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TOAST OF THE TOWN

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

TOAST OF THE TOWN

By JOHN GRAFMAN

The cream rises to the top, or so the saying goes. Here in Beverly Hills, this is more than a catch phrase. It's reality. Among the swanky, exclusive car dealerships in this town that cater to those of means lies O'Gara Coach Company. This is the home to Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Spyker - five of the most recognized luxury brands found in America. So how does one improve on this? Try adding another brand to the heady line-up!

Bugatti is the sixth, and beyond a shadow of doubt, the priciest of all automobiles offered. To let the world, or at least those in the Los Angeles know, O'Gara decided to throw a little soirée in honor of its newest arrival. Of course, this is Beverly Hills, so the party includes displays of everything from incredible automobiles to fractional jet aircraft ownership by Citation Shares, and responsibly served alcohol courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery, and U.S. Concepts providing several of the Diageo brands, including the well-known names of Classic Malts of Scotland, No. Ten by Tanqueray, Don Julio Tequila and Ciroc, to name just a few. Top all of this with about seven hundred or so energized attendees, and stir!

Arriving promptly on time, I am treated to a sight that even the most jaded aren't accustomed to. Typically one mentions red carpet and I think celebrities on a runway of red. This takes on a new twist as the Bugatti Veyron sits smack dab in the middle of the dealership floor. In a way, the Veyron is a celebrity. 99.9 percent of the cars on the road are nothing more than transportation - this is something very different. This is a superstar!

The Bugatti captures a lion's share of superlatives. Take your pick: The fastest street legal auto, the most expensive auto, or perhaps one of the rarest autos in production today - and arguably one of the sexiest automobiles. A party in honor of this technical achievement seems not just fitting, but obligatory.

This warm evening lays the foundation to what is a perfect night. O'Gara and the group of luxury companies in attendance create an atmosphere that allow everyone to taste the best, what it means to be on the top of the economic food chain. This feels a bit like being at a sporting event where there is no opposition, and we all are cheering for the same team. However, instead of a team of 5 or 9 athletes, our attention is captured by the 16-cylinder player of the year. Car enthusiasts abound, but the snobs are conspicuously left off the program.

Those who have a passion for road going machines are treated to aftermarket accessories by immensely respected tuner CEC Wheels, and the trend setting Strut showcasing contemporary automotive grillwork. Even some exclusive and sexy looking motorcycles by Ecosse Moto Works share the night with the O'Gara brands.

(left to right) Ehren Bragg, Jay Leno, Bradford Rand - Executive Producer of the Launch Event / RAND International

Along side the automotive marvels dotting the courtyard and dealership are some real flesh and blood celebrities. Taking their place as invited guests is car aficionado Jay Leno, actress Melissa Jo Hunter, and Playboy model extraordinaire Shauna Sand-Lamas, Telemundo show host Gloria Kisel, and model Dollys Viera. The stress-free representatives from the car companies are on hand, including Graham Biggs - Head of Communications, and Bob Austin - General Manager of Communication at Rolls Royce, Ehren Bragg - President/COO of O'Gara Coach Company/ Bugatti of Beverly Hills, as well as Claus Ettensberger from CEC. And what good star studded event doesn't have some media types as well? Hey, someone has to document this. It's not just an adventure, it's a job.

Melissa Jo Hunter - Actress/Model

A masterstroke of understanding on the part of those putting this event together is the co-branding in effect this evening. After all, if you can afford the Bugatti, using the services of an aircraft shuttle such as Lufthansa Private Jet service (the world's largest fleet) just makes good sense. Likewise, acclaimed cigars like Cohiba and Punch provided by Club Macanudo are geared to those who can afford the best, as are exclusive events featured like the upcoming Bull Run.

Surprisingly not out of place, but out of its element is a gorgeous wooden boat reminiscent of the Chris-Craft boats from decades gone by being displayed by Grand-Craft. When your cup runnuth over, merchandise like the distinctive audio system from Bang and Olufsen is on display, filling the courtyard with the perfect pairing to the clear summer like weather. Also on hand is the glimmering jewelry by Martin Katz, Ltd. vintage and contemporary jewelers, which adds the extra measure of brilliance to the air. The exquisite watches from Parmigiani are right at home as time waits for no man - or woman.

Shauna Sands Lamas - Playboy Playmate - Model Beyond those mentioned are numerous specialty companies who have products available to further stimulate our senses. The big picture demonstrated so vividly here tonight is that the Bugatti brand is more than a part of your life, but rather a total lifestyle.

Absorbing the affair for hours and soaking up the good life, I do reaffirm my understanding that being rich doesn't necessarily make you happy, but it doesn't appear to hurt either. On this night, everyone is indeed delighted. And isn't that what's important anyway? By the way, being the first on your street to be able to purchase a new Bugatti doesn't hurt either!

Find more on O'Gara Coach Company at www.ogaracoach.com

LA Car's review of the Bugatti Veyron http://www.lacar.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=625

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