeys were backed up on the cliff with a beautiful ocean view. We were joined there with another BJ8 owner named Steve. Coffee and pastries were served to the participants. All cars were in place by 8AM with the show beginning about 9. Judging took place over the next few hours, with roving bands of judges with marque specific knowledge. Nigel was chief judge for the British sports car class.
Anyway, they spent about a half an hour talking to each owner and evaluating their cars.
In addition to walking the show area and looking at all the beautiful classic cars, we were served a catered lunch in the sectioned off participant’s area. Award announcements began about 2PM at a stage area in the middle of the show grounds, with the first place car in each class ushered up to receive their awards. Special congratulations went to the Healey winners: Steve Kirby, 1st place, Marty Hovivian 2nd and Dave Grundies 3rd. Each winner received a beautiful trophy. We departed just after 4PM, all driving through thick traffic in La Jolla to get out. Some stayed an additional night, while we drove straight home. We saw Marty on the way north, barreling along without a muffler, which was torn off as he exited the show grounds.
All in all, it was a terrific weekend and we did our marque proud...the spectators and participants loved the cars and many shared their Healey stories.