It’s a “day for dads” on the most expensive slab of real estate on the planet, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. About 100 of the finest classics, American European, exotic sports cars and new automobiles were on an impressive museum quality display of rolling automotive art with the opulent five star Beverly Hills Wilshire luxury hotel as a backdrop (built in 1908 and the location for the 1990 Richard Gere and Julia Roberts film Pretty Woman).
After 27 years, the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is in full swing again after the bout with COVID last year. Today the event that was once called “One of the 300 Unmissible Events in the World” by Frommer Travel Guide is on schedule. The show is a great opportunity for community members to stroll the posh street with family & friends, and have a bite to eat, enjoy the festival like atmosphere and shop all day, if your credit card can handle it.
This is the only day of the year Rodeo Drive is closed to traffic from Wilshire to Santa Monica Boulevard with a hand-selected array of stupendous classics ranging from Rolls-Royce (featured marque) to a 1973 Olds “Rooster Car” and everything in between. The line-up consisted of the 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire truck (that started it all), Alfa Romeo, Auburn, Bentley, Bugatti, Cadillac, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ford, Packard, Porsche, Jaguar, Pontiac, Meyers Max and many more.
Last year the stationary concours was cancelled but a moving car rally was organized starting from the Petersen Museum to Rodeo Drive. But this year a combined format with a full-fledged concours-style show that was preceded by a moving car rally from Beverly Hills City Hall to Rodeo Drive that escorted by the Beverly Hills police, all for free!
Founder and chairman Bruce Meyer said, “It will rival some of the world’s best concours events with cars moving through the streets of Beverly Hills while spectators along the route cheer them on. As interest has grown over the last quarter century, owners of world-class classic and sports cars have specifically chosen our concours to display their prized vehicles.”
Rodeo Drive, in zip code 90210, was decorated with a rainbow of steel vintage automotive machinery that is the largest single-day concours in North America. It attracts thousands of families and friends to spend a relaxing Father’s Day under the warm California sun. Each year the event presents a different featured theme or marque that give an added interest to seasoned car enthusiasts, as well as families that just want to stroll the drive and enjoy the cars or pick up a little bauble at Gucci. Many of the cars are not seen by the general public, so it’s a special treat to see the cars and talk to the collectors.
It is said that “only Coca-Cola was a more widely known brand than Rolls-Royce.” Standing center stage at “ground zero” at Brighton Way, near the awards podium, sat the one-off ultimate form of self expression for the rich and famous,” the 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Aerodynamic Jonckheer Coup (Round Door Rolls), presented by the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.
In 1936 the Round Door Rolls received the Prix d’Honneur at the Cannes Concours d’Elegance. When Petersen acquired the car in 2001 and decided to paint it black to accentuate the flowing curves and went ahead to win the Peoples Choice Award at Meadowbrook and Best of Show European at Keels and Wheels in Houston in 2016.
Beautiful and statuesque Rolls-Royces were scattered along Rodeo including a 1925 Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster, a 1960 Silver Cloud ll Convertible, a 1963 Silver Cloud III, a yellow 2014 Bijan Limited Edition Drop head Coupe, a 1959 Silver Cloud, a 1986 Camargue, a 1962 Silver Cloud Drophead and the Icon Award:Timless Classic Award winner, a massive, stunning 1924 Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer proudly presented by Richard Plavetich. I approached Richard and he tells us that this is the first time showing the car. “I drove the car up from Laguna Beach about 60 miles and it purred along the 405 freeway like a locomotive. It was the best car in the world in the 1920s. We do tours with other Silver Ghost owners and just enjoy meeting people, the cars and the scenery.”
Bruce Meyer expounds, “It was good to be back on Rodeo Drive and see all the smiling faces. We were able to give back to the community with $5000 checks for the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association and Beverly Hills Fire Fighters Association, thanks to our many event sponsors.”
Best of Show – 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT owned by Ken & Dale Roth
Mayor’s Award: Most Elegant – 1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato owned by David Sydorick
Chairman’s Award – Porsche RSK Spyder owned by Matt Katz
Icon Award: Timeless Classic – 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer owned by Rich Plavetich
Rodeo Drive Award: Most Stylish – 1936 Packard “Mulholland Speedster” owned by Bruce Wanta
Police Chief’s Award/Life in the Fast Lane – 1957 Ferrari 500TRC owned by Andrew Labia
Rodeo Drive Award: Most Unique – 1932 Ford Gaunt Coupe owned by Troy Ladd
Rodeo Drive Award: Most Fashionable – 2020 Bugatti Chiron Hermes Edition owned by Manny Koshbin
Carroll Shelby Award: Most Sporting – 1964 Porsche 904 owned by Todd Blue
Steve McQueen Award: Classic Sports Car – 1967 Meyers Manx owned by Phillip Sarofim
Most Outrageous – 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible owned by Maurice Moore
Most Passionate Enthusiast – Kip Cyprus