Photos by Howard Koby
Each Father’s Day, perhaps the most expensive slab of real estate on the planet — zip code 90210 — closes to all traffic from Santa Monica to Wilshire Boulevard for the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.
More than 100 collector automobiles line the world-renowned street with an impressive display of American and European classics, exotic sports cars, muscle cars, and this year even a rare 1914 Indian Big Twin motorcycle.
Rodeo Drive is a glossy collection of designer boutiques, bistros and high-profile jewelers catering to movie stars, kings and queens, and rock stars so to organize an automotive exhibit of precious classic cars valued in the millions seems quite appropriate.
The opulent Beverly Wilshire Hotel (built in 1928 and the setting for the 1990 Richard Gere and Julia Roberts film Pretty Woman) served as a classic backdrop for:
the original and restored car formerly owned by Fred Astaire — a 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom I Town Car by Hooper and presented by the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles,
a stunning 1932 Packard 903 Sport Phaeton (inline-eight) once owned by movie legend Jean Harlow and displayed by Clifford and Joyce Gooding,
the car in which actor and cowboy Tom Mix died — a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton that had a metal cup to hold the heel of his cowboy boot riveted to the accelerator pedal, presented by Bob, Pat and Chris White,
the “Howard Hughes” 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster exhibited by Greg Gill.
This 2014 edition of the concours marked the City of Beverly Hills Centennial featuring Maserati as the “honored marque” and was opened with an appearance by the famed ad original horse-drawn Wells Fargo Wagon, as well as vehicles featured in An American in Paris, The Beverly Hillbillies, and HBO’s Entourage.
The concours also paid tribute to the Beverly Hills Speedway (where the Beverly Wilshire Hotel now stands), a 1.25-mile track for auto racing where racing legends Barney Oldfield and Indy 500 winner Gaston Chevrolet once raced.
In the 100 years of the city, the iconic street has experienced everything horses galloping the original Rodeo Drive bridle path to the high-horsepower super cars of today.
California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby, was honored with a special best of show award with trainers Alan Sherman and William Delgado accepting as the steed could not attend because of an injury.
“This will be the most highly curated show in the Rodeo Drive Concours’ 21-year history with spectacular examples of cars that have graced the winding tree-lined street of Beverly Hills over the past century,” said concours chairman Bruce Meyer.
Fromer’s Travel Guide proclaimed the Rodeo Concours, “One of the 300 unmissable events in the world.”
The best of show award was presented to the 1930 Rolls-Royce P11 Brewster Town Car “Constance Benneett” presented by The Nethercutt Collection.
“Mustangs” photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision