1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado: If Only

This is the 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado convertible. [Ed.: as if there is a difference from a Coupe de Ville] I had a chance at buying one [ed.: a ’65 or ’66 de Ville convertible] in high school.  Dad said no, even at just $275. The convoluted start up process scared him. (It was a piece of crap, after all.)  The 429 V8 under my right foot terrified him. The 10 mpg scared his wallet, in case I ever got stranded.

But, oh, would I be the king of the high school parking lot.  Way more so than in my VW 411.
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Headed to the Rodeo

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than by strolling down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. As it happened, Sunday was the Rodeo Drive Concours.

OK, full disclosure – this was not a chance meeting. We took a 4 day holiday from the blast furnace that is summer in Phoenix to hang out in milder climes with the beautiful people.  And we were hoping against hope that the LaFerrari would make an appearance.

No such luck.  We did see Bugatti no. 5.  We also saw our first non-auction 288GTO. As shows go, it was a filtered, condensed version of the monthly Cars and Coffee Hookers and Squirrels “Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering.”  (Not the Penske sponsored crapfestthe real one.) Smaller than the Windgate festival of speed.  Like both, it was strafed by similarly cool machines that didn’t want to linger.

Bugatti Bijan Veyron
Bugatti Bijan Veyron

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Inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance begins Auction Week on January 12

1937 Lincoln followed by 1947 Cadillac at the Biltmore during recent 'dry run' site testing. (Michael Tobian photo)
1937 Lincoln followed by 1947 Cadillac at the Biltmore during recent ‘dry run’ site testing. (Michael Tobian photo)
PHOENIX – The manicured lawns of the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort will be the setting on Sunday, January 12, for an exceptional new event, the inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance, which gathers a collection of 77 superb vintage automobiles for a high-end show and competition.While much of the nation freezes under record-cold weather, temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60s to low 70s when the Arizona Concours d’Elegance leads off the famous annual week of collector-car auctions in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. Such a premium annual event has long been envisioned by auto enthusiasts in the Valley as a focal point for auction week, with six major collector-car sales taking place.

The oldest entry in the Arizona Concours is a 1905 Mitchell D-4 Runabout, and the youngest is a 1975 Lamborghini Countach. The honored marques for the first year are American luxury brand Packard and Maserati, the Italian sports and racing brand that commemorates its 100th anniversary during 2014.

The Arizona Concours begins at 8:30 am on Sunday, January 12, with the awards ceremonies starting at 2 pm. The Concours is open to the public with tickets available atwww.arizonaconcours.com or at the Biltmore on the day of the event. As a special feature, the Arizona Concours will be shown live in a web cast on www.arizonaconcours.com starting at 11 a.m.

Modeled after such great concours as Pebble Beach in California and Villa d’Este in Italy, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance brings together the rare and valuable automobiles to compete in classes that range from vintage and classic to sports, racing and exotic. Concours d’Elegance translates from French as “competition of elegance.”

Top concours judges will pore over each entry to pick the class winners as well as the coveted Best of Show. John Carlson, one of the nation’s most acclaimed concours judges, will preside as chief judge. The trophies were designed by acclaimed Arizona painter and sculptor Ed Mell, who created them from a 1930s-vintage art deco toy car. They are being cast at Bollinger Atelier, a foundry in Tempe.

The beautiful automobiles will be displayed in an intimate setting within the art deco elegance of the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Arizona Biltmore. Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Marketand American Car Collector magazines, will serve as emcee for the Arizona Concours.
Proceeds from the Arizona Concours benefit Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. 
  • The inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday, January 12, the start of collector-car auction week in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area.
  • The Concours d’Elegance, held at the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort and Hotel in Phoenix, opens to the public starting at 8:30 am
  • The 77 select automobiles will be displayed and judged on the inner lawns of the Arizona Biltmore.
  • Tickets for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance are now available at www.arizonaconcours.com.
  • Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Arizona.

For more information, see www.arizonaconcours.com.