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Celebrating 25 years: Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

Report from Kevin Ehrlich and Mary Fischer

Every silver anniversary deserves a party. On June 17, 2018, Beverly Hills closed down Rodeo Drive to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. And what a party it was. Rather than a Concours that focuses on historically correct details or paint and polish, the event is an informal display of the unique and rare on one of the most famous shopping boulevards in the world.

Ferrari has a special connection to this event, having had a key role in launching the Rodeo Drive Concours in 1993. Ferrari CEO at the time Luca di Montezemolo wanted a splash for the release of the new 348 Spider. With the help of collector and enthusiast Bruce Meyer, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive hosted a celebrity-studded launch party and charity auction for the new Ferrari model. Cavallino covered that first event on February 27, 1993 (April/May 1993, Issue 74). Three blocks of Rodeo Drive were packed with Ferraris including “the Factory’s replica tipo 125 to the F40 LM, the 166 MM to the 340 Mexico to the 312 F1 and everything in between.”

The following year, Meyer and friends moved the event to Father’s Day, which became the annual tradition thereafter - a tradition that has become a mandatory stop on the Southern California car culture circuit. To highlight (and celebrate) the Silver Anniversary, organizers curated the entry to ensure that silver cars comprised about half of the 100 plus cars entered.

Once again, Ferraris featured among the variety of modern supercars, vintage icons, hot rods, race cars, and rarities. A silver 1963 400 Superamerica Coupe Aerodinamico was featured in a highlighted display and provided a remarkable contrast with its neighbors from Hispano-Suiza, Ghia and Ruf. A silver 1966 275 GTB with pristine black interior parked nose-to-tail with a 1964 silver 250 GT/Lusso with its own pristine red interior. Seeing them parked together sparked a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the era. Across the street, a silver 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytona parked in front of the Vera Wang boutique and a silver 1988 Testarossa parked in front of the Ralph Lauren flagship store demonstrated the dramatic evolution in styling over the decades.

A beautiful dark blue 1950 166 Inter Touring Berlinetta showed off its timeless shape. Leather straps and metal buckles secure the front bonnet above the egg-grate grille so synonymous with the 166 models. No wonder that it took home the Carroll Shelby award for the “Most Sporting.” RM Sotheby’s displayed a maroon 1953 375 America Coupe with bodywork by Vignale. A rare beast, the car is only one of two Vignale coupes from a total production run of a dozen. This particular example also was the 1954 Geneva Salon show car. At the other end of Rodeo Drive, Ferrari of Beverly Hills paired a rosso 1964 250 GT/Lusso alongside a brand new white Ferrari Portofino.

Organizers estimate that 30,000 spectators attend the free Concours each year. No wonder. It is likely the best bargain on the block!

Images from Kevin Ehrlich and Mary Fischer. A more formal list of the Ferraris, along with chassis numbers, will be in a future issue of Cavallino. Subscribe today!!

#Concours #California

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