This is one of only a few 8Cs in the US. The So Cal-located owner's son is president of the Maserati Club of America, which explains how this Alfa made its way to the US (Fiat builds Alfa, Maserati ... and Ferrari, too).
Rear-deck detail of this beautiful Italian car --- which may soon be available at Chrysler dealers. After all, it is a Fiat!
Here's the motivation underneath the American Motors' AMX musclecar seen in this album --- fully 390 throbbing cubic inches of V8 power.
This was AMC's attempt at a mid-'60s musclecar, at a time when offering one was the 'price of admission' for any car-maker to the then-burgeoning youth market. The car never sold well but did have some success in road racing and other high-performance endeavors, sometimes in the capable hands of racer/engineer Mark Donohue.
The only production car ever designed in Palm Springs, CA, the Studebaker Avanti. Industrial designer Raymond Loewy was hired by Studebaker to come up with something (over a three week time period) which would save the car-maker, and while the car didn't accomplish that mission, it's still with us today, having outlived its parent company by many decades.
A 1908 Baker Electric, built in the time when there was a serious worldwide discussion going on about which propulsion system would become standard for the auto industry: Steam, electric or gas- or diesel-fueled internal combustion engines? Guess which won.
Business end of a massive Bentley 1924 8-liter engine.
Two classic Americans, an EMF on the right and the other car --- well, I didn't catch the name. Anyone recognize it?
A covey of UK-made cars were on-hand at the Concours. While I joked that 8 cars made it to the show and perhaps 5 of them would be able to leave under their own power, the cars demonstrated the glorious --- and decidedly inglorious --- years of the British motor industry.
Surrounded by Ferraris, the Veyron seems not out of place as much as perhaps styled a bit, uh, strangely compared to its neighbors.
A $1.6 million Bugatti Veyron, built by ... Volkswagen. Yep, they own that company ... and Bentley, too.
This 1964 Riviera, the first year the car was made, stands in stark contrast to the so-called 'styling' of many cars today. This was a time when certain cars could really look like something ... special.
About the most-expensive and hardest-to-find parts for the mid-1950s Buick Skylark are its taillamps. Just check-out this detail shot to see why.
Not one, but two of these valuable Buick termite-breeders were found at this 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance.
A nice example of a 1957 Cadillac convertible which would later be morphed by GM designers into the Eldorado hardtop featuring a stainless-steel roof.
Bruce Meyer, left, is one of the most prolific car collectors in the country and a powerful force in the Southern California collecting and racing culture. Several of his cars are displayed in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and he was integral in arranging for hot rods and some other customs to appear in their own class at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the world's greatest classic car show. With him is Don Kent of KTLA/TV5 in Los Angeles, the oldest TV station station west of the Mississippi. Kent's been with the station over 30 years.
A classic 1957 Chevrolet, albeit not as "perfect" as its owner might have us believe ... it looks great, but there are many items on the car which weren't on the original, including that gold "V" staring us in the face (it's supposed to be anodized aluminum; this one on this car is aluminum, but the color is wrong).
The 1963 "split window" Corvette, the consumer car used as the design basis for the five Corvette Grand Sport race cars which beat the pants off Ford Cobras and European race cars in road racing competition, the 'Vettes driven by such luminaries as Roger Penske.
Revolving captain's bucket chairs, push-button automatic transmission --- about the only option this late-'50s Imperial doesn't have is the 78rpm center-console record player (yes, there was one available). But as Los Angeles' KTLA-TV's Don Kent told me when I shot this photo, if you could afford that option, you could afford to have a live band in the back seat!
The granddaddy Woodie of them all, Town and Country became the symbol of the prosperous suburbs of post-WWII America.
The Dodge Brothers started in the transportation business in America by making Conestoga wagons --- yes, the wagons which crossed the country under real horsepower, taking settlers from east-to-west. The Brothers both died young after getting into the car business and their wives took over the company which led to much intrigue. To this day, no one I know --- and I know a lot of smart car people --- can explain why the company's logo is in the shape of the Mogen David, or Jewish Star. Anyone out there know?
Ghia, which made the 1955 Streamliner concept seen in this album, also made this car, which several Americans, including celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, had outfittted with Cadillac engines for their personal use.
