My Car Quest

September 28, 2020

Malibu Car Show: A Refuge From the Fires

by Wallace Wyss –

The informal run-what-u-brung cars and coffee in Malibu at Cross Creek Road and Pacific Coast Highway continues each Sunday, running from 9 am to 10:30 am more or less.

This is the event with no organizer, no spokesperson, nobody deciding who gets in. And it’s free. In the last few months it’s been a respite from the pandemic.

But last week it was a welcome relief from the fire with three fires raging across Southern California, including one started by a gender reveal party, where, some parent was so glad his child was a boy or a girl he set off fireworks (blue for boys, pink for girls I think) and last I heard the fire started by these fireworks burned 46,000 acres and four houses. (If ever there was a kid that deserved the name “Fireball” this was it!)

Malibu Car Show

Oddly this modern day McLaren parked next to an “old” front engine Corvette shows similar profiles only a couple inches different here and there, making you wonder why did the Corvette have to go mid-engine when the shape was close to an exotic already? But I guess if you want to corner at 1G, it’s gotta be a mittelmotor.

The air was smoke free in Malibu and in the 60s temperature wise compared to in the 90s inland. And there were no police to be seen. They mostly regarding the event as a turf war between parking lot owners.

There were the usual Ferraris, including a Daytona with a huge rectangular-shaped hand made air filter for the six carburetors, and many modern day models including an 812 and in oldies a Dino coupe. Lamborghnis matched them one for one. McLarens have been also challenging their drawing power.

Malibu Car Show

In a town where the smallest shack costs a million, you can expect the wheels to be wild…

In British cars there’s some Rolls and Bentley buffs. One owner of a rare bentley T-series (the one that shared its body with the Silver Shadow) told us his car was once $200,000 new and is partly coachbuilt, with some razor edge coachwork on the roof, but now has fallen to below 10% of its as-new value. How the mighty have fallen.

Malibu Car Show

This event is always a parade of Porsches, each other one the latest model with all the bells and whistles, this one a GT2.

Also in his garage is a Vector, a supercar developed in So Cal that was a stillborn American competitor to the Countach. We both are glad to see Vector founder Gerald Weigert finally make some money, selling some leftover prototypes at auction for millions.

This visit I decided to talk to people about their car’s history and was blown away by the fact that the Avanti convertible I have seen there many times is not a Studebaker underneath but a Mustang!

The owner, who brought three books on Raymond Loewy, the French born designer of the Avanti, explained how that came to be. An American investor had bought the right to produce the Avanti convertible, based more or less on Raymond Loewy’s original design, but after starting a company in the resort town of Cancun, Mexico and showing a prototype this developer was busted back in the USA for a Ponzi scheme in another field unrelated to cars.

Malibu Car Show

Avanti

So the three prototypes that had been built were sold dirt cheap, one of them being his car which he has owned since the first decade of the 2000’s. He invited me to lift the trunk lid. I could not, and then he asked me to open the door. It felt like it was made of lead but turns out the whole car is a body attached to the body of a Mustang convertible. It’s even registered as a Mustang! You read that right, the body is OVER a Mustang, they didn’t replace the Mustang body panels just attached them OVER the Mustang. I’m guessing it weighs 5500 lbs!

Malibu Car Show

Avanti

So this just goes to show you that what you see may not be what you see….ya wonder what ol’ Raymond might have said….

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a historian who makes portraits in oil of significant cars. He can be reached at malibucarart@gmail.com.
 
 
 

 

 

Summary
Malibu Car Show: A Refuge From the Fires
Article Name
Malibu Car Show: A Refuge From the Fires
Description
The air was smoke free in Malibu and in the 60s temperature wise compared to in the 90s inland. And there were no police to be seen. They mostly regarding the event as a turf war between parking lot owners.
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