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PARK THEM AND THEY WILL COME

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, Jul 20, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

THE 2006 RODEO DRIVE CONCOURS D' ELEGANCE By Reed Berry

Each year on Father's Day, world famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is lined with fabulous cars for a free event that draws tens of thousands of car lovers. For 2006, 140 vehicles with a combined value of more than $75 million are on display. Sports cars, specialty cars and even cars that were once owned by movie stars are part of this exclusive collection.

This event, formerly known on Concours on Rodeo has been renamed The Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance. As I look down Rodeo Drive, I'm beginning to think they should have called it Ferrari Fest or Ferrar-A-Palooza, as the majority of the vehicles parked for public viewing are Ferraris. The fact that the event is co-presented by the Southwest Region of the Ferrari Club of America could have something to do with that.

Don't get me wrong - I like Ferraris just as much as the next guy who can't afford one, but after being here just a short time, I'm already experiencing Ferrari overload. I must admit, they do have an outstanding selection ranging from a sharp looking 1956 alloy-bodied Boano to a sporty little 1959 Ferrari Tour de France. There's even a 60's era Ferrari 275 GTB/4 owned by legendary Los Angeles TV news anchor Paul Moyer.

Ferrari has been producing race cars and other high-end sports cars since the company was founded in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari. And yes, there is a Ferrari named in honor of the late founder, the Ferrari Enzo. With a 660 hp V-12 engine and the ability to accelerate from zero to sixty in under four seconds, I think Mr. Ferrari would be quite proud of the Enzo. Only 400 of the cars were produced, so if you're lucky enough to find an owner willing to sell their's, plan on writing a check for over $1 million dollars.

As I make my way down Rodeo Drive, I am considering doing a little shopping at some of the fabulous stores such as Tiffany, Cartier and Bijan. Not that I really need a $50 pair of men's socks or a wrist watch for ten thousand bucks, but it is a very warm day and the air conditioning inside would feel great right about now.

Another little oasis along Rodeo Drive is a colorful Starbucks Coffee RV from which free samples of ice cold Frappuccino beverages are being distributed. It would appear from the number of people in line that the free samples are almost as popular as the cars on display. After four trips through the sample line, it's time for me to move on. No, the Starbuck's manager didn't ask me to leave, I just want to see what the non-Ferrari section has to offer.

Other cars catching my attention include a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom Aerodynamic Coupe from the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, a 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan from the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar and a 1956 Mercedes-Benz originally owned by film star Clark Gable. And, despite the fact that it seems a little out of place on this street of fabulous cars, there's even a big truck that barely shows it's age thanks to a three-year restoration...a 1967 White 3200 TD. White originally made sewing machines in the late 1800s and went into vehicle production in the early 1900s.

I've attended this show several times, and while it seems that there are fewer cars on display than in previous years, attendance is impressive and everyone seems to be having a great time looking at this colorful assortment of eye-catching vehicles. Although each car is surrounded by plastic stands holding nylon rope to prevent spectators from getting too close, it seems as though many of the vehicle owners are more than happy to let people cross the "security" line to get a closer look.

Southern California hosts many other classic car shows throughout the year, including the Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance (which is actually held in Rolling Hills, not far from Palos Verdes) and the Malibu Concours by the Sea. Personally, I am attracted to any car show with an ocean view. But I have to admit, despite the fact that I haven't run into any celebrities today in Beverly Hills, the combination of fabulous cars and the elegant shops of Rodeo Drive results in an event with broad appeal.

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