Automotive

Pictorial: Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance (aka Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance)

Pictorial: Beverly Hills Tour ...
This 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren was once gifted to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Prince of Persia and Shah of Iran. When Pahlavi married Egypt’s Princess Fawzia in December 1959, the country of France sent this custom-built supercharged Art Deco cabriolet as a wedding present. The car is part of The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection and is resident in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
This 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren was once gifted to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Prince of Persia and Shah of Iran. When Pahlavi married Egypt’s Princess Fawzia in December 1959, the country of France sent this custom-built supercharged Art Deco cabriolet as a wedding present. The car is part of The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection and is resident in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
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This 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren was once gifted to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Prince of Persia and Shah of Iran. When Pahlavi married Egypt’s Princess Fawzia in December 1959, the country of France sent this custom-built supercharged Art Deco cabriolet as a wedding present. The car is part of The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection and is resident in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
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This 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren was once gifted to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Prince of Persia and Shah of Iran. When Pahlavi married Egypt’s Princess Fawzia in December 1959, the country of France sent this custom-built supercharged Art Deco cabriolet as a wedding present. The car is part of The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Collection and is resident in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
This fire truck actually catalyzed the annual Rodeo Drive Concours more than a quarter-century ago. In the early 1990s, the City of Beverly Hills owned this beautiful antique 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire truck but it was in a dilapidated condition and the city had no money for a restoration. Bruce Meyers pulled together a group of supporters who put on a car show to raise money for the restoration and both the restoration and a long-lasting and much-loved car show resulted.
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This fire truck actually catalyzed the annual Rodeo Drive Concours more than a quarter-century ago. In the early 1990s, the City of Beverly Hills owned this beautiful antique 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire truck but it was in a dilapidated condition and the city had no money for a restoration. Bruce Meyers pulled together a group of supporters who put on a car show to raise money for the restoration and both the restoration and a long-lasting and much-loved car show resulted.
The Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was alternately led by two cars, from Rodeo’s Drive’s own Autovolt and O’Gara Coach, the Beverly Hills dealer for McLaren, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce, Genesis, Pininfarina and, gasp, Rimac. One was a McLaren Speedtail, which is arguably the most visually arresting automobile on the planet, and the other was Autovolt’s Lamborghini Sian, which is the main reason the Speedtail gets an argument over that previous statement. The Sian, which can be regularly seen parked on Rodea Drive, boasts 819 hp, a V12 engine, a 48-volt 34 hp electric motor fed by a bank of supercapacitors and a sticker price of US$2,600,000 before you start looking at putting air in the tires. Loz Blain has written up this technological tour-de-force twice (here and here) and is currently trying to think of an excuse for a third attempt.
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The Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was alternately led by two cars, from Rodeo’s Drive’s own Autovolt and O’Gara Coach, the Beverly Hills dealer for McLaren, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce, Genesis, Pininfarina and, gasp, Rimac. One was a McLaren Speedtail, which is arguably the most visually arresting automobile on the planet, and the other was Autovolt’s Lamborghini Sian, which is the main reason the Speedtail gets an argument over that previous statement. The Sian, which can be regularly seen parked on Rodea Drive, boasts 819 hp, a V12 engine, a 48-volt 34 hp electric motor fed by a bank of supercapacitors and a sticker price of US$2,600,000 before you start looking at putting air in the tires. Loz Blain has written up this technological tour-de-force twice (here and here) and is currently trying to think of an excuse for a third attempt.
Former Olympic Decathlon Gold medalist, TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, participated in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, wearing a cap that left no doubt she is running for Governor in California.
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Former Olympic Decathlon Gold medalist, TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, participated in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, wearing a cap that left no doubt she is running for Governor in California.
Former Olympic Decathlon Gold medalist, TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, participated in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, wearing a cap that left no doubt she is running for Governor in California.
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Former Olympic Decathlon Gold medalist, TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, participated in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, wearing a cap that left no doubt she is running for Governor in California.
One of the three Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaetons produced by Chrysler in 1952 as ceremonial vehicles. One went to New York, one to Los Angeles and this car was based in Detroit and was used around the country. After it was sold by Chrysler, it ended up in the Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas before being snapped up by Robert Petersen and going on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum
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One of the three Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaetons produced by Chrysler in 1952 as ceremonial vehicles. One went to New York, one to Los Angeles and this car was based in Detroit and was used around the country. After it was sold by Chrysler, it ended up in the Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas before being snapped up by Robert Petersen and going on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum
Jay Leno turns plenty of people down when they try to sell a car to him, in part because he gets pitched cars all the time. For him to say yes to a car means there’s something especially compelling about it. In this case (that’s one of Leno’s 1951 Hudson Hornet in the background), Leno initially told the woman no because he already had a Hornet. She persisted and Leno eventually bought the car and restored it. Here’s the full story.
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Jay Leno turns plenty of people down when they try to sell a car to him, in part because he gets pitched cars all the time. For him to say yes to a car means there’s something especially compelling about it. In this case (that’s one of Leno’s 1951 Hudson Hornet in the background), Leno initially told the woman no because he already had a Hornet. She persisted and Leno eventually bought the car and restored it. Here’s the full story.
Jay Leno’s 1951 Hudson Hornet in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance . The car has a touching story.
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Jay Leno’s 1951 Hudson Hornet in the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance . The car has a touching story.
The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.
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The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.
The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.
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The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.
Event founder Bruce Meyer chauffeurs Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti in the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance in his 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer. Rivetti has 51 years of service in law enforcement behind him.
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Event founder Bruce Meyer chauffeurs Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti in the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance in his 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer. Rivetti has 51 years of service in law enforcement behind him.
The cars line up outside the Petersen Automotive Museum to begin the 2021Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, headed by a Lamborghini Countach
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The cars line up outside the Petersen Automotive Museum to begin the 2021Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance, headed by a Lamborghini Countach
After the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was over at the Petersen Automotive Museum
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After the Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was over at the Petersen Automotive Museum
Preparations and final briefing prior to getting the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance underway at the Petersen Automotive Museum
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Preparations and final briefing prior to getting the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance underway at the Petersen Automotive Museum
View gallery - 14 images

