27th Rodeo Drive Concours promises full-throttle family fun – Robb Report

As the auto industry continues to move towards self-driving and electrification, social media and virtual reality are manufacturing a false sense of community. This combination has caused much concern that real car culture will soon be something only anthropologists study in a century or two. It’s a dystopian future that collector Bruce Meyer fights with every fiber of his being. Its latest salvo against automotive apathy is the 27th annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills, Calif., which kicks off June 19 and is free to the public.

The image of a young child being introduced to the magic of the automobile is a slice of Americana straight out of a Norman Rockwell canvas. And on a day when much of the nation is focused on fathers, this scene will play out myriad times when the most exclusive street in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the world becomes an open-air showcase for the best world cars.

The one day shopping takes a back seat on Rodeo Drive.

Ted Seven, courtesy of Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

“When we started nearly 30 years ago, most of the cars came from residents or friends of friends in Beverly Hills,” says Meyer, the only surviving co-founder of the first four. “Now it’s not just for the citizens of Beverly Hills, but it’s a real family event that draws all over LA. At last we had over 40,000 people. I know ‘diversity’ is It’s become a buzzword, but we have a diversity of owners, a diversity of years, and a diversity of brands, and it’s amazing how this show has evolved.

Bruce Meyer, co-founder of the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance, chats with Beverly Hills police officers.

Bruce Meyer, co-founder of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, chats with Beverly Hills police officers.

Daniel Nikkhoo, courtesy of Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

As with most social gatherings, the pandemic shut down pageants in 2020, but was responsible for what may now be a new tradition. For 2021, rather than canceling everything again, the organizers have shifted the format to a parade of show cars, the Rodeo Drive Tour d’Elegance. The response was so overwhelming that the tour is included again this year. As for what parade attendees can expect to see, Meyer says: “We’ll have amazing Rolls-Royces, supercars, hypercars, Pirelli is bringing a current Red Bull Formula 1 car and we’ll even have the beverly hillbillies a truck.” And more exotic and rare vehicles will be on display during the show.

A scene from the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance.

Hypercars are always a highlight of contests.

Ted Seven, courtesy of Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

The lack of entry prizes isn’t the only way this contest differs from most. “I’m not a big fan of judged shows,” Meyer says. “The good thing about this show is that there is no judging, so attendees come with no expectations. No one is there to win the top prize, everyone is there just to share their car and his passion.”

This year Rolls-Royce will be the star marque with examples spanning much of its 116-year history, including a 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupé and the latest iteration of the Ghost. Also on hand will be a few custom John D’Agostino creations, as well as plenty of hot rods and lowriders. When it comes to the qualification process, Meyer keeps it simple. “I just have to like them,” he says, referring to each car. “There is no selection committee.

A Rolls-Royce takes part in the Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance.

A Rolls-Royce is hard to miss, even on Rodeo. The British brand is in the spotlight this year.

Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance

Although the event is free to the public, the generous sponsorship of Pirelli, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari of Beverly Hills, O’Gara Coach and the Rodeo Drive Committee helps generate funds that will be donated to the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association . and the Beverly Hills Firefighters Association. The latter is appropriate given the roots of the contest itself.

A restored Ahrens-Fox fire truck takes part in the Rodeo Drive Tour d'Elegance.

The restored Ahrens-Fox fire truck that started it all.

Daniel Nikkhoo, courtesy of Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

“The city of Beverly Hills had an old Ahrens-Fox fire truck that languished without being restored,” says Meyer. “We decided to have a car show to raise money to restore it – that’s how it all started.” The fact that it has grown exponentially in both quality of cars and popularity is a strong indicator of one point in particular. Car culture will continue to be very successful, as long as there are enthusiasts like Meyer who keep their foot on the accelerator.

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