My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

La Jolla Concours 2024

Text and photos by Wallace Wyss –

This is billed as “the road to Opulent Adventure” and that it is, going by the brands shown. The reason the La Jolla Concours is one of my favorite car shows is the location–right next to an ocean cove that is enjoyed by skindivers, surfers, and oh, yes, seals. They even have lots of booths with sponsors, not only selling car related things, or car art but even financial advice. Why not? La Jolla (pronounced La Hoy-yuh) is a prosperous town and there’s probably lots of investors there.

La Jolla Concours 2024

La Jolla Concours 2024

The cars occupy a half acre or so while and a lot of the sponsors or car companies pay for space around the edges. I would say Ferrari had one of the best spots, the background the ocean itself. But I also thought Ford did good getting a couple new Broncos and Lincolns on display, getting the rub-off from the classics. Now you might say “Why Lincoln–how can you have a production car parked feet from a $1 million Bizzarrini?” but I think for a dealer to participate in a show like this is brilliant compared to say the LA Auto Show because here are showgoers who like cars.

La Jolla Concours 2024

As far as new cars I was blown away by the price of a heavily chromed new Maybach, a Mercedes sub-brand, something like over $300,000 so there’s a car exclusive enough to be in a concours when it gets “old.” But for adventure there was a Bronco customized by some firm and a price of over $130,000 that had a more exciting interior than most of the show cars.

La Jolla Concours 2024

As far as marques, there’s only a handful of competitors in each class, I only saw a half dozen vintage Ferraris, plus a few Lamborghini Jamaras. A lone 260 Cobra stood out but the blue Bizzarrini is still my ultimate choice, my all time favorite. There was an Italian-bodied Triumph brought by Kurt Oblinger, the renowned photographer, and I applaud him for picking an obscure but pedigreed car and restoring it for concours but time will tell if he should have picked a more dramatic looking car to restore.

I was dismayed to see a D-Type Jaguar that was a replica. It was perfect but don’t you go to old car shows to see old cars? If a concours in Southern California wants to be the “Pebble of the South” they have to weed out replicas. And again a Celica convertible, Nice car but should you pay upwards of $90 to see a Toyota?

La Jolla Concours 2024

There was one car I didn’t catch the name of that had Italian bodywork but what a contrast–decent nose and then crude styling from the windscreen back. An Italian design doesn’t work every time. Part of the fun in going to the La Jolla Concours is when you buy a ticket to the VIP dining area. The food is scrumptious and you have a seat right in the show. Pebble has dining areas overlooking parade route of show winners but those dining areas are bought by sponsors for their exclusive customers (A media card cuts no ice..I know.).

The promoters mentioned the flyover of vintage planes but to me the lanes were much too high–I think they’d be safe flying much lower, over the water–after all nothing to hit but water. And what about a Navy ship gliding by? I think a good portion of the US Navy is berthed only a few miles away–why not see an example of what our tax dollars are buying?

La Jolla Concours 2024


I go to concours not only to report but to see fashion. The women here were dressed spectacularly though not as high a percentage were riding the fashion train as at the Kentucky Derby or Opening Day at Ascot. The men varied from wearing a suit to wearing a T-shirt and shorts. I say let’s encourage those who display old cars to wear clothes exemplifying the clothes of their car’s era–1930s car, 1930’s clothes (I did my part–sporting as ascot!).

Wallace Wyss - La Jolla Concours 2024

Wallace Wyss enjoying the concours in style

One difficulty in attending La Jolla is parking, there is no parking per se so I was lucky to find one at the curb a mile away. The VIP dining area was superb, and for me, the highlight of the event, with a half a dozen gourmet cooks preparing meals. I think for a guy whose woman doesn’t like cars so much as a seat in the VIP area will go a long way toward winning her over.

I think, after observing so many greetings among friends–that La Jolla is a concours that has become a great social occasion for San Diego’s cognoscenti. Los Angeles doesn’t yet have a car event that has such a social appeal.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a fine artist specializing in portraying exotic cars. He will be showing art at the Concorso in Pasadena in June.


La Jolla Concours 2024

La Jolla Concours 2024
Article Name
La Jolla Concours 2024
This is billed as "the road to Opulent Adventure" and that it is, going by the brands shown. The reason the La Jolla Concours is one of my favorite car shows is the location.


  1. Richard Quijano says


  2. Glenn Krasner says


    From top going down: Orange Alfa Romeo, Light Metallic Blue Bizzarrini, Red ’62 Shelby Cobra, Red Maserati, Green Lamborghini, Wallace in a Light Blue Bentley Convertible, the car on the event award looks like a Delahaye. I’ve been a car spotter since I was ten years old and now I am 60 years old. Once in a while I get one or two right.

    Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

  3. wallace wyss says

    The Maserati had some sort of alcoholic drunk on display in the trunk with glasses i didn’t; want to show them for fear of encouraging drinking and drivin

  4. John Shea says

    Who plastered those hideous looking appendages on the Lambo ?

