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06/19/05 CARS WITH CLASS

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 Fri, Jul 1, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

CARS WITH CLASS

By Contributing Editor Reed Berry and Scott Reynolds

When you hear someone mention Beverly Hills, you may think of celebrities, fabulous boutiques and expensive cars. Combine all three and you have the 8 th annual Concours on Rodeo. Rodeo Drive is closed and carpeted between Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards to feature some of the world's most unique and valuable vehicles, many of which are being seen by the public for the very first time. From vintage sports cars to celebrity-owned vehicles and coach-built classics, these elegant autos enhance the ambiance of Rodeo Drive.

This year's theme for the Concours on Rodeo is "The Glitz on Rodeo" which highlights not only the fabulous vehicles, but also the trendy shops on this world famous street. On Rodeo Drive, you'll see such stores as Armani and Gucci, as well the single most expensive store in the world, Bijan. There's even a Hermes store on Rodeo Drive.

But at the Concours on Rodeo, the cars are the stars. One of the highlights at this year's Concours is Herbie, a fully customized street racer from the new movie "Herbie: Fully Loaded." This car was driven by Lindsay Lohan and was used to film many of the street racing scenes for the movie. And do you remember the name of the first movie featuring a spirited Volkswagen named Herbie? It was "The Love Bug," and it was released in 1968.

Hey, is this vehicle coming or going? I'm sure it was stylish in its time, and the strange shape makes it an attention-getter today. It's a 1936 Stout-Scarab Rear Engine. It has a water-cooled V8 engine. What a cool design when you think about it...engine in the rear, a body designed for smooth airflow, and a wider body interior as a result of eliminating running boards.

Who needs four wheels when you can get by on three? At least (I guess) that was the thinking behind the 1946 3-Wheel Morgan. Known as the Trike, there are enough of these vehicles still in existence that you can easily find clubs for 3-Wheel Morgan owners. An interesting and sporty design, but wouldn't it be a little embarrassing to go into Firestone and ask for a set of three tires?

So, which is getting more attention...the car or those pants? The car is a 1962 Amphicar 770, and posing in front of it is the car's owner, television personality George Gray and his lovely girlfriend Kenna. George is the host of ESPN's "I'd Do Anything." You may remember George as the host of "Junkyard Wars" and the syndicated game show "Weakest Link." George's Amphicar can be driven on land or water! It was designed and built in Germany, and can cruise along on water at about eight-to-ten miles per hour. When driving from land into water, you simply put the car in neutral and a dual-propeller water drive takes over. How cool is that? Yep, as cool as George's pants! - Reed Berry

It's the world's most elite three blocks for shopping. It's a street where the rich and famous play and tourists flock. It's Rodeo Drive, and on Father's Day, nearly one hundred examples of exclusive, rare, and valuable automotive masterpieces shut down this famed thoroughfare. For one day, the cars took center stage.

The 2005 Concours on Rodeo brought out an eclectic mix of modern and classic automobiles. From the new Aston Martin DB9 Volante, the company's latest convertible model, to cars dating back to the early 1900s, the show provided spectators with a sampling of all ages and shapes of automotive art.

Some other notable timeless beauties included the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Aston Martin DB5, Ford Mustang GT 500, and Jaguar E-type. Exhibitors also showed cars from makes not familiar to our shores, like Morgan, Alfa Romeo, and Cizeta Cars - owned by celebrities such as Laurence Fishburne, Chad McQueen, Nicolas Cage, Vin DiBona, and Jay Leno.

Several odd and unique modes of transportation also made appearances. For example, there were several artistic choppers, a three-wheeled car (one in the back, two in the front), and one-off custom hot rods. Fresh off the set of a new movie, Herbie the Love Bug was on the scene.

Not all of the cars on display were drivable. In fact, a tow truck backed onto Rodeo and dropped off the full-scale design model of the Aston Martin DB7 Zagato coupe.

Everything presented, rolling or not, was truly art.

Though all the cars were amazing, the most unique and exciting aspect of the show was the setting. It was such a treat to peruse Rodeo Drive and this collection of mutually exceptional automobiles. Using Rodeo as a venue allows one to be surrounded by opulence, from the cars to the juxtaposed shops such as Lacoste, Luis Vuitton, Dior, and Armani.

The 2005 Concours on Rodeo was a harmonious union between the lavish and luxurious Beverly Hills' lifestyle - Scott Reynolds

For more information on Concours on Rodeo, visit www.prosportsinc.com

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