From our reader Cesar Rodes --- "The Facel Vega was designed to be a luxury grand tourer and was made from 1954 through 1964. They used Chrysler V8s exclusively, because there was no modern high performance French engine available. Regardless of where the car was sold, it was designed for the Chrysler V8. Most of them where sold in the US, as the cost of operating one in Europe was expensive (due to gas prices). This is the same concept as the Dual Ghia and the Jensen Interceptor, a European GT with American V8 power. In 1959, Facel built a smaller sports car called the Facellia, for which they designed and built their own engine (a 1.5L DOHC 4-cylinder). Unfortunately they tended to blow up. The warranty claims and bad press from this engine eventually led to that car's demise."
When are too many Ferraris ... too many Ferraris? Potentially dangerous overkill strikes a Concours once again! Or is this just another "Only in LA" moment?
Many people have an affinity for these small-but-powerful and great-handling Euro-style road race cars.
A bottle of nitrous oxide augmented the horspoewer of this 1963 Ford dragster ... by probably about 150-or-so instant horsepower.
A 1963 Ford dragster.
Kids examine a Ford GT from the late 1990s, while a 2009 Alfa Romeo 8C sites nearby.
The car which started it all ... at least in the USA.
Not the classic "Deuce Coupe" (a 1932 Ford V8) but a 1933 model and a great example of the cars which many Californians took to the dry lake beds of the nearby deserts and actually created the sport of drag racing.
Volkswagen sponsored an open-wheel racing series called Formula Vee in the US several years ago, and this car is one remaining example of those racers, whcih introduced many Americans to Formula-style European road racing.
Power comes from a rear-mounted turbine engine, similar to a fan jet, which explains the heat-resistant material lining the rear compartment.
This 1955 design study is similar to the B.A.T. cars which were produced by Pininfarina and other Euro studios in the mid-'50s. And maybe it is where Hanna-Barbera cartoons got the idea for George Jetson's car ... Hey, it's very possible! The car (?) was displayed by auction house Gooding and Company.
Company and model logo of the 1955 jet-age concept.
Yes, it's from the same European comany which made the familiar-to-Americans Karman Ghia.
A fabulous example of a 1950's Jaguar sports car concept run amok ... which proved so popular on the auto show circuit that the factory finally produced it for public consumption.
A highlight of any true Concours d'Elegance is the judging ... the men and women with the clipboards can strike fear into even the wealthiest and most-experienced of car-owners ...
A perfect car for the Los Angeles Concours, a true LA native. This 1946 Kurtis midget race car held championship titles at Gilmore Stadium (next door to the famed Los Angeles Farmer's Market) and has a four-cylinder Offenhauser engine. Frank Kurtis built hundreds, if not thousands, of race cars in Los Angeles which saw action the world over, including at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
What's any So Cal car show without at least one example of this fighter-jet like contraption which makes old men young again (that's what the salesmen tell potential buyers, I hear)?
Gorgeous example of a 1930-era Lincoln.
A 1961 Lincoln convertible with "suicide doors," similar to the car in which John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX, on October 22, 1963.
This 108-year old American-built car didn't get much attention from the boy-racer types in attendance, but true aficiandos appreciated the little buggy, which truly exemplifies the term "horseless carriage."
Overview on a warm, humid June day just outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
The famous mid-'50s Gull Wing and convertible Mercedes 300 SL models had their own display area. Average price of a good condition Gull Wing coupe is currently around $200,000, while the convertibles are much more affordable and, for most, just as much fun and interesting as their more famous and valuable hardtop cousins.
Two beautiful examples of the first European sports cars which caught the fancy of average Americans. Many US servicemen brought them home from the UK after WWII and the love affair began, and remains hot and heavy to this day. MG stood for Morris Garage.
The British family which started Morgan in the UK before WWII still oversees the making of modern versions of the cars. This classic three-wheeled Morgan is, well, not modern and its underpinnings are made of wood.
A bevy of American-made beauties with huge V8s under their front hoods --- but all of which look pretty good from the rear, too.
Another regular at any big car show, especially in Southern California, is this cute little car.
One of the few NISMO GTR's in the US from Nissan's motorsports division was on display courtesy of a local dealer. The GTR is Nissan's answer to over-$100,000 supercars, but priced at around $80K. Such a bargain!
John Z. DeLorean was chief engineer at Packard in the 1950s when the company brought this car out as their true last-gasp attempt to stay in business. They didn't, and John Z. made his move to General Motors --- and what would become an American Shakesperean tragedy was then underway.