What did dad really want for Father’s Day? He wanted to go see this, the inaugural Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance. When Covid messsed up all the plans for 2020 and into 2021, you could either sit around and mope, or you could get the guys together and have a parade!
The Tour was a special event organized by the same team that puts on the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, that wonderful (free!) car show held on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills every Fathers Day that brings out the best collectible cars the city has storied away. This year, they could not hold the traditional street-wide, day-long show because of lingering Covid restrictions, so they held a rolling celebration of automtotive art.
That included things you otherwise probably wouldn’t see in the sheetmetal, like the recently auctioned Big Oly Bronce in which Parnelli Jones won two Baja 1000s and which was just auctioned for almost $2 million. Or the 1970 Lancia Stratos Concept, that flat orange scream that represented that decade better than all the polyester and paisley ever could. Or the Shah of Iran’s Bugatti, or Jay Leno’s Fabulous Hudson Hornet, or Jeff Dunham’s Chariot from the “Lost In Space” TV series. In all the Tour welcomed 50 exotic and collectible cars to the streets of Beverly Hills on Father’s Day, June 20.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turn-out for the first-ever Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance,” said event founder Bruce 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! 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.”
Cars seen rolling also included: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, 1960 Maserati Typo 61 Birdcage, pre-war collectibles, futuristic concepts and winning race cars. Celebrity participants showed off their automotive proclivities as well; Caitlyn Jenner drove her 1960 Bugeye Sprite while Jay Leno piloted his 1951 Hudson Hornet. Retired NBA star Chris Mills joined the tour with his custom 1961 Chevrolet Impala lowrider. The Beverly Hills Fire Departments drove its own 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire Truck.
O’Gara Coach, the Beverly Hills dealer for McLaren, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Rolls-Royce and Genesis, lead the tour from its start at the Petersen Automotive Museum to its end at the Beverly Hills City Hall. Limited run hypercars like O’Gara’s McLaren Speedtail and Lamborghini Sián guided Tour cars down the famed city streets.
The Tour 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. The associations maintain scholarship funds for their children and provide other support. Thank you first responders! And all dads!
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