Friday, September 25, 2015

Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance - An Automotive Lifestyle POV

Hood ornament 1937 Cadillac V16 90 Aero-Dynamic Coupe.  Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance - An Automotive Lifestyle POV
By: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications for The Motorsports-Report

If you ever dreamt of going back in time to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to experience how things were in the 1950’s, the closest you can expect to come to that era was at the 23rd Palos Verdes Consours d’Elegance. This was the first year for the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance in their excellent new setting at the Los Verdes Golf Course.

The course provided a wonderful backdrop of the Pacific Coast and a tremendous amount of space allowing for easy viewing and a chance to photograph the cars without spectators in the photo. That only happens at dawn at Pebble Beach and Pebble is ten times the cost Palos Verdes to attend.

Easy viewing on the Los Verdes Golf Course. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Ferrari South Bay Hospitality Tent ... & friend. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

I also was fine with the off site parking and rapid shuttle service from the Peninsula Shipping Center to the event site compared to parking outside and returning to a car covered in dust. September 20th broke heat records across Southern California with temps at 100 degrees or more, perhaps keeping the crowds down. However, being on the coast with a light breeze it was still comfortable.  

1930 Cadillac Roadster Convertible, Fredrick Law, Malibu, CA.  Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

This year’s theme was “Automotive Standards of the World”. Ferrari was one of the marques being honored along with Cadillac and Darrin.  We were happy to see that Ferrari South Bay had a tented area for their merchandise, where my lady friend found a gift and we enjoyed unique cold drinks. The hospitality was open to all attendees and was appreciated.

For most of us it all about the opportunity to view up close spectacular, rare and sometimes one-of-kind cars of every decade from the first automobiles manufactured. There were an abundance of World Class examples starting with “Brass” from 1898 -1915 to “Cars of Special Interest Pre-1990”, a total of twenty-four classes and about 200 entries.

Ferrari 365 GTC /4. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Some of the cars displayed were also at Pebble Beach one year or another so the feel and flavor of the event was a bit of a pleasant time capsule for some of us that regularly attend these events. It was no surprise to see the exceptional Fly Yellow 365 GTB Ferrari of LA’s best know car collector, Petersen Checked Flag member Bruce Meyer on display

Ferrari 365 GTB, Bruce Meyer. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, CA has a world-renowned collection and showcased some of their Ferrari and Cadillac collection for the event.

1967 Ferrari Spyder California, Nethercutt Collection. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

They also brought what I found to be a most interesting auto, a 1937 Cadillac V16 90 Aero-Dynamic Coupe representing the Cadillac marque at perhaps its pinnacle of style and power with its V16 power plant and dramatic lines.

1937 Cadillac V16 90 Aero-Dynamic Coupe. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

While most of the people entering automobiles are car collectors there was one man who is a car constructor and designer unique in every manner, Gary Wales of Woodland Hills, CA. Gary had on display his La Bestioni #6, built on a fire truck chassis that pays tribute to the grand era of car constructors who took chassis from Bentley, Rolls Royce and many American car companies and created custom car bodies with unique drivetrains. 

La Bestioni #6 - Gary Wales, Woodland Hills, CA. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Gary is a friend who’s home I have had the pleasure to visit and see first hand where he and his mechanic Andres Aranda build Gary’s creations from scratch. His restoration of the 1947 Bentley Paris show car B 20 BH won over 50 international awards.

Interior, La Bestioni #6 - Gary Wales, Woodland Hills, CA. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Gary does not just build his cars for show he also competes in races with them.  Gary won the 1984 Great American Race from Universal City to Indy for the 500 in a Boat-tail speedster built from a total wreck. I saw first hand how grueling that race was in 1985 when Jaguar participated with a 1936 SS 100. I had it easy compared to the drivers of cars built prior to 1936. As they struggled with the mountains and heat for ten hours or more, I drove ahead of Jaguar Cars Inc. sponsored team setting up the advance PR and corresponding with CBS radio in the comfort of a new XJ6. To win the Great American Race you and the car have to be equally strong and prepared and Gary certainly is that person.

Prize winning Packard. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

The judges always are challenged at these concours to find a way to determine the award winner’s since all of the entrants are worthy of merit. The winners in my opinion are the entrants for the camaraderie and the overall experience with follow collectors and us attending.

"1950s American Hip" Packard 1953 Caribbean Convertible. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Perhaps sometimes overlooked is the cause related side of putting on this marvelous event. In this case the proceeds of the 23rd Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance benefit local non-profits via the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Foundation and included the Boy & Girls Club, Palos Verdes Art Center’s disadvantaged children’s programs and the Green Vets Los Angeles.  According to Chairman Ray Johnson the Concours has donated over $670,000 to as of 2014. 

1937 MG VA Tourer, Bob Hanselman, San Marcos. Image Credit: James Groth (2015)

Congratulations and thanks to all the entries for the exquisite automotive art on display and to the many sponsors and volunteers for providing a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon for great causes.

2015 Winners -  23rd Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance >>>

Looking forward to next year’s event on September 18, 2016.

TAGS: Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, Los Verdes Golf Course, Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Foundation, Miles Ahead Communications, James Groth,

1 comment:

  1. Now that was a lovely surprise ,Thank you for the very nice story on my La Bestioni Rusty Two and your humble servant.