Beverly Hills Tour d’Elegance Brings Smiles Along the Route

If you were anywhere near Beverly Hills on Father’s Day morning, the chances are you heard about or hopefully even saw the Tour d’Elegance, a gaggle (about fifty) of the motoring world’s best and brightest from the past 109 years parading by. From Urban Hirsch’s 1912 Ford Model T (which looked like the Beverly Hillbillies reincarnated) to Phillip Sarofim’s 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero (a Jetsons-like wedge-shaped futuristic car), to Tom Price’s 1962 Ferrari GTO (a race car like none other, which Tom still races often) to Bruce Meyer’s 1929 Bentley 4.5 liter (which Bruce takes on extended Bentley tours), there truly was something for everyone at this event. Cars that even I – born and raised in Los Angeles and with many decades’ worth of gearheaddom – had not yet seen though I had heard about them. The crowd favorite? Really, all of them elicited a response – from people who remember that car from their high-school parking lot, their grandparents’ garage, a poster on their bedroom wall or otherwise. Perhaps the restored Beverly Hills Fire Truck was right up near the top; the 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine (piloted by our own Beverly Hills Fire Department), this is the vehicle which was a working fire truck for the BHFD way back when (just after water was invented, I am told), which was restored in the early 1990s by a group of supporters who raised the money by staging the inaugural Beverly Hills Concours d’Elegance on Rodeo Drive.

The Tour brought many smiles per mile all along the course, as these amazing machines wended their way north of Wilshire, through residential sections, and then back into town, along several streets (including Rodeo Drive, of course) and finally stopping at City Hall.

Here is a fairly complete list of the participants’ steeds though some owners declined to be identified for the article and others could not be located by press time in order to provide consent:

1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (owned and driven by Tom Price)

2. 1929 Bentley 4.5 liter Tourer By Vanden Plas (owned and driven by Bruce Meyer)

3. 1912 Ford Model T Roadster Pickup (owned and driven by Urban Hirsch)

4. 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero (owned and driven by Phillip Sarofim)

5. 1951 Hudson Hornet (owned and driven by Jay Leno)

“Lost In Space” Chariot

6. “Lost In Space” Chariot (owned and driven by Jeff Dunham)

7. Maserati MC12 

8. Lamborghini Sián

Lamborghini Centenario

9. Lamborghini Centenario

10. Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada

11. 1969 Ford Bronco “Big Oly” (another great part of Phillip Sarofim’s collection, driven by Dusan Miletich and his son, Vel–Vel is eight years old and was the announcer who commenced the drive with a hearty “Gentlemen, start your engines!”)

1960 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage”

12. 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage” (owned and driven by Jeff O’Neill)  

13. 1965 Bentley S3 Continental convertible (owned and driven by Terry and Carrie Sullivan)

14. McLaren Senna GTR

15. 2021 McLaren Elva 

16. Lamborghini Countach (owned and driven by Matt Farrah)

17. Lamborghini Miura

1935 Packard Dual-Cowl Phaeton by Dietrich

18. 1935 Packard Dual Cowl Phaeton by Dietrich

19. 2021 McLaren Speedtail (driven by Beverly Hills exotic car magnate, Tom O’Gara)

20. 1963 Bentley S3 Convertible (ferrying star Realtor Tracy Tutor)

21. 1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud convertible (owned and driven by star Realtor Josh Flagg and co-piloted by Tori Spelling)

22. Porsche 911 (owned and driven by famous Porsche aficionado, collector and “Urban Outlaw” Magnus Walker and co-piloted by noted automotive, travel and culture journalist Hannah Elliott)

23. Ruf Porsche 993 BTR (owned and driven by Estonia Ruf)

1947 Delahaye 135 MS Vedette Roadster by Chapron

24. 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Vedette Roadster by Chapron (owned and driven by Jim Hull and co-piloted by Brandon Adrian)

25. 1950 Studebaker

26. 1961 “Bugeye” Sprite (owned and driven by Caitlyn Jenner)

27. Several Chevy Low Riders (1958 and 1964 Impalas and 1983 Monte Carlo)

28. 1957 Dual Ghia Convertible

29. 1968 Mustang “Wasteland” and a VW “bug” à la Mad Max

30. 1929 Ahrens-Fox Fire Truck (driven by members of the Beverly Hills Fire Department)

31. 1939 Bugatti Type 57C by Vanvooren (the “Shah Bugatti”) (it was ferrying Kathy Gohari, the President-elect of the Rodeo Drive Committee. This truly spectacular car is owned by the Petersen Automotive Museum and it was driven in the Tour by Dana Williamson, Conservator of the Collection at the Museum)

32. 1939 Auburn Boattail Speedster Custom 

33. 1953 Chrysler Parade Phaeton (also owned by the Petersen Automotive Museum)  

34. DeLorean Time Machine “Back to the Future” (on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum)

35. The unmistakable yellow Chicken Car (driven by racing champion Tommy Kendall)

36. 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon (owned and driven by landscaper Sheridan Kahn and her husband, PR maven Dan) 

The Tour was meant to provide a special Father’s Day experience in lieu of the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, which was canceled last year and this one due to the pandemic. The Tour was such an incredible event, one would hope that it would be repeated again. Having the ability to see, hear and even smell these cars pass by is a very unique experience, one not available in almost all other high-quality car events so maybe, if we’re lucky, it will be repeated every five years or so, just to add that extra dimension to the experience of a special Father’s Day adventure. A big thank you to all who were involved in this momentous occasion. 

All photos courtesy of David N. Banks 

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