America’s automotive passion is proving as relentless and innovative as its technological initiative, as evidenced by the transformation of the traditional Father’s Day Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance into the inaugural Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance yesterday, June 20.

The Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was alternately led by two cars, from Rodeo’s Drive’s own Autovolt and O’Gara Coach, the Beverly Hills dealer for McLaren, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce, Genesis, Pininfarina and, gasp, Rimac. One was a McLaren Speedtail, which is arguably the most visually arresting automobile on the planet, and the other was Autovolt’s Lamborghini Sian, which is the main reason the Speedtail gets an argument over that previous statement. The Sian, which can be regularly seen parked on Rodea Drive, boasts 819 hp, a V12 engine, a 48-volt 34 hp electric motor fed by a bank of supercapacitors and a sticker price of US$2,600,000 before you start looking at putting air in the tires. Loz Blain has written up this technological tour-de-force twice (here and here) and is currently trying to think of an excuse for a third attempt.
The Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance was alternately led by two cars, from Rodeo’s Drive’s own Autovolt and O’Gara Coach, the Beverly Hills dealer for McLaren, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce, Genesis, Pininfarina and, gasp, Rimac. One was a McLaren Speedtail, which is arguably the most visually arresting automobile on the planet, and the other was Autovolt’s Lamborghini Sian, which is the main reason the Speedtail gets an argument over that previous statement. The Sian, which can be regularly seen parked on Rodea Drive, boasts 819 hp, a V12 engine, a 48-volt 34 hp electric motor fed by a bank of supercapacitors and a sticker price of US$2,600,000 before you start looking at putting air in the tires. Loz Blain has written up this technological tour-de-force twice (here and here) and is currently trying to think of an excuse for a third attempt.

By turning the usual static display of automotive treasures into a moving display of automotive art, the integrity of the Father’s Day tradition was maintained with a view to returning to the Rodeo Drive Concours in 2022.

Preparations and final briefing prior to getting the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance underway at the Petersen Automotive Museum
Preparations and final briefing prior to getting the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance underway at the Petersen Automotive Museum

“The Tour allowed us to find a socially distanced alternative to the much-loved Concours and reconnect with the community after an incredibly trying year, all while supporting our local first responders,” said event founder Bruce Meyer.

The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.
The Lancia Stratos HF Zero prototype became a star in its own right when it debuted at the 1970 Turin Motor Show, standing just 33 inches tall but creating a global stir with newspapers, magazines and television across the globe featuring the otherworldly concept car. The one-off prototype was sold by RM-Sotheby’s a decade ago for €761,600 (more than US $1 million), and Bertone itself has deigned it one of its "10 masterpieces," a distinction shared with icons like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The car is now part of the XJ Wang Collection from New York.

The parade began at the Petersen Automotive Museum, traveling up Wilshire Boulevard, through Beverly Hills, up Beverly Drive to the Beverly Hills Hotel and down Rodeo Drive.

The special event benefited both the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association and the Beverly Hills Firefighters’ Association, non-profit charities that provide assistance to first responders injured in the line of duty, maintain scholarship funds for their children and provide other support.

Event founder Bruce Meyer chauffeurs Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti in the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance in his 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer. Rivetti has 51 years of service in law enforcement behind him.
Event founder Bruce Meyer chauffeurs Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti in the 2021 Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance in his 1929 Bentley 4½ Litre Tourer. Rivetti has 51 years of service in law enforcement behind him.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turn-out for the first-ever Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance,” said Meyer. “I would call the display of cars ‘show-stopping’ but for the first time in the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance’s 25-year history, the show was moving!”

More images in the gallery.

View gallery - 14 images
1 comment
1 comment
Karmudjun
Awesome article Mike. Well written and a joy to read. This pandemic has taken quite a toll on our politics and economic outlook - but things are finally getting better now that vaccines prove effective for those who are willing to get vaccinated. Then we can have parades and car shows.