RODEO DRIVE CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE
100 Years of Horse Power
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 19, 2014
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Story and pictures by Reed Berry
Celebrating Beverly Hills’ centennial, “100 Years of Horse Power” is the theme for the 2014 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. A free-to-the-public event each year on Father’s Day, the featured automotive marque for this year’s Concours is Maserati.
One can only imagine the wide variety of automobiles that have made their way down the affluent streets of Beverly Hills over the last 100 years, from modest sedans carrying tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, to the high-end luxury cars and limousines that transport the rich and famous to trendy boutiques, upscale restaurants and, of course, plastic surgery clinics.
You need not use your imagination today, however, because those vehicles are parked along Rodeo Drive for all to see and enjoy. While the spotlight may be on Maserati, many other automotive brands are represented here. This is certainly an outstanding opportunity for those who appreciate automotive design to take a look back at the spectacular cars of yesteryear, as well as to eyeball popular current models and even take a peek into the future of auto design.
This year’s Concours also features a number of cars once owned by some of Beverly Hills’ famous residents from the last 100 years, including Fred Astaire, Jean Harlow, Tom Mix and Howard Hughes. As for recognizable vehicles from film and TV, cars from “An American in Paris,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and HBO’s “Entourage” are certainly getting a good deal of attention from Concours visitors.
Adding to today’s impressive display of horsepower, and in celebration of the its first 100 years, Maserati is introducing its GT MC Centennial Edition Model. To commemorate its milestone anniversary, Maserati has created unique designs of its top performance models GranTurismo MC Centennial Edition and GranTurismo Convertible MC Centennial Edition. These limited production models will offer special exterior paint colors, upgraded interior designs and new wheel finishes.
A personal favorite at today’s Concours is a striking 2008 “Bijan Edition” Bugatti Veyron personally owned by Bijan, the famous menswear and fragrance designer with a swanky appointment-only boutique on Rodeo Drive. Bijan parked the car in front of his store daily and, since his passing in 2011, his family continues that tradition in tribute to the late designer. The car has a 1001-horsepower 16-cylinder engine, four turbochargers and can reach its top speed of 253 mph in less than one minute.
This year’s Concours also pays tribute to the Beverly Hills Speedway, a 1.25-mile wooden board track for auto racing that operated from 1919 to 1924. Up to 70,000 spectators could attend auto races that attracted such racing legends such as Barney Oldfield and Gaston Chevrolet. Gaston was the younger brother of Louis Chevrolet, co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company. Gaston Chevrolet died in a crash at the Beverly Hills Speedway in 1920 at the age of 28, shortly after winning the Indy 500. The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is the largest annual public event in Beverly Hills and was named “one of the 300 unmissable events in the world” by Frommer’s Travel Guide. What an awesome way for local residents, families and international visitors alike to spend the day admiring some of the most beautiful and unique vehicles ever created. And, after all, this is Beverly Hills – you may even see a celebrity or two!