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DIMES AND WHIPS

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 Wed, Jul 12, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

DIMES AND WHIPS

By JOHN GRAFMAN

Pre-parties are a sign as to just how much clout an event carries. The Academy Awards have too many to count. The BET (Black Entertainment Television) awards might be lesser viewed, but if the number of pre-parties are any indication of things to come, the members of the Academy of Arts and Science might need to look over their shoulders.

The Dimes and Whips party is just one of the many parties scheduled. Judging by the percentage of media in attendance, you would think this is the award ceremony. Actually, Dimes and Whips is two parties in one night.

© photo by Bryan Beasley Photography The first unfolds at the sprawling Beverly Hills dealership of O'Gara Coach where guests arrive sporadically to immerse in a warm summer night. Scattered about the grounds are some exquisite rides.

Not only does Rolls Royce build a fine driving automobile, they also make fantastic conversation starters. As there are several beautiful variations available dotting the courtyard, there is plenty to talk about. The spacious outdoor grounds provide suitable resting spots for a couple of Phantoms. On the other hand, two of the vehicles residing on the marble floor inside the low-slung ceiling showroom give the impression that these are even larger than their massive dimensions allude to.

© photo by Bryan Beasley Photography

While typically alcohol and cars don't mix well, this might be the exception to the rule. Hpnotiq brand, a co-host to the affair, have an impressive display and the numerous bars set up throughout insuring no one will go thirsty on this typically hot night. Also available is copious cans of the all so popular Red Bull, just to make sure the guests have as much energy as the cars on hand. So what could make this any more scrumptious? The bevy of female bartenders not only make mean cocktails, they are as good on the eyes as they are on whetting the palette.

Inside one of the showrooms at O'Gara houses two incredible cars. The DB9 from Aston Martin is a blend of English craftsmanship and heritage along with modern tech. The Spyker is similarly a vehicle of heritage. Being reborn recently, the Spyker is both a real threat on the racetrack and a uniquely styled vehicle that captures the imagination.

Stepping outside the showroom, a bit of the old world adds a special air to the night. In this mass produced world, cigar rolling is a scaled down and portable show of wealth and taste. While it might be difficult to bring an exotic car everywhere, it is a tad easier to tote a hand rolled cigar, just be mindful of lighting up. Three generations of the Mursuli family have been rolling cigars from 1936. It might be impractical as well to show us how some of the cars on display are built, however the Mursulis have no trouble demonstrating how to hand craft perfection in cigars.

Zee James - Actress

Attending the late afternoon affair is a number of celebrities, ranging from Zee James who can be seen on Everybody Hates Chris with Chris Rock as well as on HBO's Entourage, and even Jennifer Hudson from American Idol .

Jennifer Hudson © photo by Bryan Beasley Photography

Zee might have been one of the last to attend at O'Gara Coach Company, but she along with Melissa Jo Hunter, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Gloria Kisel are some of the first on hand at the second phase of Dimes and Whips held at the new Aphrodisiac restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. Just a hop, skip and a jump from the first location, this soiree offers the clubby atmosphere that a dealership just doesn't offer.

Andrea Lewis - Actress/ Singer

The dim lighting sets the mood for the night at the cool restaurant-bar. The layout provides various rooms with their own dynamics. Notwithstanding the amazing cars that pull into the valet, this party (unfortunately) doesn't incorporate the incredible whips like the affair earlier in the afternoon. On the other hand, even on this school night, the stars are out late.

Michelle Lombardo - Model/Actress

Gracing the red carpet is actress and singer Andrea Lewis, who has garnered her fair share of attention in her home country of Canada, and Sports Illustrated model Michelle Lombardo, who recently starred in Adam Sandler's new movie Click . Pretty much wherever we turn, there is somebody we either know or should know.

One by one, they all filter in. A quick scan of the valet reveals that there are a number of outstanding wheels on hand complementing the evening. As I pause just long enough to enjoy the Ferrari 360 that pulls into the drive, and the art of parking provided as only The Valet of the Dolls can, I reaffirm one unmistakable conclusion in Los Angeles. It's not when you arrive, but how!

More photos from Brian Beasley can be found at www.bryanbeasley.com

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