My Car Quest

May 20, 2024

Malibu Car Show – Ad Infinitum

In case you notice previous stories on what seems to be the same Malibu car show the answer is that each week it’s the same location but a revolving cast of characters and cars. And so our reporter goes and our photographer goes, not to mention it was 113℉ in the Inland Empire and 82℉ in Malibu.

We return to the field of battle and it’s still going on…

Mike Gulett, Editor

by Wallace Wyss –

Photos by Richard Bartholomew –

One explanation as to why there are different cars every time I go to this unplanned event at Malibu Village shopping center there are some new players. I finally figured it out when one guy on a motorcycle said “I would have brought one of my cars but..” and then reeled off a list of collector cars that showed sometimes it’s the same driver but he just picked the next car over in his stable.

Another driver showed me pictures of four of his cars, mostly British but occasionally he brings the Shelby Serie I, an ill fated Oldsmobile powered sportster.

This is the event that:

– is unannounced

– has no organizer

– is free

Oh, Fireball Tim was there who usually has a specified area blocked out in the same lot once a month but this time he was just showing a car like anyone else.

This time a newcomer was a 1920’s Rolls Royce in pale green that purred by. It was a Phantom I but I didn’t want to reveal what an obsequious Royalist I am and ask if it had a Royal connection since now this coast be more Royal as Prince Harry and his American wife have moved in to a location by the sea less than an hour North of this beach already chock-a-block with movie star royalty.

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Matching the Rolls in elegance was a Packard, in a subtle magenta that had its own dignity American style. In postwar there was a new new newcomer–just goes to show you The Car To Drive is subject to change, two Lexus LC500 Convertibles. At $90,000 each it seems these will soon be jousting for space with the rarer Mercedes open cars. I knew the Japanese could do it, oust Mercedes from The Car To Own spot, it only took them fifty years or so…

Lexus LC500 Convertible

Lexus LC500 Convertible

In American muscle cars there was a GTO of the Pontiac stripe and a well preserved Trans Am and three or four Cobras but I hate to ask the Cobra owners “who made that car?” lest they realize I have forgotten everything I knew about Shelby (three book’s worth).

In ’60s there was a chopped top ’51 Ford chopped so well you didn’t notice it until you saw it from afar. And a very clean pickup truck from say early ’50s.

In old Ferraris this time the temperature must have discouraged the vintage cars but there was a La Ferrari that drew a crowd of youngsters, for some reason those onlookers all seemed to be under 20 years of age, maybe the first time they saw a supercar. Though McLarens, and Lambos were three a penny.

Exotic Cars

I appreciated the lettering on a Model A Ford delivery truck and yes, indeedy, the man makes muffins like the sign says, though he missed an opportunity to acquaint us with his wares. Occasionally there you see a car that “missed its mark” like the Mazda RX7. This one had an owner who spent a lot of money on scoops, vents and an odd sort of olive drab paint but I couldn’t find the owner to explain why that model failed. And then there was a BMW roadster that the owner frankly admitted is trouble from stem to stern but he sticks with it. He said it has more flaws than his other few collector cars put together but damn it, he likes it.

There were only a handful of Japanese cars, the aforementioned Lexus roadsters, and that Mazda but fortunately (for me, I don’t want to drive 150 mile round trip to see Toyotas, Mitsubishis, Subies, Hondas, etc.) not that many and no Shelby Mustangs. Somehow the word got out this show is heavy on European as I think it should be, owing this is an area where every house is $1 million for starters.

I was actually thinking the design director at some of the 14 automaker satellite design studios near Los Angeles really need to invite their staff to breakfast here and set them to the task of talking to owners to find out what they like about their cars. Gee what a novel idea–to talk to consumers of the type of products they design. I once visited one such studio 25 minutes away (BMW in Westlake Village). At the now defunct Irvine Cars ‘n Coffee, once not so secretly funded by Ford Advanced Design studio, Ford would take advantage of an opportunity to sample spectator opinion by rolling out a prototype to mix in among production cars. They could learn a lot about what makes some owners cherish their car so much…through thick and thin I might say.


’51 Mercury

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

More photos are in the slide show below.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is finessing his anthology of fiction short stories on collector cars.


THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Bartholomew is an artist and photographer based in Southern California. Visit his YouTube channel here. He is open to interesting consignments and can be reached at

Wallace Wyss Art Jacket Model

Wallace Wyss Art Jacket Model

Malibu Car Show - Ad Infinitum
Article Name
Malibu Car Show - Ad Infinitum
I was thinking the design director at some of the 14 automaker satellite design studios near Los Angeles really need to invite their staff to breakfast at this Malibu Car Show and set them to talking to owners to find out what they like about their cars.


  1. Wes Stewart says

    Thank you Wallace and Richard; nicely done. Also thank God the ’51 Merc sits properly and doesn’t have fender skirts.

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