As one of California's most prestigious manor homes, the Doheny Estate in Beverly Hills is the perfect location for the recently founded Greystone Mansion Concours d'Elegance, which hosts some of the rarest collector vehicles in the world.
Although the Greystone Mansion Concours d'Elegance has been in existence for only three years, the event is jam packed with Beverly Hills residents and esteemed guests alike. With support from the City of Beverly Hills and the Friends of Greystone non-profit organization, eventgoers of all ages are allowed full access to the historic mansion during the event, with new and old exotic automobiles and motorcycles on display throughout the mansion grounds. Guided tours through the historic mansion halls and courtyards provide invited guests access to photo galleries, jewelry exhibits, gourmet food and cocktails, with service by the famous Lawry's House of Prime Rib.
The parking lot to the rear of the mansion is the location of the Concours d'Elegance itself. The event is a veritable who's-who of classic car aficionados, as wealthy Beverly Hills residents and invited guests display their prized collector cars for all to appreciate. World renown for the luxurious lifestyles of its rich and famous residents, it is not uncommon to see exotic supercars on the streets of Beverly Hills. However, one would definitely be hard pressed to find rare vintage gems such as this immaculate 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Zagato owned by jewelry designer Scott Gauthier and his wife, Coco.
Walking through the Greystone Concours area, it was impossible not to be drawn to the curvaceous bodies and gorgeous eyelashes of the many models in attendance. However, none stood out quite as much as this curvy Italian model - a 1970 Lamborghini Miura S owned by Jeffrey Meier. Although Ms. Miura is definitely Italian in descent, she must have studied in France - she's proudly wearing Parisian license plates up front, indicated by the number 75 on the plate.
Upon closer inspection of the Miura, one can't help but be drawn to her big, beautiful eyes and long, sexy eyelashes. Gorgeous.
Automotive enthusiasts young and old at the Greystone Concours were united by a common bond - the love for the automobile. The Miura S sparked curiosity of quite a few people, including this future car collector...
The holes drilled into the steering wheel of this Miura S suggest that the wheel is a Momo Prototipo 350mm, however the bolt pattern of the trim ring around the horn button suggests otherwise - it looks like it's Nardi Torino pattern. The gorgeous sculpted dashboard and exterior body lines are the handiwork of Italian automotive designer Bertone.
Sitting shotgun in this Lamborghini Miura P400S (Posteriore 4 litri - a cue to the car's rear-mounted transverse 3.9L engine) were old issues of Road&Track and Car&Driver from the 1960s, which contained then-new road test stories from when the Miura was first introduced.
Soaking up the sunlight on the center console (and hopefully not fading) was an old magazine advertisement for Turtle Wax, which used the Miura as the hero car. Very cool!
Many people stopped to admire the classic styling and the less-than-traditional rear hatch of this shiny British racing green E-type Jaguar, which was one of the top sports cars of the 1960s. When the car was released, even Enzo Ferrari gave it recognition, calling it "the most beautiful car ever made."
A closer look inside the Jag will reveal a wooden Nardi Classic steering wheel, which made its debut on classic Italian sports cars. Even though Nardis initially became popular for use on European cars, in the late 1990s they became the trendy steering wheel for usage on sporty Japanese cars. This Japanese trend trickled over to the United States, and now Nardi Classic steering wheels are sought after by owners of all sorts of vehicles, European or Japanese.
Wooden Nardi wheels were also found on many of the other cars on display, like this gorgeous silver 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster owned by Howard Levy. The 356 was Porsche's first production automobile, which debuted in 1948. The Porsche 356 was produced until 1965, two years after the Porsche 911 was originally introduced, which was intended as the replacement for the 356.
The chrome details, emblems and paint of this Porsche 356 were incredibly gorgeous; they perfectly accentuated the smooth contoured bodylines of the car. There's just nothing like a pristine, period correct sports car.
The Greystone Concours d'Elegance is not only a gathering of fine automobiles; it is also a not-to-be-missed social event. Many Beverly Hills residents attended the party with friends, sharing laughs and enjoying sponsored adult beverages with beautiful museum-level machinery all around them.
For some, the Greystone Concours was a family affair, with well-dressed parents admiring the cars alongside their children, suited up in their Sunday best.
There were plenty of good looking Italians in attendance; most of them were proudly wearing yellow badges with the world's most famous prancing horse on their bodywork, like this 1961 Ferrari 250 Pininfarina Cabriolet and this 1974 Ferrari Dino.
There were plenty of details to admire on each individual vehicle - this particular car had very interesting window visors that ran along the window frame, chrome bullet side mirrors, and a Mille Miglia sticker to commemorate the famous thousand mile twisty road endurance race that took place in Italy from 1927 to 1957. The famous Mille Miglia made Gran Turismo sports cars like Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche famous.
The incredible detail of some of the early hood ornaments found on cars such as this 1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III were simply breathtaking. They were also huge - some of them were almost as tall as a wine glass. (Not that we sat our wine glasses on the hood of this Rolls!)
Almost everyone in attendance stopped to admire or take photos of this Mercedes Benz 300SL Coupe, owned by Shin Takei. The 300SL Coupe was the original gullwing Mercedes that inspired the creation of the newly redesigned Mercedes Benz gullwing, the 2012 SLS AMG.
There were also several interesting vintage motorcycles on display. One that seemed to intrigue a lot of people was this vintage 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, which was previously owned by the legendary actor and racer, Steve McQueen.
This amazing vintage pre-war Triumph motorcycle won a prestigious award at the Greystone Concours d'Elegance. It had its original paint (and patina to show its years) and engine, and still ran on period correct tires to complete the museum look.
While there were many, many amazing vehicles to admire at Greystone Mansion, it's possible that this Briggs Cunningham1960 Corvette was the most mind blowing, at least in my eyes. This car, owned by renown car collector and Beverly Hills resident Bruce Meyer, was one of three Corvettes that actually raced and won at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960.
:: Antonio Alvendia
Special thanks to designer Stew Huey for the invite to the Greystone Concours d'Elegance! It's an event we definitely won't miss next year!
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