2023 California Concours d’Lemons – Photos & Winners

For the 14th time the Concours d’Lemons rumbled into Monterey Auto Week, leaking oil and spreading smiles on the lawn of Seaside City Hall on Aug. 19, 2023. Hoopties of every description thrilled a record crowd of crap car connoisseurs as bribery prone celebrity judges awarded thrift store sources trophies.

The judges loved the heartwarming story of 84 year old Joan McVay who bought her 1968 Saab 96 new off the showroom floor, promptly welded a trailer hitch on and hooked up a tent trailer to take Joan’s family camping all over North America. Joan retired her faithful Saab from daily duty just last year when she sold it to her friend, Monica Bianchi. Monica who brought both the Saab and Joan to the Concours d’Lemons and they took home a well-deserved “Swedish Meatballs” class win.

Two teens took home trophies in the millennial targeted “Participation” and a hastily conceived “Special Mention” categories for restoring and daily driving their classics while still in high school. Judah Mapples received an “A” grade from his high school shop teacher and the “Special Mention” nod  for restoring his 1973 Pontiac LeMans. Logan Chapparelli restored his 1971 Saab 96 before his 17th birthday to serve as his daily driver to school. That dedication to the arcane won him a “Participation” trophy and the admiration of all in attendance.

It isn’t easy to win the coveted “Worst of Show” award at the Concours d’Lemons, but it wasn’t hard to see why Stephen McCarthy and his 1969 Citroen DS21 Safari Wagon took “top” honors. The French oddity was painted a shocking shade of yellow, festooned with stickers, Beatles figurines and a homemade periscope resembling the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” cartoon. Stephen and his wife wore Sgt. Pepper’s costumes and offered French themed snacks as bribes to the celebrity judges while Beatles tunes wafted from the speakers in the car . To top it off they arrived at the Concours d’Lemons as part of 2000 mile road trip up and down the length of the west coast of the United States. For putting in all that hard work to have a good time, they easily won the hearts of the judges and took home “Worst of Show” honors.

The Concours d’Lemons is inexplicably sponsored by these otherwise respectable companies:
Griot’s Garage
Classic Motorsports Magazine


Worst of Show
Stephen McCarthy – Monrovia, CA – 1969 Citroën DS21 Safari Wagon Yellow Submarine


Rust Belt America Junk – Ford
Mario Donofrio – Ceres, CA – 1982 Mercury LN7


Rust Belt America Junk – GM
WJ Wetle – Newcastle, CA – 1993 Geo Metro Convertible

Rust Belt America Junk – Mopar
Jeffery Stillwell – Salinas, CA – 2004 PT Cruiser Dream Edition

Rust Belt America Junk – Other
Thomas Kinder – Dayton, NV  – 1989 Eagle Premier ES


Soul Sucking Japanese Appliance
Dereck Bryce Young – San Francisco, CA – 2014 Nissan Leaf DIY Hybrid


Fred Hayes – Vallejo, CA – 1960 VW Shorty Bus

Rueful Britannia
Jim & Pam Cain – Pacific Grove, CA – 1959 Triumph TR3


Unmitigated Gaul
Shannon Hughes – Carmel, CA – 1968 Citroën DS21


Needlessly Complex Italian
Eric Lynn – Phoenix, AZ – 1958 Lancia Appia


Swedish Meatballs
Monica Bianchi – Palm Springs, CA – 1968 Saab 96 Deluxe


Logan Chapparelli – Campbell, CA – 1971 Saab 96


Special Mention
Judah Mapples – Palo Alto, CA – 1973 Pontiac LeMans

Slightly Better Than a Go-Kart

Ken Mitchell  – Sebastapol, CA – 1953 Sharp’s Bear Cub


Best Back Seat
Andreas Wietzke – Frankfurt, Germany – 1971 Brubaker Box

Driving on a Prayer
Ron Hurich – Stockton, CA –  1960 Messerschmidt KR200

Sight for Sour Eyes
Chirs Overzet – Brentwood, CA – 1975 Lincoln Buttercup