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HomeNews and EventsAn Estimated 50,000 Car Fans and Spectators Flock to Rodeo Drive on...

An Estimated 50,000 Car Fans and Spectators Flock to Rodeo Drive on Father’s Day

The 2022 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance was a classic car dream

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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).

Rodeo Drive Concours
Rodeo Drive Concours – Kahn photo

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.”

Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce – Howard Koby photo

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.

1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato
Mayor’s Award-Most Elegant-1956 Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato-David Sydorick-Howard Koby photo

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.”

Award winners

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   

Howard Koby
Howard Koby
Howard graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design in California. He has been a photographer and automotive journalist for 35 years out of his Los Angeles studio. He has been published in Hot Rod, AutoWeek, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Jaguar Journal, Forza, Vintage Motorsport, Classic Motorsports, Robb Report, Motor Trend Classic, Hemmings Muscle Machines, and 50 Years of Road & Track (MBI Publishing). He has served on the Advisory Committee of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design. He is the author of the books Top Fuel Dragsters of the 1970s and Pro Stock Dragsters of the 1970s, both available on amazon.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I make it a point to see this show every year, for more than a decade. I have over a hundred photos and videos from this year’s concours – fewer than usual because there were a lot more people attending (blocking each shot) and fewer cars. However, the video I shot at the beginning of the concours, of the parade of cars from Wilshire Blvd turning onto Rodeo Drive is simply amazing!

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