My Car Quest

May 28, 2024

Beverly Hills Father’s Day Car Show

Text and photos by Wallace Wyss –

If you are used to full blown concours like Pebble Beach, then the Beverly Hills Father’s Day show held on Sunday June 18 on Father’s Day in Beverly Hills, the Rodeo Drive® Concours d’Elegance, is more of relaxed play. All kinds of cars were entered–from a Corvette with a huge Eldorado body to a Fiat 8V that had bodywork worthy of Ferrari.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Bodywork on ’52 Fiat was as good as Ferrari. The 8V was called that because Fiat thought American firms had copyrighted V8

There were the occasional genuine pre-war classics–a Duesenberg and a pre-war Bugatti to name two, but those were far outnumbered by ’50s classics like the immortal ’57 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. There was even a huge Ahrens fire truck.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Once one tail fin was enough–a pre war Bugatti with its second body…from the Petersen Automotive Museum

As a sign of the times, at least two all EV automakers were there–‘lectrics like Fisker and Lucid–but I guess Tesla eschews such displays. There were few of what were once outlawed imports, some of which snuck in as gray market cars, such as a mid engined Renault 5 Turbo.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Renault 5 Turbo

One fascinating one for me was a ’65 Mustang convertible with a hard boot for the folded top, a boot that extended to the front seats, like a ’63 Thunderbird Sports Roadster, the best fitting an aftermarket boot and rear seat cover I’ve ever seen–anybody know the maker?

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Custom ’65 Ford Mustang

Of the low rider contingent, one that impressed me with its seemingly-forever length was a Pontiac convertible from the ’60s or 70s. It’s hard to believe cars were ever that long. The owner added some gauges which made the dash look oh-so-technical. One of the cars with beaucoup workmanship was a VW microbus with wide flares but the owner said it still had a VW air cooled engine, so I don’t know if it had enough power to actually move those super wide tires.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Pontiac…when long was everything…

Several cars had a real back story behind them–one was a ’52 Ferrari from the Petersen Museum. They didn’t explain it but I know this one off was given by Enzo Ferrari to Henry Ford II, and it may have moved Ford into doing the Thunderbird. You wonder what was Enzo’s motive? Maybe he thought Ford could make some particularly expensive part for him? Of course we know roughly ten years later they were getting ready to beat each other at LeMans and sworn enemies.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Ghia built show car, close cousin to the XNR

There was an ex-Chrysler show car, one of a series of one-off designed by Virgil Exner. This one had an asymmetrical body and in fact that was it’s name–Asymetrica. Usually those ex-factory dream cars weren’t sold in the US so this one has to be a barn find from another country.

It was a real Father’s Day event–I saw several extended families–granpop, granma, daughter, grand-kids, even the family dog. In fact there was a booth selling carts for dogs, each cart with the theme of a collector car. Alas, for small dogs only…

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Only in Beverly Hills could dogs be so spoiled they get their own car

Since this town is the center of Hollywood film making, I was hoping to see some starlet itching to be discovered (like Lana Turner on the Schwab’s soda fountain stool) but I was there too early looking for the early morning light to see the parade of beauties (maybe who don’t get up that early). I left too early, at 10 am and missed the uncovering of the newest Aston Martin, the DB12.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

This yellow Phantom drophead is left over from Bijan…a clothier who really liked bright colors.

In former years part of the fun of being on one of America’s most expensive shopping venues was in seeing the mind-boggling price tags– is that-jacket-really $1600?. But I didn’t see any price tags–even Rodeo Drive has smash-and-grab robbers.

The weather was mid-’70s–but instead of the usual sun we had what we call “June Gloom” which lasts to at least noon. But to get a picture of a car without a rope around it you have to be up and here by 8 am.

In sum this is a show worth going to, not for seeing cars vetted by learned judges to be original down to the last nut and bolt, but cars that are just plain fun…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

The Dude abides – our author

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car histories. As a fine artist, he is presently doing oil portraits of classic cars on commission. He can be reached at malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 

Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show

Inexplicably there’s an alley off Rodeo Drive that looks like Paris….

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Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show
Article Name
Beverly Hills Father's Day Car Show
Description
The Rodeo Drive® Concours d’Elegance is worth going to, not for seeing cars vetted by learned judges to be original down to the last nut and bolt, but cars that are just plain fun...
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Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite events, the last time I was there I saw George Barris enjoying the show. Because of its location (Beverly Hills) it attracts many Hollywood types and some car people who made cars for TV and movies.

  2. Bruce Meyer says

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for the nice article by Wallace Wyss…but he was there before the show began…
    Had he stayed, he’d have seen how successful it was and been able to hang with Jay Leno…big smile!
    Never lift…
    Bruce

  3. Buddy Pepp says

    Hello Michael
    The Father’s Day car show on Rodeo Drive was fantastic. The “Best of Show” was, in my opinion, the smiles on the faces of the estimated 44,000 attendees. At every turn there were multiple generations enjoying the flawlessly executed show. Father’s Day on Rodeo is my favorite day of the year.
    Buddy

  4. Buddy and Bruce,

    Thank you both – it is always great to hear from you – two former chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum. And Bruce being the founder of this Rodeo Drive classic Concours. As I mentioned above this is one of my all time favorite car shows.

  5. Glenn Scott Krasner says

    You don’t necessarily have to go to a Father’s Day Car Show on Rodeo Drive to see awesome cars. I was site-seeing there last September with my girlfriend, and snapped this picture of the blue Aston Martin with a Rolls Royce behind it, and a Ferrari driving by!!! Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

  6. wallace wyss says

    I go early because, besides being a journalist, I like to shoot pictures as inspirations for my art .The putting of ropes around the car severely cripples any view of the car. i suggest ropes go up at 9 am at the earliest As far as the crowd shot shown that kind of shot is not of interest to me–did Ansel Adams shoot crowds at Yosemite? And he told me in person he liked to “paint with light.” I am still trying to reach his goal.

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