1906 Benz Racer, Ann Bothwell
1910 Mercedes Racer, Ann Bothwell
1935 Delahaye 135 competition, Ken&Ann Smith
1949 Diamond T pickup, Michael McQueen
1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa (replica), Peter Giacobbi
1963 Ferrari Superamerica, Don&Carol Murray
1987 Rolls-Royce Camargue, Calumet Collection
2012 Chaparral ALMS tribute (replica), Richard Nuart
Under near-perfect skies, more than 150 vintage, classic, and special-interest cars lined the grounds of the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, California for the fifth annual Ranch Mirage Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance. After moving around the Palm Desert region at different venues over its first four years, it seems that this event that kicks off to the concours season, has found a permanent home.
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This year's event, hosted by Motor Trend Radio host Ed Justice, Jr., automotive author Matt Stone, and ABC TV7's automotive reporter Dave Kunz, assembled a world-class field of cars, highlighted by two turn-of-the-past-century race cars – a 1907 Benz and a 1908 Mercedes – displayed by Ann Bothwell on behalf of the Bothwell Collection located in Woodland Hills, California.
The concours, held on Sunday, 26 February, 2012 culminated a full week of automotive events held throughout the Coachella Valley Palm Desert region 90 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles that included track events at nearby Chuckwalla Raceway, an auction held on Saturday, and a driving tour through the Coachella Valley where concours entries were put through their paces.
The Best of Show winner was Don and Carol Murray's 1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica once owned by former New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. The runner up, for Best of Show was a 1936 Delahaye 125 Competition owned by Ken and Ann Smith. The People's Choice winner was a bare-skinned 1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa replica owned by Peter Giacobbi. The show's most unusual entries? They would include a 1949 Diamond T pickup owned by Michael McQueen and a 1987 Roll-Royce Camargue retractable hardtop owned by the Calumet Collection.
The event also featured a selection of open-wheel race cars and several sports racers from the American Le Mans Series. Our favorite was a ALMS tribute to Jim Hall's #66 Chaparral brought to the event by Richard Nuart.
The event served regional charities that included ACT for MS, Loving All Animals, and the event's Desert Classic Scholarship Fund in association with College of the Desert.
For more information on the event and details for next year's event, visit www.Desertclassicconcours.com.
Text & Photos:
Rich Truesdell, www.AutomotiveTraveler.com