Eye Candy: Pacific Grove Rotary concours and auto rally

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The concours as reflected in spare tire hubcap of 1947 Ford woodie wagon
Cars line the middle of Lighthouse Avenue in the historic business district of Pacific Grove, California | Larry Edsall photos

While the elite gathered around their automobiles Friday at The Quail, the Legends and the Werks, the cool kids drove into downtown Pacific Grove and parked along several blocked-off blocks of Lighthouse Avenue for what was basically a cruise-in car show.

Except, of course, the 22nd annual Pacific Grove Rotary concours and auto rally is not a cruise-in at all but a cruise-out, because after the car show, the participants and their cars leave en masse for a drive along the coastal western edge of the Monterey Peninsula, past Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill, Spanish Bay, the Point Pinos lighthouse on such scenic routes as 17 Mile, Sunset Drives and Ocean View Avenue.

How cool is this? A 1950 Ford-chassis cement mixer

The events are staged by the local Rotary Club to raise money for various youth programs, from the local youth center to high school driver training and more.

The cool kids participating in the event included:

  • Judy Burdick, who bought her 1967 Ford Mustang when she was 30 and now, 38 years later, recently eclipsed 500,000 miles on its odometer;
  • Jim and Susan Ricketson with their 1962 Ford Falcon woodie wagon and accompanying display of period artifacts (for which they’ve paid almost as much as the cost of the car, excluding the replacement of the faux-wood vinyl that was on the wagon when they bought it a few years ago);
  • and perhaps the coolest of all, Jim West, whose vehicle was a stunning orange 1950 Ford-chassis cement mixer.
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Jim West and the Graniterock mixer

West used to drive such trucks for work. Now he’s antique fleet manager for Graniterock, a building materials supplier — aggregates, asphalt, concrete, brick, rock and more — based north of Monterey in Watsonville, California.

Other vehicles in the vintage fleet are a 1924 Fordson roller, 1928 Ford Double A dump truck, 1928 McCormick-Deering road grader, 1947 Dodge fuel truck and a 1951 International G.I. truck obtained from Navy surplus but converted into a mixer.

West, who seems to have parental pride in his fleet, said Graniterock shows its vintage vehicles every chance it gets, which has been some 500 times in the last decade, and as far away from home as Las Vegas.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.