My Car Quest

September 19, 2018

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance In Beverly Hills

Father’s Day Concours in Beverly Hills

Text by Wallace Wyss –

Photos by Richard Bartholomew –

So It’s father’s day in Beverly Hills and while they call it a concours I would say the rules are a little, uh, relaxed compared to most concours, more like “run what you brung,” (providing it’s accepted…)

Nonetheless there were some really splendid cars that would do themselves proud at Pebble Beach, especially the two Mercedes 300 SL Gullwings that had Rudge knock offs and flawless bodywork.

One of the most beautiful was the Fiat 8V (named that because they mistaking though the name V8 was copyrighted in America). It had stunning coachwork considering the Fiat was downmarket from Ferrari.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

Also very impressive was an early ‘50s Ferrari fastback, I think with a Vignale body. It hurts me to see some of these cars, I think in 1970 I was in a building across from a used car lot on Sunset Strip. I saw the car turn into the lot, no doubt because the owner wanted to sell it, but by the time I got down 6 floors and across the street, the Ferrari was gone. Oh, well, it had a Chevy in it anyhow. Now RM auction was showing it and expects it to go for, oh, five million or so at Monterey.

In British cars one of the most impressive was a deep maroon Rolls Royce of prewar provenance belonging to a Mr. Rice, who had a paper on the side window which was in essence a capsule history of this particular car, bodied by Gurney Nutting, and on reading it you find out the car had been ordered by an associate of Ian Fleming (think James Bond) this chap having something to do with spying on Germany before the war. So this car was in essence owned by someone who helped Turn The Tide, as it were. Makes you want to sing God Save the Queen just reading the document.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

There was also a much later postwar Jag, I think an XJ-220 mid engine car, the one they promoted with a V12 only to substitute a V6 for production, much to the anger of many of those who had ordered.

Very interesting was a Mercedes 300 coupe brought by the restorer Mike Regalia, because few people realize that before the 300SL coupe and roadster Mercedes had a luxury sports car, though it was more luxury than sports. The bumpers were interesting to me being squared off rather than rounded as on American cars of the period. There was another Mercedes 300 four door of the same era that impressed me because I wasn’t aware they made pillarless hardtops.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

The event takes place on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills one of the fanciest shopping streets in America, at least going by the price of items, say in Bijan’s window, a leather jacket might be $5,000 to $10,000.

The Ralph Lauren store is always fun to visit because it represents how Ralphie would have liked to live while he was growing up in the South Bronx as Ralph LIfschitz. Ralph went on to sell fashion that recalls a sort of Great Gatsby life style (and wouldn’t cha know, he did the clothes for the Gatsby movie starring Robert Redford).

Ferrari had a surprisingly small presence, a new Ferrari with a stunning silver 250GT Lusso parked alongside. At the other end of the street, down toward Wilshire, there were a lot of Teslas, so I have to congratulate Tesla for targeting a monied crowd with their wares even though their cars silently waft to and from with nary an engine sound.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

This show lets in custom cars, (or is that spelled Kustom?) like chopped and channeled cars and the workmanship on one Caddy was as good as any Bentley, particularly the careful blending in of the rear skirts.

One really stunning car, seen at this show before, is a prewar Hiapano which seems like an aircraft fuselage mounted on a car frame, it is that advanced for its time.

I saw one replica Auburn, too bad, I say they let in replicas. If I had to pay for the show, I’d complain, but this show is free-free-free.

There were more than a dozen American cars but one body style that’s seldom seen is the tall fin Plymouth fury, really admirable fins if that’s your thing (and maybe taller than those on the ’59 Eldorado).

I didn’t see any celebs but did talk to Mark Montalban, the son of the famous actor, Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino. Mark is a second generation car guy who was lamenting they chose a ’63 split window Vette in silver to display instead of his red one. But I told him I like the idea of having many cars the same color as it’s easier to compare styling. I forgot to tell him about my story about the Rolls that Jane Fonda used as a prop in a movie and how I wrote that the car was not desirable to me because of her Hanoi Jane days (Mark being a Vietnam vet).

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

I could report on Jay Leno’s arrival but I was out the door by ten am, being of the shoot-early-before-the ropes go up. For some reason they have cars roped off, which makes them hard to appreciate.

I think this is a great event to take fathers to on Father’s Day, while he’s looking at the cars, Mum can window shop.

It’s a fun event and not as expensive in the neighborhood to dine as you think, just get two-three blocks away from Rodeo Drive, say south of Wilshire, and prices seem almost reasonable.

More photos are in the slide shows below.

Previous Rodeo Drive Concours were covered here.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a fine artist, whose oil on canvas car portraits can be commissioned. Write Photojournalistpro2@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 

The PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Bartholomew is a photographer and artist based in Southern California. He can be reached at zeroagenow@aol.com.

 

 

Wallace Wyss & Model

Wallace Wyss says that these ladies were promoting a mechanic and he posed with one of them to show that he was tame.

Summary
Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance In Beverly Hills
Article Name
Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance In Beverly Hills
Description
The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance In Beverly Hills is held on Father's Day and a fine time was had by all.
Author

Comments

  1. Thanks for the post! marvelous pic of the Fiat 8V. Loved it! Thanks!

Speak Your Mind

*

Find us on Google+