My Car Quest

June 12, 2024

Event Report: Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills – June 16, 2019

by Wallace Wyss –

Photographs by Richard Bartholomew –

I have to say that any tourist who lands in Beverly Hills for the first time, the father’s day car show is what you expect to see in Beverly Hills every day except it’s multiplied by 10.

Aston Martin

There are for instance, custom cars that outdo the wretched excesses of George Barris, plus whimsical hot rods that look like something out of Mad Max (complete with machine guns), and antique cars that look like they raced at LeMans in the 1920s.

Rat Rod Jet Car

There are a few “Commercial” sponsors like Ferrari at one end, with just two cars (an old Dino 246 and a new spyder, could be Portofino), and a grab-bag at the other end with McLaren, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and Bentley. I was shocked the Bentley sedan had no chrome, which to me is un-Bentley-like. Like going to a fine restaurant and they want you to eat with plastic spoons.

Part of what makes this show so much fun is the lush ambiance, seeing as how you are surrounded by the fanciest stores probably in the US. Like Bijan (you can’t just walk in, I think they check out your annual income before they key the entrance buzzer), and of course Ralph Lauren’s Polo store. So you can check out the fashions in the windows if money is no object in buying that leather jacket.

Rodeo Drive

And there are various coffee shops on the adjacent streets including the famous Nate & Als, so it is a handy place to walk around. Parking is free until noon on Sunday.

Back to the show. One of the cars that amazed me in its craftsmanship was a 1960-ish looking Cadillac wagon, in pink. The metal turning was as good as anything Pininfarina ever made. Then there was a dark maroon Caddy with a row of toggle switches that ran between the bucket seats front to back, all 30 or 40 switches unlabeled.

Custom Cadillac

Then there was an exotic electric hypercar called a Rimac, I think, that’s a brand that is up and coming, and was going to be joined to GM until some fly was found in the pudding.

As far as ‘50s cars, there was a host of convertibles, some of which I haven’t seen since the Fifties. But some of them when you got close you notice things like 22 inch wheels and other clues that say “this is only a ’55 Pontiac on the outside” because of things like a new 7-liter engine, independent rear suspension and on and on. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these owners had more invested in their “restomods” than a new Ferrari cost.

Ferrari at Rodeo Drive

The organizers park some “centerpiece” cars in the center, on one intersection on Rodeo Drive and as we were walking away and I looked back I saw what makes this show so unusual—it’s the “we take anything that’s mind blowing” attitude. On my left was the chopped top Caddy wagon, in the center was a prototype powered by Ferrari by former Pininfarina designer Key Okuyama (designed the Enzo) and on the right was a 1920s Rolls that had to be hand pushed around (a no-no at Pebble Beach where a car has to be able to start on command of the judges).

This show rolls out the red carpet for replicas, something I already knew but still, it was a shock to me, the former owner of some Mercedes 300SL Gullwings, to see a replica. It was easy to see it was a replica because it had the wrong stance. But the craftsmanship was good. Kind of like you are in love with Marilyn Monroe and then you see her walking down the street though you know she’s buried in a graveyard in West Hollywood.

But most of the cars were real, though there were five Shelby-related ones from Superformance, which makes Cobra and GT40 replicas which look very very real. It’s no accident this one company is doing so well, because they take extra pains to make cars that look authentic.

Wallace Wyss and Bugatti

Wallace Wyss and a Bugatti

One indication of a new but minuscule trend in hot rodding was at least two hot rods built by Rick Dore, maybe both for James Hetfield a musician. They both look like prewar classics, and the silver one has bodywork which I think that, if you could transport it back to the prewar period by time machine, would give Figoni et Falashi (French coachbuilders) something to worry about. It is gratifying to know that such design talent and fabricating talent exists today but at the same time sad that not many customers have the taste to order something “streamline moderne” like that.

All in all, this is a good show because first of all it’s free to spectators and you see over-the-top cars that you would have to search long and hard for.

See the list of winners below.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: While reporting the event Wallace Wyss reports he looked long and hard for a producer to talk up his novel Ferrari Hunters to. But, alas, Wyss says he couldn’t tell the producers from those who dressed like producers.


THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Bartholomew is an artist and photographer based in Southern California. He is open to interesting consignments and can be reached at

More photos are in the slide show below.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance – 26th Annual Concours d’Elegance Prize Winners:

Best of Show

1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Aaron and Valerie Weiss

Mayor’s Award – Most Elegant

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe Recreation

Dr. Perry Mansfield

Chairman’s Award

1953 Maserati A6GCS Spider by Frua & 1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Coupe by Frua

Jonathan Segal

Icon Award – Timeless Classic

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4

Tomy Drissi

Rodeo Drive Award – Most Stylish

1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Jerry Logan

Police Chiefs Award – Life in the Fast Lane

2018 Kode57

Ken Okuyama

Rodeo Drive Award – Most Unique

1956 Bentley Blue Train Recreation

Phillip Sarofim

Rodeo Drive Award – Most Fashionable

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

Mark Haddawy

Carroll Shelby Award – Most Sporting

1953 Kurtis 500s Roadster

Tom Malloy

Steve McQueen Award – Classic Sports Car

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe

David Duthu

Most Outrageous

1966 Volkswagen Baja Beetle “Wasteland”

Raul Contreras

Most Passionate Enthusiast

Doug Weitman

John D’Agostiino Crystal Award

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Jordan Quintal

Event Report: Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance in Beverly Hills - June 16, 2019
Article Name
Event Report: Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance in Beverly Hills - June 16, 2019
Over-the-top cars at the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance in Beverly Hills on Father's Day.


  1. Carl Madson says

    The silver car by Rick Dore is Aquarius, indeed for James Hetfield of Metallica. It is incredibly well formed and constructed in the French 1930s style, and lovely. Rick admitted to Jay Leno that of all the custom cars he has built, Aquarius is the one he wished he could have kept for himself.

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