  5. WALLACE WYSS says

    That’s not a one person custom Lambo–that’s a factory model you can order. The idea was to make that performance available off road. Maybe not so sensible here but there’s a helluva sand in Saudi Arabia

  6. Glenn Krasner says

    Here is more on the Lamborghini Hurrican Sterrato:

    “Blasting through the desert in Lamborghini’s new off-road supercar

    By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business
    Updated 8:49 PM EDT, Sun May 21, 2023

    See what happens when you go off-roading in a $270k Lamborghini

    The low-slung car shook as I sped down a gravel-strewn rutted trail through the California desert, the vicious sound of its 10-cylinder engine, just behind my head, blasting in my ears. I was driving a $380,000 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, and I couldn’t help laughing out loud.

    I reached 40 miles an hour at most but, on a road like this, in a place like this, 40 felt like racing. I dodged tufts of vegetation reaching out from the sides of a trail usually traversed by pickup trucks. Lamborghini also makes an SUV, the Urus, in which all of this might have felt almost normal. This was absolutely not normal. Some of the larger bushes I passed were taller than the roof of the wedge-shaped car.

    The Sterrato is about 1.75 inches higher off the ground than a typical Huracán supercar and about 1.3 inches wider with its big fender flares. (It’s slightly wider at the rear than at the wheels.) The underside of the car’s pointy nose is protected with aluminum shielding.

    With all the dirt and sand its wheels kick up, the Huracán Sterrato – the name means “dirt road” – has an air intake up on top of the roof to bring clean air to the engine. Lamborghini worked with Bridgestone to create tires using rubber similar to that on Lamborghini’s other performance tires, but with an off-road tread.

    Besides the engine, the loudest sound was gravel rattling continuously off the Lamborghini’s underside. Yes, I’ve driven expensive supercars on gravel roads a few times before, usually to get a car into position for a photo or video shot. But it’s always been a slow-going cringe-inducing operation, crawling along at single-digit speeds for fear a tiny stone kicked up by a tire might scratch the paint.

    Not this time. Lamborghini had told me to take this lizard-green Huracán Sterrato anywhere I liked. So I did. And that led to me bombing down this rocky desert road, throwing up a thick cloud of white dust behind me without worrying, in the least, about damaging the car’s iridescent paint job.

    It was the most fun I’d had in years.

    I’d already driven this same car on on the track at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway about 15 miles away. There, I’d hit triple digit speeds on the twisting asphalt as I took the car through a snaking dirt course, sliding sideways through curves as the tires sprayed dark brown soil high in the air.

    It just happened to be 60 years, almost to the day, since tractor-maker Ferruccio Lamborghini founded his own car company, hoping to show Ferrari how cars ought to be built. And here I was, listening for rattlesnakes while looking at a car unlike any his company had made before. But at the same time, it was the most Lamborghini thing I could ever imagine.

    The idea for it emerged while Lamborghini engineers and designers were having beers after a day driving off-road in a prototype of the Urus SUV. That was a lot of fun, they thought, but wouldn’t driving one of our all-wheel-drive supercars off-road be even better?

    So the engineers took an old Huracán and made a prototype, mostly just for kicks. But it was such a blast Lamborghini executives ultimately decided they just had to put it into production for those who could afford its $273,000 starting price. (The car I was driving had had nearly $110,000 in options, half of that cost body paint.)

    There are already orders in place for all 1,499 Huracan Sterratos Lamborghini will build, but if someone backs out – I mean, I wouldn’t, but it happens – you could still have a shot.

    It’s the sort of thing other car brands might have scoffed at as not fitting the proper image. Thankfully, Lamborghini realizes that, ultimately, it should always be about having fun. And few things bring a smile like throwing around dirt with a supercar.

    This Sterrato is out around the same time as Porsche’s 911 Dakar, a similarly lifted sports car. Even though both brands are affiliated with the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini insists this is a coincidence. Both are also at the extreme end of automakers of all sorts coming out with off-road everything, from Subaru’s knobby-tired Wilderness models to Honda’s Trailsport SUVs. For some reason, it seems, in the last few years, everyone decided they need to escape civilization.

    As I drove the Sterrato through ochre-colored canyons, it occurred to me that if Wile E. Coyote really wanted to catch the Roadrunner, he should stop investing in useless Acme products and buy this. Perfect for the job, really. Fast, agile, goes just about wherever.

    On asphalt, the Sterrarto drives nicely, smooth and quiet – except for that V10 engine sound, of course – and fast. The Sterrato has three driving modes selected by a stubby paddle on the steering wheel. Strada (Street) for normal driving, Sport and Rally, which adjusts the all-wheel-drive system for off-road use.

    There’s no Corsa mode, the hyper-aggressive track mode other Lamborghini supercars have, because this car isn’t about that. The trade-off seems fine to me. I’ll take a little less track performance so I can blast down a dusty trail. Besides, the people who buy this car will, no doubt, have other Lamborghinis in the garage so, really, they’re giving up nothing.

    Even those of us who can’t afford one should perhaps be glad the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato exists. In an industry where every decision is pored over by accountants and brand image consultants, it’s a joy to have something that exists for no other reason than, really, just because it’s a blast.”

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